Ex-Trump staffer Max Miller files defamation lawsuit against Stephanie Grisham over abuse allegations


CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Max Miller, the White House staffer under former President Donald Trump who is running for Congress in Northeast Ohio, sued former White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham on Tuesday over her accusations that Miller abused her while the two dated.

Miller also asked a judge in Cleveland to order Grisham not to repeat the claims she first made in an op-ed in the Washington Post, including preventing her from discussing it during interviews she had scheduled later Tuesday with CNN’s Jake Tapper and Chris Cuomo.

Grisham appeared on “The Lead with Jake Tapper” on Tuesday afternoon and told the host there was “abuse in every way there” during her relationship with Miller, whom she did not name in the op-ed.

“I didn’t put his name in there on purpose because I’ve moved on,” Grisham said during the interview with Tapper. “If there’s anything I can take away, I’m almost stronger than ever now, and no one is ever going to abuse me again in any way, shape or form.”

Larry Zukerman, a Cleveland-based attorney representing Miller, filed the lawsuit Tuesday in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court. The 13-page complaint says Grisham, in a Washington Post op-ed published Tuesday, made “libelous and defamatory statements” that Miller abused her toward the end of their relationship.

Miller says that Grisham made the claims to harm him and to sell more copies of her memoir, titled “I’ll Take Your Questions Now: What I Saw at the Trump White House,” which also published Tuesday.

In a statement to the Plain Dealer on Tuesday, Zukerman said Grisham’s allegations that Miller was abusive and violent toward her were “absolutely untrue.”

“A thorough and independent investigation will not only confirm that Ms. Grisham has ‘no proof’ to corroborate her allegations against Mr. Miller as she preemptively conceded in her article that was published in the Washington Post this morning, but will also establish that she has made false allegations against him in retaliation for him breaking her heart by ending their relationship and subsequently becoming engaged to Emily Moreno,” Zukerman said.

Zukerman said that Grisham sent emails to Miller after the two broke up telling him that she was still in love with him.

Grisham wrote in her op-ed that she told Trump and former First Lady Melanie Trump that her relationship with Miller “had become violent, reaching its worst point on the day I left.” She said neither Trump did anything about her disclosure.

The suit accuses Grisham of committing defamation and seeks punitive damages, in addition to a preliminary injunction and restraining order keeping her from repeating the claims.

The case is assigned to Judge Emily Hagan, who denied the request for an emergency restraining order late Tuesday.

Grisham worked as former First Lady Melania Trump’s press secretary before serving as White House press secretary from July 2019 to April 2020.

Miller a Shaker Heights native, bought a house in Rocky River in March to challenge current GOP Rep. Anthony Gonzalez in the 2022 midterm elections. Gonzelez was one of 10 Republican Congressman to vote to impeach Trump over his supporters’ Jan. 6 attack of the U.S. Capitol.

Trump endorsed Miller, and Gonzalez announced last month that he will not seek re-election.

Grisham told Tapper on Tuesday that seeing Trump endorse Miller after she told him of the abuse was “a gut punch.”