US Justice Department files suit against former aide to Melania Trump over tell-all book
- Stephanie Winston Wolkoff worked for Melania Trump during 2017-2018
- Her book gives a glimpse into the life of Melania, including her relationship with Ivanka Trump
- In its lawsuit, DOJ said Wolkoff was prohibited from profiting on what she learned in the White House
The US Justice Department filed suit Tuesday against Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, a former aide to the First Lady Melania Trump, AFP reported. The suit was filed over Wolkoff's 'Melania and Me' -- a tell-all book about the life of the First Lady. The department said Wolkoff had committed not to disclose information about President Donald Trump's wife that was gleaned from her position as a White House volunteer.
Who is Stephanie Winston Wolkoff?
Wolkoff worked on an unpaid basis for Melania during 2017-2018. She fell out with the Trumps over a scandal related to millions of dollars that went unaccounted for in the president's inauguration in January 2017, which she helped organize.
Earlier this year the attorney general of Washington sued Trump's inaugural committee and the president's Trump Organization business, alleging the Trump's profited heavily on the events.
Communications and records from Wolkoff are cited as evidence that contributed to the suit.
About her book
Published last month, Wolkoff's 'Melania and Me: The Rise and Fall of My Friendship With the First Lady' claimed to lift the veil off the First Lady, a former model of Slovenian who became Trump's third wife and then the First Lady of the US after Trump won the 2016 presidential election.
The book portrays a much more active and decisive Melania than generally understood, and depicted her as a bitter rival of Donald Trump's daughter Ivanka, labelling her and her husband Jared Kushner as "snakes", AFP reported.
Justice Department's lawsuit against Wolkoff
In its lawsuit, the department said although she wasn't a federal employee, she signed a federally enforceable "contract" called a gratuitous services agreement.
In that agreement, she was "specifically prohibited from publishing, reproducing or otherwise divulging any such information to any unauthorized person or entity in whole or in part."
She also was forbidden from profiting on what she learned in the White House, without the approval of White House lawyers, the suit said.
It says Wolkoff was not free from her obligations to submit the book to Melania Trump and White House lawyers after she stopped working there.
While the Justice Department warned Wolkoff and her publisher Simon & Schuster in July of the possible violation of her agreement, it did not take action until after the book was published.
The lawsuit seeks to seize all of Wolkoff's profits from the book.