Stephanie Grisham, the new White House press secretary, is a divorced mother of two boys.
First Lady Melania Trump announced on June 25, 2019 that Grisham would replace Sarah Huckabee Sanders as President Trump’s press secretary. As press secretary, Grisham’s profile is soon to be highly elevated. Grisham was already serving as the communications director for Melania.
“I am pleased to announce @StephGrisham45 will be the next @PressSec & Comms Director! She has been with us since 2015 – @potus & I can think of no better person to serve the Administration & our country. Excited to have Stephanie working for both sides of the @WhiteHouse. #BeBest,” the First Lady wrote on Twitter. That has a lot of people wondering more about Grisham’s family background.
Here’s what you need to know about Stephanie Grisham’s family:
1. Stephanie Grisham, a Single Mother, Is Not Currently Married
Stephanie Grisham is not married. She is single. An article by Fox 10 was titled, “Single mother from the Valley working for the Trump White House.”
The article, which ran in 2017, describes how Grisham’s high-powered jobs in the White House and on the campaign trail come with “a lot of sacrifice,” and it describes her as “an Arizona woman who found herself with an office in the White House.”
Grisham’s professional accomplishments, though, were already many before she took the job working for FLOTUS. Her public financial disclosure report from when she was deputy press secretary at the White House, says that she served as a press secretary in the Arizona House of Representatives in Phoenix, Arizona and was “director of press” on the transition team for Trump for America, in New York.
She made $106,000 in salary working for the House of Representatives and a $135,500 monthly retainer for the Trump campaign. For assets, she reported only a US Bank cash account worth no more than $15,000.
According to The Washington Post, “In the summer of 2015, she was a lowly press wrangler on Trump’s campaign.” The Post added that she had worked for Mitt Romney’s campaign in 2012.
2. Stephanie Grisham Has Two Sons
Stephanie Grisham is the mother of two boys. According to Politico, her sons are named Kurtis and Jake. “She’s decorated her area with photos of Jake and his older brother Kurtis, 18, friends, a dog and, of course, ‘Mr. Trump,’ as his staff call him,” a Politico story reported in 2016. In 2017, Fox 10 reported that Jake was then 9.
The story also documented the toll the campaign takes on Grisham’s family. It says she spent three hours with the boys on the day the reporter was there “in the bubble,” which referred to “the circle cleared by Secret Service to be near Trump.”
Jake and Kurtis went to a Trump rally, got autographed hats and met journalists, according to Politico. “My little guy, he hugged me and just kind of turned around and walked away and I could tell he was upset so I pulled him back,” she told the news site of being separated from her youngest son during the campaign. “Short term, it’s a small sacrifice to make,” Grisham said, according to Politico. “Because I do think he’s best for the country.
In December 2018, The Washington Post wrote that Grisham was a “42-year-old single mother of two boys” who “plays a role in looking out for Barron, whom she can relate to because her younger son is about the same age.”
On Facebook, Grisham’s eldest son, Kurtis Marries, wrote that he worked at Harkins Theatres and went to Gilbert High School. He posted a photo showing him at the podium in the press briefing room of the White House and also a picture with Donald and Melania Trump.
3. Stephanie Grisham Was Previously Married to Dan Marries, a News Anchor
Stephanie Grisham was previously Stephanie Ann Sommerville. A marriage record on Ancestry.com says she was married in Nevada to “Danny Don Marries” on April 7, 1997. He is the father of her son, Kurtis Marries. In 2013, Marries was described by the Arizona Daily Star as “one of Tucson’s most recognizable TV celebrities.”
There is a 2004 family case between Stephanie Grisham and Dan Marries in Arizona courts that documents the marriage. “STEPHANIE GRISHAM VS. DAN MARRIES,” it reads. It says she was the petitioner and that she was also known as Stephanie Marries. There was also an order to appear for mediation in 2010. Grisham filed a petition for modification of child support at one point.
In November 2004, a notation in the court records says, “DECREE OF DISSOLUTION OF NON COVENANT MARRIAGE WITH CHILDREN.” The case was filed in September 2004.
In 2010, there was an order in the case approving a custody and parenting plan. That same year, there was an “Order & Notice To Withhold Income For Child Support.”
On Facebook, Dan Marries (who also goes by the name Danny Don Marries) refers to Kurtis as his son. “Here’s Kurtis (my oldest son who’s now 18),” he wrote with one throwback picture of the boy. Dan Marries’ profile picture on Facebook shows him with the late U.S. Senator John McCain.
According to his Facebook page, Dan Marries is the “evening news anchor for KOLD News 13 (CBS) in Tucson, AZ. I’ve lived in Tucson since June 1999 and love calling the Old Pueblo home!” His television station biography says he is remarried and has a son, Dean, with his new wife. He does not appear to be the father of Grisham’s younger son, Jake. “Dan is the father of two boys: Kurtis and Dean. He’s the lucky husband of Jennifer, who’s originally from Nassau, Bahamas. The were married in 2010 and love calling Tucson home,” the bio reads.
“Dan got his start in television news in 1995 while he was still a junior at Mesa State College in Grand Junction, CO. His internship (led) to his first job in journalism as the morning anchor and noon weatherman. Further news jobs took him to Mankato, MN, Yuma and finally Tucson. It was also during college he spent four summers as a wildland firefighter for the Bureau of Land Management,” his bio says.
4. Grisham Has Described How She Broke Down in Tears From Missing Her Boys
In the Fox 10 article, Grisham explained that she switched to the First Lady’s office because her previous duties in the White House, working as then Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s deputy press secretary, were requiring days as long as 15 hours.
“The reason I ultimately left is because I want to bring my little boy out here to live with me full time,” said Grisham to Fox 10. “That kind of schedule, as a single parent, it wouldn’t be fair to him. Over here, the hours aren’t quite as long. The First Lady is very, very supportive of me, as a single mother, and I’ll be able to work from home if I need to.”
Her work on the Trump campaign took her away from the boys, who lived in Arizona, for months, Fox 10 also reported. “Sometimes, I just break down and cry. I miss them,” said Grisham to the Arizona television station. “I know that in the future, this will be great for them and it will benefit them.”
It’s not clear at what time Grisham took that last name and from whom. Online records do show her living at the same address as a man with that name in the past. This story will be updated if more is learned about that angle.
5. Grisham Has Praised Melania Trump’s Own Commitment to Family
Melania Trump and Stephanie Grisham appear to have formed a bond, in part because they both have sons about the same age and in part because Grisham is known as a fierce defender of the First Lady.
“Mrs. Trump’s life story is an inspiration to millions of mothers and female entrepreneurs, and to me personally,” she said when she took the job with FLOTUS, according to the Tucson Sentinel. “I deeply respect and admire her commitment to our country, her family, and to the important role of the first lady. I look forward to helping her communicate her unifying message of kindness and empowerment.”
According to AZ Central, Grisham is a former resident of Gilbert, Arizona. The site adds that her positions in Arizona were for “Arizona Attorney General Horne, and the Republican majority at the Arizona House of Representatives.” She was known as a fierce defender of those she worked for there, too, helping them weather controversies. There was some upheaval in Grisham’s life during her time in Arizona. According to The Washington Post and court records reviewed by Heavy, she was stopped for driving under the influence in 2013 and 2015.