Loading the player…
Melania Trump‘s former adviser is now the author of a memoir about her relationship with the first lady. Stephanie Winston Wolkoff spoke with BBC about her book “Melania and Me: The Rise and Fall of My Friendship with the First Lady.”
In the book, the first lady’s former friend said Melania’s marriage with President Donald Trump is “transactional.” She says that the Trumps use each other to further their own careers.
“I do believe it is a transactional marriage. Donald got arm candy, the Vogue cover legitimized Melania which legitimized Donald as well, and Melania got two dynamic decades,” Winston Wolkoff said.
U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump walk to the White House residence as they exit Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House on September 11, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
“She was a young model, she was striving, she didn’t have the success yet. She met Donald, she married, she had a son, she became an American citizen and 10 years after that, she is the first lady of the United States,” she continued.
According to Newsweek, Winston Wolkoff met Melania when she was using her maiden name, Knauss, in 2003. Winston Wolkoff was an employee at Vogue, and she and her editor, Anna Wintour, helped Melania’s image in New York’s high society by putting her on the magazine’s cover in February 2005.
The two became friends and eventually, Winston Wolkoff would be in charge of President Trump’s 2017 inauguration. The event cost $107 million and was criticized for being over budget.
After Winston Wolkoff was accused of profiting excessively from the event, she started recording conversations with the first lady, Newsweek reported.
In response to Winston Wolkoff’s book, Melania’s chief of staff and spokesperson Stephanie Grisham said the book is, “not only wildly self-aggrandizing, it’s just not truthful.”
“It is an exercise in bizarre twisting of the truth and misguided blame for the sake of self-pity. It’s unfortunate and concerning that she’s overstated their friendship and her very brief role in the White House to this degree,” Grisham said.
Melania also chimed in about the controversial book, tweeting that Winston Wolkoff’s statements are “delusional and malicious gossip.”
Have you subscribed to theGrio’s podcast “Dear Culture”? Download our newest episodes now!
Loading the player…