Mary Trump Temporarily Enjoined from Publishing Memoir—But Injunction Lifted as to Her Publisher
From yesterday’s decision in Robert Trump v. Mary Trump by New York Appellate Division Judge Alan D. Scheinkman:
Before the Court are separate applications by the defendant Simon & Schuster, Inc. … and the defendant Mary L. Trump [President Trump’s niece] … to vacate or modify … a temporary restraining order ….
The temporary restraining order provides that, pending the hearing and determination of the plaintiff’s motion for a preliminary injunction, which has a return date of July 10, 2020, both Ms. Trump and S&S, “together with their respective members, officers, employees, servants, agents, attorneys, representatives and all other persons acting on behalf of or in concert with either or both of them,” are restrained from “publishing, printing or distributing any book or any portions thereof including but not limited to the book entitled: ‘Too Much and Never Enough, How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man’, in any medium containing descriptions or accounts of [Ms. Trump’s] relationship with [plaintiff Robert Trump, who is Donald Trump’s brother], Donald Trump, or Maryanne Trump Barry.” …
The trial court order rested entirely on a settlement agreement that followed the litigation over the estate of President Trump’s father and mother:
“[P]aragraph 2 of the settlement agreement states that … “Without obtaining the consent of Donald J. Trump, Robert S. Trump and Maryanne Trump Barry, … Fred C. Trump, III and Mary L. Trump, Lisa Trump and Linda C. Trump (‘Objectant/Plaintiffs’) as well as Farrell Fritz, P.C. (their counsel) … shall not directly or indirectly publish or cause to be published, any diary, memoir, letter, story, photograph, interview, article, essay, account, or description or depiction of any kind whatsoever, whether fictionalized or not, concerning their litigation or relationship with the ‘Proponents/Defendants’ or their litigation involving the Estate of Fred C. Trump and the Estate of Mary Anne Trump, or assist or provide information to others in connection therewith.
“As used in the preceding sentence, the terms ‘publish’ and ‘publication’ shall be deemed to include the presentation or reproduction of written, verbal or visual material in any communication medium, including, without limitation, books, magazines, newspapers, theatrical productions of any kinds, movies, television, or radio, or the use of the internet in any language and in any jurisdiction. Any violation of the terms of this Paragraph 2 shall constitute a material breach of this agreement. In the event such breach occurs, ‘Objectants/Plaintiffs’, as well as their ‘counsel’, hereby consent to the granting of a temporary or permanent injunction against them (or against any agent acting in their behalf) by any court of competent jurisdiction prohibiting them (or their agent) from violating the terms of this Paragraph….”
The plaintiff avers that Ms. Trump received valuable consideration for the settlement, including a substantial financial settlement, mutual releases, and a confidentiality agreement benefitting her.
The plaintiff alleges that on or about June 15, 2020, Ms. Trump announced the publication of a book entitled Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man, which is scheduled for release on July 28, 2020. While the plaintiff has not seen the book, he alleges that Ms. Trump has stated that a major topic of the book will be her relationship with the plaintiff, Donald J. Trump, and Maryanne Trump Barry. According to the plaintiff, Ms. Trump has stated that book contains an “insider’s perspective” of “countless holiday meals,” “family interactions,” and “family events.”
The plaintiff asserts that neither he, nor Donald J. Trump or Ma
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