Home Business Meet Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, Melania’s ex-friend writing a tell-all – Business Insider

Meet Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, Melania’s ex-friend writing a tell-all – Business Insider

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Meet Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, Melania’s ex-friend writing a tell-all – Business Insider

Stephanie Winston Wolkoff and Melania Trump pictured in New York City in 2008.


BILLY FARRELL/Patrick McMullan via Getty



  • Stephanie Winston Wolkoff published a tell-all about her 15-year friendship with first lady Melania Trump on September 1. 
  • Wolkoff is the former special events planner for Vogue, and helped plan President Donald Trump’s inauguration in 2017. 
  • She was fired from the White House in 2018 after a scandal involving spending on the inauguration. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

On September 1, Stephanie Winston Wolkoff published a book about the “rise and fall” of her friendship with First Lady Melania Trump.

Stephanie Winston Wolkoff’s new book viewed on display at a Barnes & Noble bookstore on 5th Avenue in New York City on September 1, 2020.


Timothy A. Clary/AFP via Getty Images



The two met in 2003 when Wolkoff was director of special events for Vogue and Melania, then-girlfriend of Donald Trump, was seeking the help of Vogue journalist André Leon Talley in shaping her style, according to the book.

Stephanie Winston Wolkoff and Anna Wintour attend Dennis Basso Fall 2008 Fashion Show at The Tents on February 5, 2008 in New York City.


Neil Rasmus/Patrick McMullan via Getty



Source: “Melania and Me”

A friendship based around regular lunch dates at expensive New York City eateries blossomed between Wolkoff and Trump.

Melania Trump and Stephanie Winston Wolkoff pictured attending a Bottega Veneta fashion show luncheon in New York City in May 2006.


Joe Schildhorn/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images



Source: “Melania and Me” 

When Donald Trump won the election in 2016, Melania asked her friend to help advise her as first lady and plan his inauguration, using the skills Wolkoff had honed organizing the Met Gala for years.

Wolkoff seen leaving Trump Tower in December 2016, when she was working on the inauguration of Donald Trump.


Kena Betancur/AFP via Getty Images



Source: “Melania and Me”

But just a year later, Wolkoff was let go from her position at the White House after reports that her company profited excessively from working on the inauguration.

President Donald Trump delivers his inaugural address on the West Front of the US Capitol on January 20, 2017 in Washington, DC, as his wife Melania stares on.


Alex Wong/Getty



Source: The New York Times

Wolkoff later told The New York Times that she had been “thrown under the bus,” and that she was told privately that the termination of her position had nothing to do with inauguration spending.

President Donald Trump dances with his wife, Melania, at the Liberty Inaugural Ball on January 20, 2017.


Rob Carr/Getty Images



Source: The New York Times

In her book, Wolkoff said Melania Trump believed someone was trying to sabotage her when they let her read a plagiarized speech at the 2016 Republican National Convention.

Melania Trump pictured during her speech at the 2016 Republican National Convention.


ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty



Trump was accused of plagiarizing a 2008 speech by former First Lady Michelle Obama, with several reports pointing out that a number of Trump’s passages appeared to be directly lifted from Obama’s.

Wolkoff said Trump wasn’t embarrassed, but suspicious.

“She was suspicious that the plagiarism had been left in on purpose,” Wolkoff wrote in her book. “Someone in Trump World didn’t want Melania to shine.

“We talked about who that might be. Who stood to gain by making Melania look bad? Our conversations were guarded, and she kept it light, as always.

“But it seemed to her, and to me, that the plagiarized speech was like drawing first blood between rivals. Or was it a warning that Melania should stay in the background?”

Source: Business Insider

Wolkoff has also told The Washington Post that the first lady used a private email account when she first moved to DC, drawing comparisons to Hillary Clinton’s private server that Trump criticized during his 2016 campaign.

Wolkoff speaks at the UN Women For Peace Association 2019 Awards Luncheon at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City on March 1, 2019.


Gonzalo Marroquin/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images



“Melania and I both didn’t use White House emails,” Wolkoff told The Post.


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