Melania never believed husband Donald Trump leaked nude photos in 2016 but pointed finger at Roger Stone, claims book
As President Donald Trump continues to rally against the Department of Justice, openly voicing his support for Roger Stone, who was convicted in November for lying to the Congress, witness- tampering, and obstruction of justice, it is interesting to note that there was a time when his wife suspected the latter of leaking her nude pictures.
The controversy began in 2016, just months away from Election Day, when Trump was one of the top presidential candidates competing for the Oval Office. On July 30, 2016, the New York Post got their hands on a few photos of Melania Trump without a stitch on her body from a 1996 photoshoot she did for a French magazine.
At the time, the then-presidential candidate Trump was already the topic of negative headlines after having a feud with the family of Captain Humayun Khan, an American soldier killed in Iraq in 2004. As a result, people suspected him leaking the photos to the press in order to divert people's attention from his spat-turned PR nightmare.
The book 'Free, Melania: The Unauthorised Biography,' written by CNN correspondent Kate Bennett, which was published last year, claimed that the First Lady never believed rumors that her husband was behind the leaked photos. She, however, did have her doubts about Stone, who worked with the Trump campaign till August 2015.
“This time the idea that [Trump] would throw his naked wife under the bus was almost so gross and salacious, and the photos so B-movie bad, the press ultimately spent very little time discussing them," Bennett said in the book. “Melania has not commented on how she thinks they got into the hands of the tabloid and on to the cover, but friends say she still refuses to believe Trump would do that to her. As for Stone, she’s not so sure.”
The White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham slammed Bennett's book as well as its content in a statement to the Guardian.
“Mrs Trump is surprised at Kate Bennett’s reporting. Our office worked with Kate in good faith on her book, and thought she would do an honest job. Sadly, it includes many false details and opinions, showing Ms Bennett spoke to many anonymous people who don’t know the First Lady. It continues to be disappointing when people, especially journalists, write books with false information just to profit off the first family," the statement said.
Stone also denied Bennett’s claim.
“The suspicion asserted in Kate Bennett’s book is categorically false and completely illogical. My husband and I have known Melania since she began dating the president. We adore her and think she is doing a phenomenal job as First Lady," Stone’s wife, Nydia, said in a statement at the time.
She added, “This ludicrous claim is an obvious attempt to drive a wedge between my husband and the president whom he has supported so loyally for the last 30 years. No one supported the president’s election more strongly than Roger Stone, and the leaking of anything that would damage his prospects of being elected makes no sense whatsoever. Kate Bennett works for CNN and therefore nothing she reports can be believed.”