Judge lifts ban on ‘tell-all’ book by Donald Trump’s niece

Presidential niece Mary Trump has dubbed the US president ‘the world’s most dangerous man’. (AFP file photo)
Short Url
Updated 02 July 2020

Judge lifts ban on ‘tell-all’ book by Donald Trump’s niece

  • Mary Trump dubs the US president ‘the world’s most dangerous man’
  • The president’s brother Robert Trump had asked for the restraining order

WASHINGTON: An appeals court judge in New York has lifted a temporary ban on the publication of a potentially explosive “tell-all” book by President Donald Trump’s niece, court documents showed.
The ruling issued Wednesday allows publisher Simon & Schuster to print and distribute the 240-page book by Mary Trump, who dubs the US president “the world’s most dangerous man.”
It would be the latest bombshell memoir to dish dirt on the leader after former aide John Bolton’s book, which described Trump as corrupt and incompetent, was cleared for publication last week.
The president’s brother Robert Trump had asked for the restraining order, arguing that Mary was violating a non-disclosure agreement signed in 2001 after the settlement over the estate of Fred Trump — the father of Donald and Robert and of Mary’s father Fred Trump Jr.
Judge Alan Scheinkman postponed addressing whether the author had violated the agreement preventing her from revealing family secrets by writing the book, titled “Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man.”
Nevertheless Simon & Schuster “is not a party to the agreement,” so the block of their publication of the book “is vacated,” he ruled.
In the book, Mary, a clinical psychologist, recounts what she witnessed of the “toxic family” in the home of her grandparents, according to her publisher.
“According to the plaintiff, Ms. Trump has stated that (the) book contains an ‘insider’s perspective’ of ‘countless holiday meals,’ ‘family interactions,’ and ‘family events,’” Scheinkman’s ruling said.
The Daily Beast has reported the book will reveal that Mary Trump was the crucial source for explosive New York Times reporting on Trump’s finances, which suggested the billionaire paid little in tax for decades.
In a statement, Mary Trump’s attorney Ted Boutrous said the lifting of the prior restraint against the publisher was “very good news.”
“We look forward to filing our brief tomorrow (Thursday) in the trial court explaining why the same result is required as to Ms. Trump, based on the First Amendment and basic contract law,” he said.
Mary Trump’s legal team said they were hoping for a July 10 hearing, which will most likely take place virtually.
Last week a judge refused to block the release of Bolton’s book, titled “The Room Where It Happened,” saying it was too late for the restraining order sought by the Trump administration.
Trump has characterized the portrait of 17 months up close with the leader, until Bolton was fired in September, as “fiction.”
Other books written about the president include journalist Michael Wolff’s “Fire and Fury,” a behind-the-scenes account of Trump’s chaotic early days in the White House, which sold more than four million copies worldwide.
Trump dismissed that book as “full of lies.”


Renaissance master Raphael did a nose-job in self-portrait, face reconstruction suggests

Updated 11 August 2020

Renaissance master Raphael did a nose-job in self-portrait, face reconstruction suggests

  • Professor Mattia Falconi: ‘He certainly made his nose look more refined’
  • Raphael died in Rome in 1520 aged 37, and was buried in Rome’s Pantheon

ROME: Raphael probably didn’t like his nose, and replaced it with an idealized version in his famous self-portrait.
That is the conclusion of Rome University scientists who produced a 3D computer reconstruction of the Renaissance master’s face from a plaster cast of his presumed skull made in 1833.
In that year, the remains believed to be those of the man hailed by his contemporaries as “the divine one” because he sought perfection through his work were last exhumed.
“He certainly made his nose look more refined,” said Professor Mattia Falconi, a molecular biologist at the university’s Tor Vergata campus. “His nose was, let’s say, slightly more prominent.”
Raphael died in Rome in 1520 aged 37, probably from pneumonia, and was buried in Rome’s Pantheon.
The self-portrait, which normally hangs in Florence’s Uffizi gallery but is currently in Rome for an exhibition marking the 500th anniversary of his death, was done about 15 years earlier, when he was clean-shaven.
It features the more aquiline nose that Raphael also included in other works in which he painted himself.
The reconstruction is of the way he may have looked closer to his death, when he wore a beard.
Falconi, along with forensic anthropologists and other experts, reconstructed the face with tissue layering techniques used by crime investigators.
The result was a face similar to that of the master on an engraving by Marcantonio Raimondi, one of his students.
“When we finished, I said to myself ‘I’ve seen that face before,’” Falconi, 57, said in a telephone interview.
Another similarity is with the subject of “Portrait of a Man,” painted between 1512 and 1515 by Sebastiano del Piombo, a Raphael contemporary and rival.
For centuries there has been speculation that the bones exhumed in 1833 and reburied in a re-styled crypt may not have been Raphael’s because some of his students were later buried near him.
But Falconi believes the research points to an around 85 percent chance that the skull is Raphael’s because of similarities with most of the artist’s face as depicted by him and his contemporaries.
Not everyone was pleased with Falconi’s research. An art critic for the Rome newspaper La Repubblica said it had produced a cheap “videogame version” of Raphael.
Falconi said he hoped the tomb can be opened again someday for direct tests on the skull. This could resolve several mysteries, including confirming what caused his death.