Just who had the authority to negotiate and finalize a contract is at the heart of a dispute against Donald Trump's wife, Melania, and a company called New Sunshine. Trump claims that she entered into a contract in fall 2012 with the business to distribute and market a skin-care line she developed with her own company called Melania Marks Skincare. The skin-care line was never distributed or marketed by New Sunshine and the person now in charge of the business claims that the contract is null and void.
At the time that Trump signed the contract she received $250,000. After that she says she did her part, making the rounds to media outlets and hosting social events to market the skin-care line. When she failed to receive any further compensation and it became clear that the line was not going anywhere, she sought damages of $50 million from an arbitrator.
In fact, the man Trump negotiated for over a year with, a manager of a private equity investment firm, is being sued by one of the individuals who invested in the firm, the head of a hardware chain. The hardware magnate claims the manager of the investment firm lost $500 million he invested. In an effort to recover the lost funds, the man sued the investment manager as well as some of his business partners. Trump is one of those business partners.
As a part of that lawsuit, the investor claims that the former head of New Sunshine was not authorized to make the deal he did with Trump. The alleged reason behind this is that the relationship the two shared was too close. Accordingly, the investor claims that the deal was too advantageous for Trump, who he alleges, was not in a position to market such a line.
Trump believes that she is a causality of the other disagreement and is owed the money promised in the contract.
As is the case in many contract disputes involving businesses, the circumstances surrounding the contract can be complicated. For this reason, businesses and individuals that face such claims usually find that it is best to work with a lawyer who handles such cases.
Source: USA Today, "Melania Trump maintains validity of disputed contract," Chris Sikich, Nov. 14, 2013