Trump’s team sued Manigault Newman over her book “Unhinged: An Insider’s Account of the Trump White House.” The memoir, in which she called Trump “a racist,” documented Manigault Newman’s time working for the Trump administration and campaign.
Trump’s campaign filed a complaint over the book and argued that Manigault Newman, who was a former staffer, violated a nondisclosure agreement she signed back in 2016 by moving forward with the tell-all. The lawsuit was filed in August 2018 on the same day that “Unhinged” was released. In September of 2021, the arbitrator sided with Manigault Newman, calling the NDA “overbroad, indefinite, and unreasonable,” according to CNN. Manigault Newman previously worked as director of African-American outreach for Trump’s presidential campaign and was later named director of communications for the Office of Public Liaison. She left in 2017.
After being awarded the 1.3 million in legal fees, John Phillips, Manigault Newman’s lawyer, called the decision the “largest known attorney fee award against a Political Campaign or President we can find,” per CNBC. Phillips continued, “hopefully will send a message that weaponized litigation will not be tolerated and empower other lawyers to stand up and fight for the whistleblower and vocal critic against the oppressive machine.”