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Here's the Story Behind Mary Trump's Book

Trump family animosity goes way, way back
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 8, 2020 4:57 PM CDT

(Newser) – In line for a copy of Mary Trump's tell-all memoir? You'll want to see a New York Times article about the family squabbles and drag-out financial rows that inspired President Trump's niece to write it. Seems the president's father, Fred Trump Sr., hated Mary's mother and blamed her for the alcoholic decline and early death of Mary's dad, Fred Trump Jr., who was Donald's brother. Trump Sr. also derided Mary and her brother for their work ethic and hated their appearances at family events. "They often came and left very early," Maryanne Trump Barry, the president's sister, testified in the family will dispute. "On each time they came Freddy was never wearing a tie, which drove my father bananas, and Mary was in pants and a baggy sweater, which drove him bananas as well."

By comparison, the will dispute was pure scorched earth. When Trump Sr. died in 1999, Mary and her brother learned they had been cut out of a 20% share of his estate. So they went to court, where the family's dirty laundry went on display and Donald took a swing at his niece and nephew: "They live like kings and queens," he said. "This is not two people left out in the gutter." Meanwhile, a Trump family company axed health insurance for Mary, her mom, her brother, and his family—including a 9-month-old with seizures, the Daily News reported at the time. In the end they settled, but Mary clearly never forgot it: "I think trying to tell the story as she sees it is a way of again claiming her voice not just in the construct of the family, but in the context of what our country is going through," says one of her oldest friends. (Read more details from her book.)

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