Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Friday, July 10, 2020

The Inside Story of Why Mary Trump Wrote a Tell-All Memoir

UnknownPresident Trump's nice was a family outcast. Her new book casts a cold light on the relatives she describes as dysfunctional.

For most of her life, Mary L. Trump has been outcasted and put aside by her own family. Her uncle, President Trump, for years looked down on her father — Fred Trump Jr., an alcoholic who died when she was a teen. Her Grandfather, Fred Trump Sr., hated her mother, whom he blamed for Fred Trump Jr.'s drinking, court papers say. Her aunt, the president's sister, once accused Ms. Trump and her brother in a legal disposition of being "absentee grandchildren."

Ms. Trump's grandfather was often annoyed by what he took to be her disrespectful nature. Her crime, court papers say: She showed up wearing a baggy sweater. 

Ms' Trump's status as an outcast culminated in 1999 when Fred Trump Sr. died, and she discovered that she and her brother had been cut out of his will, depriving them of what they believed was their rightful share of untold millions. A dispute over the will lead to a court fight, the details of which shielded by a confidentiality agreement that Ms. Trump has followed for nearly 20 years. 

However, Ms. Trump has written a memoir which unfolds the details of that fight as well as other allegations. The book, along with a number of court documents that have never been reported, sheds new light on a decades-long saga of greed and betrayal, laying out what Ms. Trump has described as her family's legacy of darkness and dysfunction. 

The book, "Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World's Dangerous Man," which is set to be released next week, has ended up in court itself, as the Trump family has sought to stop its publication. Ms. Trump has countered that the secrecy provision that has kept her silent until now is unenforceable and based on financial fraud.

See Alan Feuer, Michael Rothfield & Maggie Haberman, The Inside Story of Why Mary Trump Wrote a Tell-All Memoir, N.Y. Times, July 7, 2020.

Special thanks to Naomi Cahn (Harold H. Greene Professor of Law, George Washington University School of Law) for bringing this article to my attention.


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There is no better fight than a family fight over an estate. Every rumor and false story will be exaggerated, every incident becomes a world war.

Posted by: Stratton Smith, Esq | Jul 12, 2020 7:04:59 AM

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