‘Proud First Wife’ : Anecdotes from the era named Ivana Trump

Ivana Trump used her marriage to Donald Trump to advance in his real estate enterprise, and after their high-profile divorce, she became a famous figure who counseled women to “don’t get mad — get everything.” The former Olympic skier and model from former Czechoslovakia were described as “every bit as focused and disciplined as her husband, though more privately so” in a 1988 Vanity Fair story headlined “Power Blonde”

But as she fought over the terms of their bitter 1991 breakup with Donald Trump, Ivana was propelled to the front pages due to his infamous affair with Marla Maples. Ivana penned thinly veiled books, advice columns, and hawked jewelry, apparel, and beauty products on cable TV shopping networks in the years that followed. Ivana passed away on Thursday at the age of 73.

Ivana Trump 

‘Proud First Wife’: Anecdotes from the era named Ivana Trump

Here are some stories from her years in the spotlight:

The Stars Align

Ivana and Donald first crossed paths in 1976 at Maxwell’s Plum, a restaurant and singles bar on the Upper East Side run by the late Warner LeRoy, the son of renowned film director Werner LeRoy.

“Ivana told me a story about how she couldn’t get a table and Donald, this handsome guy, walked up to her and got her a table,” her publicist, Todd Shapiro, said Thursday. “They were both young, she was a model at the time. So Ivana went back to her girlfriends and said, ‘I got good news and I got bad news. The good news is we got a table. The bad news is we gotta sit with this guy.’”

Ivana and the former president

Shapiro added: “When she got out of Maxwell’s Plum, there was Donald Trump with a limousine, standing outside waiting for her.” “The only problem was, according to Ivana, Donald’s limousine driver had off, so Donald had to drive the limo himself,” he said. “She wound up leaving her boyfriend.”

Trouble In Paradise

On December 28, 1989, Ivana and Maples—who would later become the second Mrs. Trump—met at a party in Aspen, Colorado, where Donald’s philandering was well known. “I couldn’t believe it,” an attendee told The Post a short time later. “People were cringing, waiting for the sparks to fly.”

After parting ways amicably, the women reconnected two days later at a well-known lunch place on Ajax Mountain, when, according to a source who overheard the conversation, Maples confronted her lover’s wife in front of him. “I love him and if you don’t, why don’t you let him go?” Maples demanded. Donald reprimanded Ivana for aggressively pronouncing Maples’ name as “Moolah” and cursing at her. You’re overreacting, the insider stated.

Ivana and the former president

Ivana called the party’s host David Koch on New Year’s Eve to inquire about her husband’s whereabouts after Donald turned up at the gathering with Maples. According to a witness, Ivana “thought he was laughing at her” as the late energy billionaire nervously laughed. “That was the straw that broke the camel’s back,” the source added.

Ivana presented a kinder recollection of the event with Maples in an interview with Barbara Walters in 1991, who she said told her, “I’m Marla and I love your husband. Do you?” “I said, I really said, I said, ‘Get lost. I love my husband very much,’” she recalled. “It was very unladylike, but it was as much as I really could, that was as much as I, as harsh as maybe I could be.”

The First Wives Club

Ivana was one of several famous faces that made cameo appearances in the 1996 comedy “The First Wives Club” after divorcing Donald in December 1990. In the film, Diane Keaton, Bette Midler, and Goldie Hawn played divorcees out for vengeance on their ex-husbands for deserting them to wed younger women. Ivana gave the trio a memorable speech in which she admonished them to be independent and strong women.

“And remember: Don’t get mad — get everything!” she finished. Ivana received a $10 million lump sum payment from Donald as per the provisions of a 1987 post-nuptial agreement, and he also promised to give her maintenance of $350,000 a year.

Ivana Trump -the down-to-earth socialite

According to Rudy Giuliani, Ivana took the time to attend to all types of customers at the Plaza Hotel when she managed the renowned facility, regardless of whether they were well-known politicians or complete strangers. The former mayor of New York City recalled a meal he had there in the early 1990s when Ivana offered two little girls seated next to him an on-the-spot tour of the famous structure.Ivana Trump -the down-to-earth socialite

“There was a young girl at a table next to me with her parents and a friend,” Giuliani told The Post. “She wanted to see the rooms at The Plaza.” The small girl had read the “Eloise” children’s books, according to Giuliani. These books are about a young girl who lives on the top level of the Plaza Hotel.

He added that Ivana had come over to greet Giuliani. She then “said hello to the girl and gave her and a friend a tour of the Plaza,” the former mayor said. “Ivana was a very, very nice person. It was nice to see a celebrity who was down-to-earth.”

Building bridges and making amends

One of the many remarkable aspects of Ivana Trump’s personality was that she did not hold on to grudges. This was evident from the fact that she withdrew the charges of sexual assault she had made against Donald Trump during the deposition of their divorce proceedings, in light of the fact that her former husband was running for the presidency in 2016. She even took up the mantle of campaign advisor for Trump’s presidential campaign.

After years of considering running for president, Donald joined the 2016 election and shocked everyone by defeating Hillary Clinton. But Ivana confessed that their bitter breakup had prevented him from acting till then in an exclusive, pre-election interview with The Post.Building bridges and making amends

“Probably five years before our divorce, Reagan or somebody brought him a letter and said, ‘You should run for president,’” she said at the time.

“But then…there was the divorce, there was the scandal, and American women loved me and hated him. So, there was no way that he would go into [politics] at that point.”

In an interview with Spy magazine in 1989, Ivana notoriously referred to her ex as “The Donald” and claimed that she was acting as a sounding board for him. “We speak before and after the appearances and he asks me what I thought,” she said. Ivana said her advice often amounted to “be calmer.”

“But Donald cannot be calm,” she said. Following his election, Ivana also told The Post, “I will suggest that I be an ambassador for the Czech Republic.” “[That] is where I’m from and my language and everybody knows me,” she said.

Ivana’s Glorious Modelling Career

Ivana and fashion designer Dennis Basso were acquainted because he “was a designer and she was interested in my collection,” and they had been close friends for over 40 years. “I met her in September 1983. I had my first fashion show. She was front row when Trump Tower was just opening,” he recalled.

“She arrived, she came with Donald Trump and she became an immediate client and we ended up with a 40-year love affair.”  Ivana would go skiing with her, “the kids, and other friends,” according to Basso, who said that he and Ivana frequently spent Christmas in Aspen.Ivana’s Glorious Modelling Career

“I was still basically buckling my boots,” he said. “She’d say, ‘You know what? Just forget it. Just tell people that the skiing was great today.’ And, ‘You know, you’re never going to make it down that mountain.’”

But Basso said his fondest memory of Ivana “was when she filed my fashion show 25 years ago.” “She came down the runway wrapped in golden sable,” he said.

“It was an amazing look. She wore many, many designers. That’s what I always loved about her.”

A thrifty shopper

Ivana and Donald were witnessed shopping together at a Kmart in Pottstown, Pennsylvania, in September 1991, after their divorce.

“A lot of people were surprised when they walked in,” store manager Dave Eaton told The Post at the time. “They’re the biggest celebrities we’ve had here in a while.” They purchased bedding, bedspreads, toothpaste, shampoo, and “all the typical stuff a student needs in the dormitory” for their son Donald Jr., who was a student at a neighboring prep school.

Ivana with her kids
Ivana with her kids

Donald tried to pay more than $200 total with an American Express card, but the store would not accept it, so he was forced to pay cash. Despite their acrimonious breakup, Ivana and Donald spoke and smiled the entire time, and Donald reportedly posed for pictures and signed autographs. Only a few days prior, Page Six had reported that Ivana had been spotted purchasing counterfeit Chanel and Hermes handbags in San Remo, Italy.

Also Read: Melania Trump wiki- Age, Weight, and More

A Gracious Hostess

George Wayne, a former Vanity Fair columnist, recalled an “unforgettable dinner party” Ivana gave in the kitchen of The Plaza Hotel, which she remodeled after Donald purchased it in 1998. Ivana “refused to cancel,” according to Wayne, the celebration for “a few guests” that was set for January 17, 1991, the same night that the US began “Operation Desert Storm” against Iraq for invading Kuwait.

“She was introducing her new chef Kerry Simon — these were the days she was the queen of the Plaza Hotel,” he said. “I’ll always remember the most exquisite chef’s dinner in the kitchen and watching CNN as bombs dropped.”

Wayne added: “We sipped Veuve Cliquot, her favorite champagne, on that occasion and so many others.”

Ivana Trump – Forever the elegant lady

Ivana frequented Nello on the Upper East Side twice a week, one of her favorite dining establishments, according to general manager Atilla Cetin. Osso buco was her go-to meal there, he claimed. She always greeted everyone when she entered the restaurant, he recalled.

An old picture of the Trump family
An old picture of the Trump family

She never shied away from a conversation. She had such a refined, exquisite demeanor, from the way she sat to the way she spoke. She appeared to be from a palace, he reminisced fondly.

About the author

Alex Jones

Alex Jones is a tech-savvy editor at World-Wire, renowned for his expertise in writing detailed technical articles and user-friendly how-to guides. With a background in Information Technology, he excels in demystifying complex tech topics. His work is highly valued for its accuracy and practicality, earning him awards like "Innovator in Tech Journalism" in 2023. Alex's role at World-Wire is pivotal in making technology accessible to a broad audience.

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