The Inside Story of Why Mary Trump Wrote a Tell-All Book

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Mary Trump, in response, gave her lawyer a long list of the events they had attended.

In her book, Ms. Trump accuses Robert Trump of telling her and her brother during the will battle that if they did not settle, the family would bankrupt one of the companies in which they had inherited a stake and saddle the two of them with the bill.

Ms. Barry and Robert Trump did not respond to requests for comment.

The Trumps settled their disputes in April 2001, court records show. As part of the deal, Mary and Fred III received an undisclosed cash settlement, and they agreed to turn over the 20 percent stake in Trump assets they had inherited from their father, including seven apartment complexes, ground leases and stakes in a public housing complex and in the company Robert Trump had purportedly threatened to bankrupt.

After The Times reported on the family’s questionable valuations of its real-estate assets in 2018, Mary Trump concluded that she and her brother were duped in the settlement, she has claimed in the run-up to publishing her book.

Even as the court fight over the will was starting to be resolved, Ms. Trump tried to establish her own life.

After working on a master’s degree in English at Columbia University, she switched directions and in 2001 started taking psychology courses at Adelphi University, not far from her home. In 2003, she earned a master’s degree, and by the end of the decade had finished her doctoral studies, writing a dissertation that examined the qualities that made people vulnerable to being stalked by their partners.

Around the same time, she entered into a romantic relationship. Ms. Trump and her partner raised a daughter before separating several years later.

When her uncle Donald announced that he was running for president in June 2015, Ms. Trump did not take it seriously, assuming, she wrote, that he “simply wanted the free publicity for his brand.” Throughout the campaign, which was marked by scandals like the release of the “Access Hollywood” tape, Ms. Trump did not speak out, fearing that her voice would not be heard and that her views would make no difference, she wrote in the book.