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DOJ sues Stephanie Winston Wolkoff over Melania Trump tell-all

  • The Justice Department on Tuesday sued Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, a former friend of first lady Melania Trump. 
  • The civil complaint claims Wolkoff violated a nondisclosure agreement by publishing a tell-all about her time advising the first lady and planning President Donald Trump’s inauguration. 
  • Wolkoff’s “Melania and Me” includes claims about the first lady’s animosity toward Ivanka Trump and reasoning for wearing a controversial jacket to the US border.
  • Read the DOJ’s lawsuit below.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The Department of Justice sued a former friend of first lady Melania Trump on Tuesday, claiming she violated a nondisclosure agreement by publishing a tell-all about her time working for the White House. 

In “Melania and Me: The Rise and Fall of My Friendship with The First Lady,” which was released last month, Stephanie Winston Wolkoff detailed her work planning President Donald Trump’s 2017 inauguration and advising the first lady in the first year of the Trump administration.

Wolkoff left the White House in 2018 following a scandal involving how much her company made from working on the inauguration. Anecdotes in her book include:

Stephanie Grisham, the first lady’s chief of staff and spokeswoman, has called Wolkoff’s book “not truthful.”

In a civil complaint filed Tuesday in a Washington, DC, district court, the DOJ accused Wolkoff of breach of contract and breach of fiduciary obligations, and asked the court to transfer all money she makes from the book into a government trust.

stephanie winsteon wolkoff melania trump

Wolkoff and Melania Trump in New York City in 2008.


BILLY FARRELL/Patrick McMullan via Getty



The complaint said Wolkoff signed a “strict confidentiality” agreement, promising not to publish any information gleaned from her time working for the first lady, unless given express written permission. 

“In particular, the Agreement makes clear that, by virtue of being placed in a

Justice Dept. sues to seize profits of tell-all Melania Trump book, citing White House nondisclosure pact

An attorney for Winston Wolkoff did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Winston Wolkoff, 50, had a 15-year friendship with Melania Trump before she was ousted in 2018 as an unpaid senior adviser to the first lady in a scandal involving President Trump’s $107 million inauguration. Winston Wolkoff has said she felt “betrayed” when news accounts focused on $26 million paid to her event-planning firm by the inauguration. Most of the money went to pay for inaugural events, and she personally retained $484,126, The Washington Post has reported.

In the book, Winston Wolkoff described what she viewed as extensive mismanagement and opaque accounting for the inauguration, after which she cooperated with law enforcement investigators.

But the former right-hand events planner to Vogue editor Anna Wintour has created a larger media storm this month by playing excerpts of phone conversations that she began secretly recording with the first lady in February 2018 without her knowledge.

Melania Trump’s chief of staff, Stephanie Grisham, has lambasted Winston Wolkoff for the recordings.

“Secretly taping the first lady and willfully breaking an NDA to publish a salacious book is a clear attempt at relevance,” Grisham said in an Oct. 2 statement to CNN. “The timing of this continues to be suspect — as does this never-ending exercise in self-pity and narcissism.”

The lawsuit is likely to draw renewed attention to the tapes, which capture Melania Trump venting in profane language about her frustrations with critical media coverage, expectations about her role in planning White House Christmas decorations and defending the administration’s separation of migrant children at the U.S.-Mexico border.

“Who gives a f— about the Christmas stuff and decorations?” Trump said in one portion played in interviews with Winston Wolkoff by CNN’s Anderson Cooper.

On another recording, the first lady refers to porn

Minnesota Democrat sues to have House race held in November

Rep. Angie Craig (D-Minn.) filed a federal lawsuit to allow her district’s House race to be held in November after a minor party candidate’s death pushed the election back to February. 

Craig, who is running to keep her seat for Minnesota’s 2nd Congressional District, filed a federal complaint to counter the state law that forces a February special election after Adam Weeks, the Legal Marijuana Now Party’s candidate, died suddenly last week. 

Weeks died 40 days before Election Day, which activated a state law mandating the election be delayed. No cause of death was provided. 

Under state law, Craig would be required to vacate her seat when the new Congress was sworn in and wait for the February special election.

Craig argued in a statement that federal law requires the election to proceed in November and that a February election would leave people in her district without representation at the beginning of the 117th Congress. 

“The people of Minnesota’s Second Congressional District deserve to have a voice fighting for them in Washington,” she said.  

“Unfortunately, the process currently in place would deprive Minnesotans of their seat at the table when critical legislation affecting our state will be debated – including bills to rid politics of special interests, ensure quality affordable health care for every Minnesotan and safeguard our family farmers,” she added. 

The Minnesota Democrat said she “strongly” urges voters to continue to fill out their ballots “to ensure that every Minnesotan has the representation they deserve in Congress next year.”