Melania and Me: The Rise and Fall of My Friendship with the First Lady

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Simon and Schuster, Sep 1, 2020 - Biography & Autobiography - 352 pages
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

What Melania wants, Melania gets.

The former director of special events at Vogue and producer of nine legendary Met Galas, Stephanie Winston Wolkoff met Melania Knauss in 2003 and had a front row seat to the transformation of Donald Trump’s then girlfriend from a rough-cut gem to a precious diamond. As their friendship deepened over lunches at Manhattan hot spots, black-tie parties, and giggle sessions in the penthouse at Trump Tower, Wolkoff watched the newest Mrs. Trump raise her son, Barron, and manage her highly scrutinized marriage.

After Trump won the 2016 election, Wolkoff was recruited to help produce the 58th Presidential Inaugu­ration and to become the First Lady’s trusted advisor. Melania put Wolkoff in charge of hiring her staff, organizing her events, helping her write speeches, and creating her debut initiatives. Then it all fell apart when she was made the scapegoat for inauguration finance irregularities. Melania could have defended her innocent friend and confidant, but she stood by her man, knowing full well who was really to blame. The betrayal nearly destroyed Wolkoff.

In this candid and emotional memoir, Stephanie Winston Wolkoff takes you into Trump Tower and the White House to tell the funny, thrilling, and heartbreaking story of her intimate friendship with one of the most famous women in the world, a woman few people truly understand.

How did Melania react to the Access Hollywood tape and her husband’s affair with Stormy Daniels? Does she get along well with Ivanka? Why did she wear that jacket with “I really don’t care, do u?” printed on the back? Is Melania happy being First Lady? And what really happened with the inauguration’s funding of $107 million? Wolkoff has some ideas...
 

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Contents

Just Another Lunch
1
How to Marry a Billionaire
9
Opposites Attract
27
The Campaign Year
49
The Setup
66
Showtime
130
White Housekeeping
155
Trial by February
189
The Shutdown
224
Be Best
245
The Takedown
280
Just Friends
312
Im Still Here
337
Acknowledgments
341
Copyright

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About the author (2020)

Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, former trusted advisor to First Lady Melania Trump, is the founder of SWW Creative, a consulting agency known for its work in event production, branding, and strategic partnerships. Wolkoff served as executive producer and chief creative officer of the 58th Presi­dential Inauguration and senior advisor to inauguration chairman Thomas J. Barrack, Jr. She was also the director of Special Events for Vogue; the founding fashion director for Lincoln Center, overseeing Mercedes-Benz Fash­ion Week; and a recipient of the 2011 Gordon Parks Foundation Award. Currently she’s vice chairperson for the Fed­eral Enforcement Homeland Security Foundation, advisor to Hopeland, and a board member of the UN Women for Peace Association, which is committed to the prevention of violence against women and girls. Through her association with the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, she is an advocate for integrating the teaching of social-emotional learning into our education systems nationally and worldwide. Wolkoff resides in New York with her family.

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