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Melania Trump, 50, laughed until she had to “blot the tears from her eyes” when she first spoke to a friend about her husband Donald’s infamous Access Hollywood tape comments.
So says Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, author of the new book, Melania and Me: The Rise and Fall of My Friendship with the First Lady.
But, Ms. Wolkoff – who claims she was one of Mrs. Trump’s BFFs at the time – says they weren’t laughing about the future president’s comments. It was “more of a release of tension than anything else,” she writes in her book.
It’s one of the many insightful claims in Melania and Me, which the author says is an example of how the current First Lady refuses to let scandals like Trump’s alleged affair with adult film star, Stormy Daniels, affect her.
Ms. Wolkoff, 50, writes that she had lunch with Melania a few days after the Oct. 7, 2016 leaking of X-rated, hot mic comments that Donald made while speaking to Access Hollywood correspondent, Billy Bush. Recorded in 2005 at the height of Trump’s The Apprentice fame, he boasted that “when you’re a star” women “let you…do anything.” Including, the father-of-five and future president said, “grab ‘em by the p***y.”
When she saw Mrs. Trump a couple of days after the tape was leaked at the tail end of the 2016 election, Ms. Wolkoff writes that she tried to broach the subject over lunch with her friend.
“I started laughing at the weirdness and then, out of the blue, said, ‘Don’t kill me, but I have to ask!’” she writes in her book. “‘Oh boy!’ [Melania] said. ‘What is it?’” The author says she then asked Mrs. Trump, “How many times have the words ‘p***y’ and ‘president’ been in the same sentence?”
That’s when Ms. Wolkoff claims that her then bestie started to laugh. “She looked at me, her blue eyes sparkling, and then she started laughing – laughing to the point where she needed to blot the tears from her eyes with her napkin,” the author writes in Melania and Me.
Ms. Wolkoff also claims that her friend – who “never doubted that Donald would win” the election – insisted that she wasn’t angry about the tape. “Nope! He is who he is,” she claims the future First Lady said. “I told him that if he ran for president, he had to be ready for everything to be opened up and exposed. His whole life.”
Similarly, Ms. Wolkoff claims that in January 2018, Melania brushed off a Wall Street Journal report that Michael Cohen, her husband’s then attorney, allegedly arranged for Stormy Daniels to be paid $130,000 to stay silent about allegedly sleeping with Trump in 2006. “It’s just politics,” the author claims the First Lady replied after she flagged up the story via text.
Mrs. Trump’s spokeswoman, Stephanie Grisham, disputes Ms. Wolkoff’s claims. “This book is not only wildly self-aggrandizing, it’s just not truthful,” she told HollywoodLife. “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.”
Ms. Wolkoff, who claims her relationship with Melania spanned 15 years, was also the First Lady’s senior advisor until early 2018. She says their friendship ended after Mrs. Trump failed to defend her after a New York Times story alleged that she was paid $26 million to help organize the president’s January 2017 inauguration, a claim that the author denies.
In her book, Ms. Wolkoff says of the First Lady’s ability to not let scandal affect her, “For her, public disgrace was nothing more than brushing sand off her feet after a stroll on the beach.”