Book by Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, a former unpaid adviser to the first lady, will detail their 15-year friendship
Guardian staff – The Guardian
Melania Trump in Washington DC on 4 July. Photograph: REX/Shutterstock
A former senior aide to Melania Trump who helped oversee Donald Trump’s inauguration has written an “explosive” memoir detailing her 15-year friendship with the first lady, according to reports.
Stephanie Winston Wolkoff was appointed as an unpaid adviser to the first lady shortly after Donald Trump won the 2016 election, and she played a high-profile role in helping Melania Trump transition into the White House from New York while advising her on her political portfolio.
But in February 2018, Winston Wolkoff was forced out after reports that her firm had received $26m in payments to help plan Trump’s lavish inauguration ceremony in 2017 and related events. At the time, Winston Wolkoff said the firm had “retained a total of $1.62m” that was divided among staff. She has since challenged the notion that she was dismissed and claimed that she was “thrown under the bus”.
Winston Wolkoff later cooperated with federal prosecutors in Manhattan who opened an investigation into whether Trump’s 2017 inaugural committee misspent some of the record $107m it raised from donations.
The book will be titled Melania and Me, and published by Gallery Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, on 1 September, Vanity Fair reported.
The memoir will detail Winston Wolkoff’s time “navigating the White House and East Wing”, where first ladies have offices (the president works in the West Wing). It will also include her “journey from their friendship that started in New York to [Winston Wolkoff’s] role as the First Lady’s trusted advisor to her abrupt and very public departure, to life after Washington”, according to a description obtained by the magazine.
Winston Wolkoff was long considered one of Melania’s closest friends. A socialite, she previously worked for Vogue and was best known for her role in producing the Met Gala, the star-studded annual fundraising gala for the benefit of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute in New York.
When the two parted ways in 2017, she told the New York Times: “I expect to remain a trusted source for advice and support on an informal basis.”
According to the Daily Beast, a Google Books description of the book available online said it would provide “a revealing and explosive portrayal of Stephanie Winston Wolkoff’s 15-year friendship with Melania Trump and observations of the most chaotic White House in history”.