- Stephanie Grisham said she was surprised Melania Trump cut her off after she resigned on January 6.
- "I naively thought we were friends, clearly we were not," Grisham told Insider.
- Melania is now disavowing Grisham and seeking to discredit her new memoir.
Stephanie Grisham was caught off guard when former First Lady Melania Trump stopped speaking to her after her resignation, she told Insider in a Friday afternoon interview, saying she "naively" thought they were friends.
Grisham, who worked in the White House press secretary and the first lady's communications director and chief of staff, became one of a select few staffers and confidantes in Melania's inner circle. She resigned from the White House for good over the January 6 insurrection and is now out with a new tell-all memoir "I'll Take Your Questions Now."
"It wasn't easy for me after I resigned on January 6th because she completely cut me off. And, I truly, even in my resignation letter, I told her, I am doing what you've taught me to do, and that is to do what you always think is right," Grisham told Insider. "And I said it was an honor to work for you. So sure, to be cut off from her like that, when I naively thought we were friends, clearly we were not, so that, I think, is my bad."
The former first lady not only cut off Grisham, but has thoroughly denounced her one-time right-hand woman as a liar and an opportunist seeking to cash in on her White House experience by revealing unflattering anecdotes about the Trumps.
In September, Melania's office called the book "an attempt to redeem herself after a poor performance as press secretary, failed personal relationships, and unprofessional behavior in the White House," saying that "through mistruth and betrayal, she seeks to gain relevance and money at the expense of Mrs. Trump."
And, in a statement released the day before the publication of Grisham's book, Melania said Grisham "is desperately trying to rehabilitate her tarnished reputation by manipulating and distorting the truth about Mrs. Trump," calling her "a deceitful and troubled individual who doesn't deserve anyone's trust."
"Of course it doesn't feel good," Grisham told Insider about the attacks on her credibility and personal life. "And I anticipated it. But anticipating something and then having it happen are two different things."
Grisham has said she has hard proof, including text messages, to show she's telling the truth. And, in response to Melania saying she's out for a payday, Grisham said she "can't put a price tag" on the emotional toll of writing the book and facing personal attacks and smears over it.
"When it came to Mrs. Trump, I did always think of her as a pretty honest person," she said. "And a lot of the personal smear campaigns that even she has put out or has supported, I know she knows are false and I even have text messages to show us talking about these things. Like I know she knows that these things are false."
Grisham added: "I understand that she's upset with me. I expected her to be upset with me. I did put some good stuff in the book. So it's funny because it's like, well, am I lying about everything, or am I lying only about the bad stuff?"