Following months of legal drama, threats, and public controversy surrounding multiple books published by former Trumpworld insiders, yet another blockbuster Trump book is set to hit shelves this summer and contain “explosive” revelations about first lady Melania Trump, written by her once close adviser and friend of 15 years.
According to people familiar with the project, Stephanie Winston Wolkoff—who was previously seen by the first lady as a loyal confidante who helped plan President Donald Trump’s 2017 inauguration in Washington, D.C.—will release a tell-all, Melania and Me, on Sept. 1.
People with knowledge of the project say the content of the book is largely negative and that the manuscript heavily trashes the first lady.
Winston Wolkoff previously worked for Vogue editrix and artistic director of Condé Nast Anna Wintour, who nicknamed her “General Winston” during her stint as the magazine’s special-events director producing the celebrity-packed Met Gala.
After playing a vital role in plotting Trump’s inaugural festivities, Wolkoff landed the gig of senior adviser to the first lady. However, shortly after the start of the Trump era, the noted New York socialite had a dramatic falling out with Melania Trump, triggered by news that Wolkoff’s own firm snagged a cool $26 million from the Trump inaugural committee to help plan the events.
“Was I fired? No,” Wolkoff told The New York Times last year. “Did I personally receive $26 million or $1.6 million? No. Was I thrown under the bus? Yes.”
Following Wolkoff’s departure from the White House’s East Wing, the first lady sent her an email. “I am sorry that the professional part of our relationship has come to an end, but I am comforted in the fact that our [friendship] far outweigh[s] politics,” she said in an email. “Thank you Again! Much love.”
According to the Times, the one-time Melania Trump confidante was also cooperating with Manhattan federal prosecutors investigating the Trump inaugural committee’s fundraising and spending. An SDNY spokesman declined to comment to The Daily Beast about the status of the investigation.
Before Vanity Fair reported on the upcoming tell-all on Monday evening, the book was being teased online to little, if any, fanfare, though perhaps clandestinely or unintentionally so. On Monday morning, Wolkoff’s work was already available for pre-sale on Amazon, and Google searches at the time revealed that pre-announcement placeholder webpages existed for it, featured on Google Books and Simon & Schuster’s own website.
As of Monday afternoon, the Google Books item read that the book, labeled “Untitled SWW” and placed in the “Autobiography” section, is expected on Aug. 11 and will be “a revealing and explosive portrayal of Stephanie Winston Wolkoff’s fifteen-year friendship with Melania Trump and observations of the most chaotic White House in history.”
Simon & Schuster has already published one book this summer about Melania Trump, The Art of Her Deal by Washington Post reporter Mary Jordan.
The publishing giant also tangled with Trump administration lawyers to publish former national security adviser John Bolton’s book The Room Where It Happened, and after a weeks-long legal fight, it will next week publish a highly anticipated tell-all from Mary Trump, the president’s own niece, Too Much And Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man.
There is, of course, a chance Wolkoff will face a similar threat or legal hassle from Trumpworld attorneys. According to a person with knowledge of the matter, she signed a nondisclosure agreement—extremely common for those in the Trump political, business, and reality TV orbits, and even sometimes among the family members themselves—for her work on the 2017 inauguration and for her stint as a senior adviser to the first lady.
Charles Harder, one of President Trump’s personal lawyers who also gained notoriety for fronting the legal team that took down the news and gossip outlet Gawker, also has done work on behalf of Melania Trump, including in her battle over media coverage.