A new book offering details about Melania Trump's private life says the first lady thinks Donald Trump's former adviser Roger Stone was behind the 2016 leaking of nude photos from her time as a model.
The book, “Free, Melania: The Unauthorized Biography,” was written by CNN correspondent Kate Bennett and will be released on Tuesday.
“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,” writes Bennett, according to the Guardian.
The claim was denied by Stone's wife Nydia who told the Guardian: “The suspicion asserted in Kate Bennett's book is categorically false and completely illogical.”
“The 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,” Nydia said.
The photographs in question were nude photographs of Melania from a modeling shoot in 1996.
They were originally published in the French edition of GQ in 1996, but later leaked to the Post anonymously in 2016 and published on the cover.
Theories at the time suggested that Trump himself, or someone close to him, was behind the leak in a bid to distract attention from controversial comments he made about the mother of fallen Muslim U.S. soldier Humayun Khan.
Trump criticized the fact Khan's mother was quiet in a speech made by the couple at the Democratic National Convention and said it was because “maybe she wasn't allowed to have anything to say.”
Bennett's book says Melania does not blame her own husband, but that Stone was behind the incident, according to the Guardian.
In a statement emailed to the Guardian, the White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said the book “includes many false details and opinions, showing Ms Bennett spoke to many anonymous people who don't know the first lady.”
Stone is a longtime ally of Donald Trump and was found guilty on November 15 of obstructing a congressional investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 US presidential election.