Melania Trump sounded shocked that Beyoncé was made the cover star of the Sept. 2018 issue of ‘Vogue’ and given ‘editorial input,’ according to a recorded phone call leaked by Melania’s ex-advisor and BFF.
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Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, author of the best-selling tell-all Melania and Me: The Rise and Fall of My Friendship with the First Lady, has leaked another secretly recorded conversation with ex-BFF Melania Trump. This time, the First Lady discussed the decision by Vogue Editor-In-Chief Anna Wintour to make Beyoncé the cover star of the Sept. 2018 issue, according to the audio of the phone call that was shared with NBC News on October 21. Melania “appeared to express astonishment,” according to NBC, over Anna’s decision while talking to her former Senior Advisor and best friend, Stephanie. The First Lady was surprised that Anna Wintour had uncharacteristically given the cover star “editorial input,” she said in the call.
“Anna [Wintour] gave the September issue of Vogue cover — complete, complete, complete, everything — to Beyoncé,” Melania told Stephanie in the recording. She also addressed the fact that a then 23-year-old photographer, Tyler Mitchell, would shoot Beyoncé’s photos for the cover story. Tyler became the first Black photographer to ever shoot a cover for Vogue, which had reached its 126th anniversary in 2018. “She hired Black photographer. And it’s the first Black photographer ever doing cover of Vogue,” Melania said in the phone call to Stephanie, who used to be the special director of events for Vogue before working for Melania.
Beyoncé had starred on the Sept. 2015 issue of Vogue as well, but her 2018 cover caused a stir over a Huffington Post report that claimed the “Halo” singer was given “full control over the cover” thanks to a contractual obligation. Bey is not one to give very many interviews — the former Destiny’s Child member didn’t even offer one for her first Vogue cover story — but made a rare move by opening up about giving birth to her twins Rumi and Sir Carter, 3, and more personal topics in the 2018 issue.
Beyoncé’s spokesperson declined to comment on the phone call when asked by NBC News, but Melania’s spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham slammed Stephanie in a comment to the outlet. “Her narcissism knows no bounds, this woman is a fraud. These audio tapes are hand-picked about nonsense and presented with no context. Shame on her for this continued attempt at character assassination and shame on NBC for covering this gossip,” the spokeswoman told NBC News. She did not directly address the comments about Beyoncé’s Vogue cover.
This wasn’t the first time that the East Wing has attacked the Melania and Me author in the press over her bombshell tell-all. Stephanie Grisham told HollywoodLife in a statement in September, after Melania and Me was published, that, “This 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.”
Stephanie has defended herself repeatedly from the East Wing, including after the First Lady wrote an essay on the White House site condemning what she called the “idle gossip” in the explosive tell-all. Stephanie responded in a statement given to HollywoodLife: “I find it puzzling that the First Lady of the United States asked someone she ‘hardly knew’ to attend her nuptials, join her for countless lunches, help plan the presidential inauguration, stay over at the White House and Mar-a-Lago, and act as her senior advisor. I wrote this book to share with the public my experience of working with Melania, our fifteen-year friendship, and her ultimate betrayal. This portrait is not all flattering but it’s the truth and Americans deserve the truth about the occupants of the White House.”
Stephanie recorded six total phone conversations with Melania, which lasted more than six hours. The recordings began in Feb. 2018, when Stephanie had just left the White House, and continued until July of that year. One of these calls was EXCLUSIVELY shared with HollywoodLife, in which Melania expressed her surprise over another Vogue cover star: Stormy Daniels, an adult entertainment actress who allegedly had an affair with Melania’s husband Donald Trump. Melania appeared on the cover of Vogue in 2005 in her wedding dress, but had not been offered one since becoming First Lady.