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Melania and Me

The Rise and Fall of My Friendship with the First Lady
Length: 11 hrs and 22 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (62 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Number-One New York Times Best Seller

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....

©2020 Power of Every Woman LLC. All rights reserved. (P)2020 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.

What listeners say about Melania and Me

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Gutwrenching!

I recently have finished reading, Stelter's - Hoax, Mary Trump's 'Too Much and Never Enough', Sciutto's 'the Madman Theory 'and John Bolton's the Room Where it Happened. I enjoyed most of them in varying degrees and they all informed me in some way. However, this book felt like a gut punch and moved me in such a powerfully visceral way. This book is not just a list of facts and stories, but it is one woman's truth. She had me hooked from the beginning. The fact that she narrated the book herself gave it a depth and open vulnerability that added another dimension to this Trump debacle. And it lays wide open the Melania enigma. (and Ivanka too in many ways). I am left with no doubt that this is what and who she is. Up until the end Wolkof makes excuses for and shows a depth of caring and friendship for Melania that is so undeserving, that it breaks your heart. I have never particularly liked Melania - even though I've felt that I should in some way feel a type of sisterhood for her since we both come from the former Yugoslavia. Wolkoff, made short change of that and proceeded to confirm my intuitive sense that Melania deserves no pity for the situation and marriage she has chosen. If anything the Trumps are a good match for each other. The whole fam damily totally creeps me out and the book just proves that the truth can be a helluva a lot scarier than fiction.

11 people found this helpful

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You Play with Fire, You Will Get Burned

Overall, this is one dilettante bemoaning another. It's difficult to feel sorry for Ms. Wolkoff as she knew the Trump family reputation long before signing up to fly on Melania's coat tails. She admits her real friends and family warned her to stay away, and instead, she chose to turn a blind eye to the cold and callous ways in which Melania and Donald Trump behave. Stephanie continues to say they were friends but one wonders what her definition of friend is. More like it's the two-faced kind perennially found in the New York elitist crowd - all show, zero substance, especially when the chips are down. Melania and Me at least offers some details as to what went on when Trump & Company stole that 80 million from the PIC fund. To Stephanie's credit, at least Vogue trained her well to keep precise accounting records. That, at least, will save her butt in any SDNY or DC investigations into Trump graft. Read it for the minutia if you enjoy being a fly on the Trump White House walls, but accept that you will be left with a bitter taste in your mouth from Ms. Wolkoff's wailing woes. Sympathy is not readily deserved in this case, in my opinion. You play High Stakes with thieves, be ready to lose big. As is always the case, there will never be honour among the Trumps.

2 people found this helpful

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Raw

I believe every word. SWW's experience with the Trumps is exactly how we all imagine: cruel.

1 person found this helpful

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Naive or Stupid ....

I don't know how many times I exclaimed out loud how someone could be that nnaive to go to these limits to get "approval". How can you not have noticed that this 'love ' only came from one side. I can only compare this behaviour to a dog, who wants to get approval and love from their master no matter how it gets treated. Coming back for more even if the master is not in the mood. But I persisted and towards the end I understood more about this relationship and was happy to learn that she finally 'saw the light' even though it had taken her health, mental health and public status. She is incredibly lucky to have such a loving husband and family who had her back at all times. The story is quite boring, but this too is more clear towards the end, I must compliment her on the precise documentation of facts, locations and timing. The main part of this book relates to events, times and a dizzying flood of names and abbreviations, titles and not much about Melania. I can't put this in the category of 'interesting reads' . It reads like a bibliograthy of events and names. Aa stated earlier, I am glad that the author finally came to her senses in realizing that Melania is a cold fish, only interested in Melania. She is a perfect partner to Donald. A professional narrator might have given this book more warmth and depth. Having it read by the author self made it sound cold and hard, without nuances of warmth or sympathy. Sometimes the lift of tone of voice makes a difference of how a story can be humanized.

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Wishing you the best

Thank you for sharing this difficult journey. I hope for 2 things First and foremost that 45 doesn’t get back in and second that sales of this book compensate financially for your losses. Otherwise I think you have a strong family and will survive it all stronger and healthier.

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Stephanie Winston Wolkoff: A Person Worth Knowing

Hearing the story in the author’s own voice really brought it to life for me. It is an interesting biography of Stephanie’s life so far and Melania is only a small, albeit significant part. The media has not captured the real Melania. This book provides a credible portrait of what she is really like and most of it is not pretty. Likewise, Ivanka has a role in the book and her stock has also plummeted in my estimation.

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Powerful second half

I wasn’t interested in most of the first half because of it’s discussion of fashion and cultural activity but became emotionally involved toward the end.

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Should have know

I think Stephanie was so naive about her whole friendship with Melania. Very sad to see but very obvious of the course of the book.

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Not bad

Not much as expected from the title... Had to skip and zap alot of details about the narrative.

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Once a Trump always a Trump

Not surprising but very telling. Melania is all in with the President and it seems have learned some of his dirty tricks too!

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  • k
  • 2020-09-02

AUTHOR IS AN ENGAGING NARRATOR

I skipped the first 2 hours based on the first few negative reviews (likely Trumpers). She is engaging and her own life is fascinating. As soon as I get to the end, I am going back to the beginning. I wasn't planning on getting this one until Rachel Maddow had her on her show and we're discussing it. A "friend" of Melania held no credibility to me, but if Rachel Maddow thinks it is worth a read - I AM IN!! Nothing can compare to Mary Trump's smart Too Much and Never Enough, but this is still getting 5 🌟 from me.

87 people found this helpful

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  • Lilith Helspawn
  • 2020-09-01

First hand corroboration of many other books & new proof

This does support the books and stories about the trump family we’ve read so of the before. It also adds much new and first hand information. Very candid. Well worth the time and price. Recommend for everyone

83 people found this helpful

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  • Cave Creek, AZ
  • 2020-09-02

Worth The Read!

A lot of additional facts about the characters and rivalries inside the East and West Wing of the Trump WH. Wolkoff is not at all how the NYT and Maggie Haberman portrayed her. She really is a victim...albeit a gullible victim of the whole Trump Family and cabal. What I found interesting was how experienced Wolkoff is, not the amateur "event planner" the media and the WH have portrayed her as, but rather a true professional having worked at Vogue doing all their major events like the MOMA, under Anna Wintour, for over a decade. The revelations about missing Trump inauguration funds is also at the heart of the book. A lot of surprises...and Wolkoff has the receipts! Worth it!

62 people found this helpful

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  • Linda Zabielski
  • 2020-09-02

The real Melania Trump

What a heart-breaking rendition of life in the Trump inner circle! We see this pattern over and over in Trump world but this time we see that Melania is not a victim and that we should feel no empathy for her. She knew what she was getting into with Donald Trump and, in the end, she was willing to through friendship and loyalty away for the trappings of game and fortune.

46 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2020-09-02

Wonderful Story Teller

This a detailed story; however, the details don’t disrupt the story being told. It felt smooth and thorough.

44 people found this helpful

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  • Gary
  • 2020-09-02

Really glad I read this book

When I first read the New York Times and other stories about the author, I was left with the distinct impression that she was a corporate gold-digger that took advantage of the inauguration. In fact, when I decided to read the book, I was skeptical and wondered where the book would go. Thankfully, I bought it and read the entire book on the day it was released. I am really glad I read it. I found the author very credible and I must admit that I believe her story. Too many details, and many years of a very strange White House, convinced me of her tenacity. I am really glad to see what I believe is the truth. Thank you for sharing your story. It's good for you, each of your readers and the country. I'm glad you wrote the book.

37 people found this helpful

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  • GCS18
  • 2020-09-02

Naive

The writer said it herself “I broke my back, literally, for a emojis.” For such an accomplished woman to have such a weirdly unbalanced friendship with basically a well-dressed ice cube is frustrating. But more power to her. Live and learn. Feel so badly for her. Hope she gets back on track.

32 people found this helpful

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  • Christy Coffman
  • 2020-09-03

Very disappointing and self-serving.

After four chapters of a book about someone patting herself on the back and somehow saving the inauguration all by herself, I had to quit listening. She actually made me LIKE and empathize with Melania. Gheez.

27 people found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 2020-09-03

These people are scary

Much better than I anticipated. I feel a bit of pity for Ms. Wolkoff, though it is tempered by some disbelief that she continued to curry to Mrs. Trump even after it became quite obvious that the woman was not a friend. The book did give some further insight into the First Lady's character and pretty much confirmed that she is every bit as reprehensible as the brood that she is now inexorably linked to. I wondered how she managed to survive so long as the third Mrs. Trump and the mystery has been solved. She is every bit as unpalatable as the rest of them and will very well thrive where so many others have withered and died.

12 people found this helpful

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  • dmartin
  • 2020-09-04

Self Interest

While I came away believing the author told the truth about her former friend for the most part, I have no sympathy for her whatsoever. The two women used one another for their own self-interest. I also can find no respect for any adult who for the first time in her life voted in a presidential election simply because her 'friend's' husband was on the ticket. I was undecided about whether or not to purchase this book for several days. I made the wrong decision. Waste of time.

11 people found this helpful