American First Lady Melania Trump speaks in front of the Republican Convention on day two in the Rose Garden of the White House on August 25, 2020 in Washington, DC.
Brendan Smialowski | AFP | Getty Images
The Justice Department on Tuesday sued the author of a book about First Lady Melania Trump, alleging the writer breached a nondisclosure agreement that prohibited her from divulging confidential information obtained while working for the president̵
The lawsuit in federal court in Washington, DC called for a judge to order Stephanie Winston Wolkoff to donate any profits from her book, Melania and Me: The Rise and Fall of My Friendship with the First Lady, to a government foundation.
Wolkoff, who was close friends with Melania Trump, was previously a volunteer advisor to the First Lady after President Donald Trump took office in 2017.
The lawsuit accuses Wolkoff of “blanket breach” of breach of contract and breach of fiduciary obligations to the first lady.
The complaint states that Wolkoff agreed to a so-called free service contract in 2017, which contained a confidentiality clause in which she “promised to maintain the strict confidentiality of” non-public, privileged and / or confidential information “received while on duty could. “”
That deal “did not include a termination date” for its terms, according to the lawsuit alleging that Wolkoff “had access to important confidential information relating to the First Lady’s official duties as well as more private aspects of her role in the First Family.” “
The Justice Department also alleges that Wolkoff had “indirect access to advisory information that the First Lady was privy to in connection with the official duties of the President on behalf of the country.”
Former Vogue special event planner Stephanie Winston Wolkoff stops for a photo in front of the media on December 5, 2016 at Trump Tower in New York.
I have Betancur | AFP | Getty Images
Despite Wolkoff’s promise of confidentiality, the Justice Department said Wolkoff “wrote a book that Simon & Schuster did [the book’s publisher] promotes as a ‘devastating tell-all’ and as an ‘epic cry of a tell-all’. “
The book was published in early September.
The lawsuit states that Wolkoff never presented a draft of the book to Melania Trump, her chief of staff, or the White House attorney’s office, and “was never given permission to disclose information learned through her work under the agreement” .
The lawsuit follows a failed legal effort by President Trump’s late brother Robert to prevent the publication of yet another anthology written by her niece Mary Trump that portrays the president in a damned light.
49-year-old Wolkoff is the former fashion director of Mercedes-Benz New York Fashion Week and former director of special events for Vogue magazine. She was also the executive producer of Trump’s inauguration.
Her book states that Melania Trump delayed her entry into the White House to allow her bathroom to be renovated because she wanted to avoid using the same shower and toilet that ex-first lady Michelle Obama used.
A spokeswoman for Melania Trump, a spokeswoman for the Justice Department and a press representative from Simon & Schuster did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the lawsuit.
– Additional coverage from CNBC’s Kevin Breuninger
This is the latest news. Check for updates again.