ContractsProf Blog

Editor: Jeremy Telman
Oklahoma City University
School of Law

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Groundhog Day Moment: Trump Loses a Case Involving a Non-Disclosure Agreement

Neither of these creatures is Bill Murray

You know that moment in the film Groundhog Day when Bill Murray's character wakes up to "I Got You Babe" and thinks the DJs have screwed up and played yesterday's tape by accident?  If I just went with the headline "Trump NDA Ruled Unenforceable," you would have shaken your head and yelled at your computer, "Dude, refresh your feed!"  After all, we've already run stories about unenforceable Trump nondisclosure agreements (NDAs) here and here and here and here.  

And now comes the case of Omarosa  Manigault Newman (Omarosa) who wrote a book about her time in the Trump White House.  In 2018, the Trump Campaign sought arbitration to enforce an NDA into which Omarosa alleged entered in 2016.  According to NBC News, Omarosa alleges in her book, Unhinged: An Insider's Account of the Trump White House that Trump was a racist and also that he was in severe mental decline during his Presidency.  Not having read the book, I can only wonder whether Omarosa cited as evidence of that decline her own hiring to work in the White House based on her appearance in three separate season of Mr. Trump's reality television show, The Apprentice.

According to The New York Times, the arbitrator deemed the Trump NDA too vague to be enforced.  It apparently prohibited Omarosa from revealing confidential information, but that term was defined so broadly as to capture just about anything, including mere opinions critical of Mr. Trump.  In addition to ruling in Omarosa's favor, the arbitrator also granted her attorneys' fees.  Gracious as always, Trump issued a statement, reprinted in Rolling Stone, in which he acknowledged defeat and praised Omarosa for besting him on the law and the facts.  

Just kidding. 

He said: “I gave Omarosa three attempts at The Apprentice and she failed. At her desperate request I gave her an attempt at the White House and she failed there too, people truly hated her.”

Stephanie Grisham's tell-all about Melania Trump is due out next week.  Stay tuned.

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