The lawsuit was filed on Oct. 13 in the U.S. District Court in Washington against Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, who served Melania from early 2017 until Feb. 26, 2018.
The Justice Department said Wolkoff did not let the White House review a copy of her book, Melania and Me: The Rise and Fall of My Friendship with the First Lady, before she published it.
Published on Sept. 1, Melania and Me relies on privately recorded conversations to harm the First Lady’s reputation.
The Justice Department seeks to ensure that Wolkoff does not profit from the book or any subsequent media adaptations of its content.
Wolkoff and Melania signed a “Gratuitous Services Agreement” in 2017 that prevented the disclosure of “nonpublic, privileged, and/or confidential information.”
“Ms. Wolkoff breached the GSA by disclosing her manuscript to Simon & Schuster, and causing it to be published, without having received written authorization from the Chief of Staff to the First Lady or the Office of White House Counsel,” the lawsuit states.
Wolkoff said she did not break the agreement’s terms since she did not disclose the information until after her employment ended.
“The president and first lady’s use of the U.S. Department of Justice to silence me is a violation of my First Amendment rights and a blatant abuse of the government to pursue their own personal interests and goals,” she said.
Melania’s chief of staff, Stephanie Grisham, responded to the allegations in the book.
“This book is not only wildly self-aggrandizing, it’s just not truthful,” she said.
“It is an exercise in bizarre twisting of the truth and misguided blame for the sake of self-pity,” she continued. “It’s unfortunate and concerning that she’s overstated their friendship and her very brief role in the White House to this degree.”