Back in "Sister, Can You Spare a Dime?", Article III Groupie suggested that celebrity developer Donald Trump, in the event of a liquidity crisis, could always seek financial assistance from his well-heeled older sister, Judge Maryanne Trump Barry (3d Cir.). A3G's suggestion was in jest -- but perhaps she was on to something.
According to this article by Timothy L. O'Brien, based on O'Brien's forthcoming book, TrumpNation, "The Donald" has received dole-outs from "The Maryanne" in the past. O'Brien offers the following report:
By 1993, with his casinos in hock, most of his real estate holdings either forfeited or stagnant and his father slipping into the fog of Alzheimer's disease, Donald Trump, at the age of 47, had run out of money.... [H]e ordered Nick Ribis, the Trump Organization's president, to call his siblings and ask for a handout from their trusts. Donald needed about $10 million for his living and office expenses, but he had no collateral to provide his brother and sisters, all three of whom wanted a guarantee that he would repay them.
The Trump children's anticipated share of their father's fortune amounted to about $35 million each, and Donald's siblings demanded that he sign a promissory note pledging future distributions from his trust fund against the $10 million he wanted to borrow.
Donald got his loan, but about a year later he was almost broke again. When he went to the trough the second time, he asked his siblings for $20 million more. His brother Robert Trump, who briefly oversaw Donald's casinos before fleeing the pressure of working for him to take over their father's real estate operation, balked. Desperate to scrape some money together, Donald tasked Alan Marcus, one of his advisers, to contact his brother-in-law John Barry and see if he could intervene with Robert and his other siblings.
The late John J. Barry, a prominent New Jersey lawyer who represented Donald Trump in various matters, was married to The Maryanne. As one might have expected from a power broker of his stature, John Barry succeeded in getting The Donald the critical assistance that he needed:
Mr. Barry successfully lobbied other members of the Trump clan and that another handout was arranged, with Donald agreeing again that whatever he failed to pay back would be taken out of his share of their father's estate.
"We would have literally closed down," said another former member of the Trump Organization familiar with Donald's efforts to keep the company afloat. "The key would have been in the door and there would have been no more Donald Trump. The family saved him."
So how about that? According to one of UTR's Third Circuit sources, "Judge Barry is a judicial diva par excellence, renowned for her sharp mind and her equally sharp tongue." But perhaps The Maryanne should also be known for her generosity. When her bold and brash brother finds himself in a pinch, Judge Barry simply reaches into those deep pockets under her robe, to spot him some of the fortune that she inherited from their late father, Fred Trump. Without her help, Donald Trump would not be where he is today.
Judge Barry is not only generous towards her little brother; she's also discreet. When contacted by O'Brien, "Maryanne Trump Barry, a federal judge, said that she could not recollect any efforts to offer her brother financial help."