Melania

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

Melania Trump has no plans to leave White House while sick, official says, contrasting with the President

First lady Melania Trump has no plans to leave the White House while she convalesces at the Executive Residence after contracting Covid-19, an official confirmed to CNN on Monday.



Melania Trump, Donald Trump are posing for a picture


© Julio Cortez/AP


The decision marks a stark contrast with her husband, President Donald Trump, who also tested positive for coronavirus. On Sunday, the President left Walter Reed Medical Center for a motorcade drive-by past a few dozen supporters outside the hospital, potentially risking exposure to his Secret Service agents.

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“Melania is aware of the dangers of Covid-19,” the official told CNN. “Potentially exposing others is not a risk she would take.”

NBC News first reported the first lady’s decision not to leave the White House.

In the early hours of Friday morning, the first lady tweeted she and the President had tested positive for coronavirus, adding she had mild symptoms.

On Monday, she tweeted she is “feeling good & will continue to rest at home.” She also thanked medical staff and caretakers, and said she was praying for those affected by Covid-19.

“My family is grateful for all of the prayers & support! I am feeling good & will continue to rest at home. Thank you to medical staff & caretakers everywhere, & my continued prayers for those who are ill or have a family member impacted by the virus.”

The first lady made the decision to cut back on travel and public events six months ago because she was aware of the extensive apparatus of people involved in her movement, and did not wish to chance their health, nor her own, the White House official told CNN. Last month, the first lady traveled to New Hampshire to visit a hospital program focused on treating babies born with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome.

It was her first official solo trip

Melania Trump didn’t visit husband to avoid exposing Secret Service and medical staff to COVID-19

Doctors and infectious disease experts were highly critical of President Trump’s decision to get driven in a hermetically sealed SUV around Walter Reed Medical Center to wave to supporters while he is contagious with COVID-19, endangering his Secret Service detail, photographed wearing the wrong type of personal protective equipment. The Secret Service has noticed.

Somebody at the White House had considered the safety of Secret Service agents. On Saturday, a White House official told NBC News’ Peter Alexander that first lady Melania Trump would not leave her isolation in the White House residence to visit her husband because “she has COVID” and “that would expose the agents who would drive her there and the medical staff who would walk her up to him.”

The White House defended what spokesman Judd Deere called Trump’s “short, last-minute motorcade ride to wave to his supporters outside.” Deere told Axios‘ Alayna Treene, the White House pool reporter on duty, that “appropriate precautions were taken in the execution of this movement to protect the president and all those supporting it, including PPE. The movement was cleared by the medical team as safe to do.” Deere did not, Treene note, “answer additional questions, such as whether the drive-by happened at the president’s request.”

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Melania Trump Was Secretly Recorded Discussing Her Role As First Lady

There’s long been speculation about where First Lady Melania Trump’s allegiances lie. During the last four years, she’s mostly kept quiet, other than an ill-advised “Be Best” initiative to combat cyberbullying and trip to an immigrant children’s shelter on the Texas/Mexico border where she wore a jacket that read, “I really don’t care. Do U?” on the back.

On Thursday, new insight into her behind-the-scenes beliefs emerged with the release of audio secretly recorded by her former aide and friend, Stephanie Winston Wolkoff. Wolkoff left the White House in 2018 after it was revealed her firm reportedly made $26 million off the planning of Trump’s inauguration, per the New York Times. In the summer of 2018, after Wolkoff had exited her East Wing role, she secretly taped Trump expressing disillusionment with several aspects of her life at the White House. “They say I’m complicit. I’m the same like him, I support him. I don’t say enough I don’t do enough where I am,” Trump said of criticism she received due to her husband’s separation of migrant children at the border. The First Lady added, “I’m working my ass off on the Christmas stuff, that you know, who gives a fuck about the Christmas stuff and decorations? But I need to do it, right?”

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When Wolkoff confirmed she would have to carry out her yuletide duties, Trump continued, “Okay, and then I do it and I say that I’m working on Christmas and planning for the Christmas and they said, ‘Oh, what about the children that they were separated?’ Give me a fucking break. Where they were saying anything