A NY judge on Tuesday temporarily blocked the publication of Mary L. Trump's scathing book about President Donald Trump, her uncle, which describes him as the "world's most risky man", saying no copies can be distributed until he hears arguments in the case.
The book, titled "Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World's Most Dangerous Man", has already ascended to the top of bestseller lists based on presales, underscoring the intense interest in a rare insider account by a Trump family member.
Mary Trump is the daughter of Fred C. Trump Jr., who died in 1981.
The Tuesday ruling comes after a judge for the Queens County Surrogate Court in NY last week dismissed a similar attempt to block the book, citing a lack of jurisdiction.
Justice Hal Greenwald in Poughkeepsie, New York, also ordered Ms. Trump to explain why he shouldn't grant a permanent injunction. However, the judge quickly tossed it out because it was not the proper venue for the dispute.
Hours later, Simon & Schuster Chief Executive Officer Jonathan Karp said in court papers that the publisher was unaware of allegations of any agreement between Mary Trump and her family until two weeks ago. But in 2001, Mary Trump signed a non-disclosure agreement concerning litigation over a family will, which said she was not allowed to discuss relations with her aunts and uncles.
"You know, when we settled with her and her brother, who I do have a good relationship with - she's got a brother, Fred, who I do have a good relationship with, but when we settled, she has a total ... signed a nondisclosure", he said.
Mary Trump's tell-all book may hit bookstore shelves, despite a legal attempt to block the book from being published, The Washington Post reports.
"Short of corrective action to immediately cease their egregious conduct, we will pursue this case to the very end", Harder added.
A spokesperson for Simon & Schuster also said the publisher planned to appeal and expected to prevail due to "well-established precedents regarding prior restraint".
Ted Boutrous, Mary Trump's lawyer, said the latest order was a violation of the First Amendment, which protects free speech, and would be appealed.
Harder applauded the Tuesday decision, noting that "Robert Trump is very pleased with the New York Supreme Court's injunction against Mary Trump and Simon & Schuster" and adding that "the actions of Mary Trump and Simon & Schuster are truly reprehensible", the Daily Beast reported.
Their settlement almost two decades ago included a confidentiality clause that explicitly states they would not "publish any account concerning the litigation or their relationship", unless all of them agreed, according to court papers.
Simon & Schuster published The Room Where It Happened, former national security adviser John Bolton's tell-all memoir which a federal judge declined to block.
After that case was dismissed, Robert Trump took his case before the New York State Supreme Court.