There was just one thing that would have made the brash and chaotic circus of the Trump presidency complete — his irrepressible first wife, Ivana. The Czech-born ex-ski instructor and fur model from Czech would have been the ideal, bigger-than-life First lady for Trump, unlike Melania, who is shy and glacial.

His outrageous hairstyles were just as wild as hers, and his wit was as sharp. Her personality was competitive and egocentric as her hair. Ivana Trump was an accomplished detail-driven workaholic, who also played a major role in Trump’s success.

She became an unlikely hit with British viewers in the 2010 series of Celebrity Big Brother and would surely have relished every second in the White House — although heaven only knows what the queen of kitsch would have done with the decor.

Instead, Ivana had to observe some sense of decorum and watch from the sidelines — and largely succeeded.

Ivana Trump, former US president Donald Trump's first wife, on the slopes of St-Moritz in 1997. She tragically died this week of a heart attack, leaving behind her and Donald's three children

Ivana Trump (ex-US president Donald Trump’s wife) on the St-Moritz slopes, 1997. Donald Trump’s third child, Ivana, died tragically this week from a cardiac attack.

Ivana, who died on Thursday, aged 73, after falling downstairs at her Manhattan home, always seemed made of rather tougher stuff than the other women in The Donald's life

Ivana died Thursday at the age of 73 after she fell down from her Manhattan apartment. She always looked tougher than any other woman in The Donald’s world.

Ivana took credit for supervising the construction and design of Trump Tower and the Grand Hyatt hotel in New York, and the Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City

Ivana was credited with supervising construction of Trump Tower in New York and Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York as well as the Trump Plaza Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City.

She was politely silent on ‘The Donald,’ but a wife who had been married for many years couldn’t help but speak up when there was a book to fill in 2017.

‘I have the direct number to White House,’ she boasted on U.S. breakfast TV with her distinctive Eastern European diction, adding that — 25 years after they divorced — she still talked to The Donald every two weeks.

“But, I don’t really wish to call him since Melania is there. I also don’t want to create jealousy because I’m the first Trump wife. Ok?

It was intended to raise the stock price and it succeeded. Melania, who had been silent for hours, issued an apology and stated that she was defending herself. Unfortunately, it was only self-serving and attention seeking noise.

It was not possible to stop a forceful nature such as Ivana. She discovered that Donald Trump had been cheating while skiing in Aspen. Maples then got into a heated argument with Maples. Then, she saw her husband quickly putting on his skis to escape her fury. As she followed the novice skier down the mountain, she wiggled her finger at him as he attempted to keep from falling.

Ivana died Thursday at the age of 73 after she fell down from her Manhattan apartment. She was always tougher than any other woman in The Donald’s world. Indeed, he reportedly resolved that after Ivana — who became head of interior design for the Trump Organisation and managed a clutch of its biggest developments — he’d never again marry a woman who competed with him in the boardroom and in the social pages.

During their 15-year marriage, which lasted from 1977 to 1992, they set new standards for glitzy excess as they came to epitomise the 1980s New York power couple — an image which Mr Trump exploited as he built the TV career that eventually took him to the White House.

Ivana shared the same ambition as him, boasting of her ‘in fifty years, we’ll be the Rockefellers.

She was known for being more charming and less bold than him, but her open disclosures about her sexual life to even casual acquaintances proved too overwhelming for New Yorkers who wanted a lot less.

I was even requested to provide a receipt so she could stamp my name! 

By Liz Brewer

I was shocked to discover that Ivana Donald Trump had called me in 1992.

She purred “Lizzie”, in her amazing throaty accent. You are welcome to come. Would you like to have lunch with me?

This invitation marked the beginning of a long-lasting working relationship, which grew into a close friendship. Ivana was there both at work and play.

She brought the same energy — and exacting standards — to both, and I grew used to being greeted at my office by yards of faxes (Ivana was a late adopter of email) of her instructions.

Our first meeting was when she was trying to end her 15-year marriage with Donald. She needed some PR advice. She wanted to start a new life in London after her divorce.

Ivana was born in communist Czechoslovakia and raised with the hardships of her childhood. Ivana grew up in a world that was devoid of luxury and had an insatiable appetite for finer things. A glass of champagne in one hand — and usually with a new man in tow — she was in her element.

But behind that coiffured beehive Ivana didn’t suffer fools, scrutinising my invoices down to the last penny — she once asked me for a receipt for a set of stamps — while if you upset her you knew about it, as Richard Branson once discovered. At the Business Traveller Of The Year awards ceremony, Richard made the mistake of whipping Ivana up off the floor and turning her upside down — one of his party pieces.

It was obvious that she would be worried about her beehive. The fact that it survived didn’t diminish her fury.

She made a vow to her husband to never fly Virgin Airlines or to speak with him again. At her engagement party, they brokered. Their laughter was infectious the second time they met. Ivana, fervent and with a wicked sense humor was there all the time.

She was close with her husband, whom she called regularly as President. Although she needed my assistance less in the past three years, I remained good friends.

She was very happy to see me and she seemed to be in good spirits when I talked to her last week. I had planned to fly to St Tropez to visit her beloved townhouse.

It was, however. She will be missed greatly.


Melania is a Soviet-era Eastern Europe child. She was born Ivana Zelenickova in Prague, Czech Republic, in 1949. The daughter of an engineer and a phone operator, her parents encouraged her to compete in sports. Skiing was her forte and she was able to get into the Czech Junior National Team (although Donald Trump claims she was able to make it into the Olympic team). She also briefly married an Austrian instructor.

She called this her “Cold War Marriage” and it gave her an Austrian passport, which allowed her to travel to Canada as a ski model and instructor.

In her 20’s, she moved to New York and was introduced to Mr Trump by a fellow New Yorker. He helped them get tables for themselves and their friend at a family restaurant. “He offered us tables,” she said. ‘I told my girlfriend I had good news and bad news — the good news was we could get a table fast, the bad news was that Donald was going to sit with us.’ The couple got married in less than one year.

Later, she observed that “I came to America because I saw the homes, cars, bananas, and strawberries in winter. I knew what my desires were.” Donald was the one who found me. Although I might be blonde, I wasn’t stupid.

She gave Mr Trump three children — Donald Jr, Ivanka and Eric — later claiming that when she gave birth to their first child, she said she wanted to name him Donald Jr. ‘But what if he’s a loser?’ Donald Trump seemed concerned.

She was also interested in being a part of Trump’s business life, and she became an equal partner. Her inspiration was the extravagant opulence that made Donald Trump famous. Ivana is credited with supervising construction and design at Trump Tower, the Grand Hyatt Hotel New York, as well as the Trump Plaza Hotel Atlantic City.

She was paid a salary of nearly £1 million a year, plus all the couture frocks she could wear. The couple lived in a huge triplex penthouse at Trump Tower. She decorated it with gold, brass, and pink marble. They flew in their Boeing 727. Their combined value was estimated at $3billion in the late 1980s.

According to Mary Trump, Mr Trump’s niece, they were lazy enough that they could recycle gifts for their family. Linda, Mary’s mother received from Ivana a handbag that included a Kleenex tissue. Mary claimed that she had been given food in a gift bag that was only partially eaten.

Although Ivana insisted she and Mr Trump were kindred spirits —their daughter Ivanka described their shared approach to life as ‘all out, all the time’ — Ivana claimed she represented too much of a challenge to him.

She wrote many years later, “Behind every woman who is successful, there’s a man in shock.” I was just too successful to become Mrs Trump. There couldn’t have been two stars in our union. We had to let one go.

When she approached her in Aspen for lunch, 1989, as her children waited, a blonde woman introduced herself to her and said: “I’m Marla. I love your husband.” Do you?’

Ivana responded, “Get lost.” My husband is the best.

L-R: Ivanka Trump, Eric Trump, and Ivana Trump. Ivanka Trump has said her mother and father's lifestyle was 'all out, all the time'

L-R Ivanka Trump (left), Eric Trump (right), and Ivana Trump. Ivanka Trump said that her father and mother lived a ‘all-out, every day’ lifestyle.

Ivana insisted she and Mr Trump were kindred spirits, and said she would speak to him every two weeks even after he entered the White House

Ivana said that she believed she was a friend of Donald Trump and she promised to speak with him once a week, even though he had already entered the White House.

Ivanka Trump shared this charming photo of herself and her mother skiing, in tribute to Ivana Trump, on social media

Ivanka Trump uploaded this photo, which shows her skiing with her mother, to honor Ivana Trump on social media

Witnesses claim that Ivana was much more pointed than that. Ivana followed Maples (15 years her senior) outside and said to Maples: “You bitch.” You can leave my husband.

It was then that she spotted Trump trying to make a hasty getaway and memorably — for those watching — chased him down the slopes.

Ivana became a household name after her two-year long, messy divorce. However, she also claimed that her ex-husband had once raped and killed her because he was angry about the scalp-reduction procedures he had done to his hair.

Trump refuted the rape claim and Ivana was awarded a large financial settlement. She later withdrew her allegations and stated that it wasn’t rape in a criminal or literal sense.

Ivana says that Donald Trump had once sent a guard to retrieve young Donald Jr. He then called Ivana and said she couldn’t go to her son because he wanted to bring him up. This was just to upset her, Ivana observed.

Press was also used to show the warring parties their rivalries. Miss Maples once claimed Mr Trump was the best sex she’d ever experienced. Ivana responded by telling newspapers that Ivana’s children would weep to bed, fearful they wouldn’t see her again.

After the divorce, she was awarded $14million and a Connecticut home, an apartment at Trump Plaza in Manhattan’s Upper East Side, as well as the rights to spend a month each year at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club on Palm Beach. Ivana was also awarded sole custody.

It wasn’t that they held grudges long. Within three years, the two appeared together on a Pizza Hut commercial where they also joked about how they had divorced. “Can you have one last slice?” “Can I have the last slice?” she inquired. She asked.

In 1996’s The First Wives club, she played a supporting role and reassured a group divorcées: “Don’t be mad! Get everything!”

Ivana didn’t just enjoy the fame, she was a pioneer in celebrity product lines. She created her own clothing brands, jewelry, and beauty products that she promoted on television shopping channels.

Her accomplishments include being a motivational speaker, aunt to newspaper anguy, and writing four books. She also launched Ivana’s Living In Style magazine.

She kept that’style’ as her own. Joan Collins visited Ivana’s New York post-divorce home, and observed: “I have never seen anything so badly decorated in faux everything in all my life.” The walls were covered in velvet! Cornices in glittering gold painted on the walls!

Ivana reportedly spent an annual £200,000 on her wardrobe and also kept four homes in the U.S. and Europe, and a yacht in the Mediterranean.

Ivana married Italian businessman Riccardo Mazzucchelli in 1995. However, reports claimed that he gifted her jewels. They separated twenty months later. She sued him for violating the confidentiality clause in their pre-nuptial agreement — while he sued her and Mr Trump for suggesting he was a gold-digger. This suit was resolved in an English libel court on undisclosed terms.

After a six-year relationship with Italian aristocrat Count Roffredo Gaetani, a playboy Ferrari dealer, she married for a fourth time in 2008 — solidifying her ‘cougar’ reputation as Italian actor and model Rossano Rubicondi was 36 and she was 59. After discovering that Trump had a girlfriend, Mr Trump allowed them to use Mar-a-Lago as their wedding venue. However, Ivana asked for separation within five months.

Rubicondi was Ivana’s partner in Dancing With The Stars, Italy. They divorced after a year. However their continued relationship continued into 2019.

Ivana, who lived out her later years between New York and Miami, said that she rejected Mr Trump’s offer to become the U.S. ambassador to the Czech Republic. This was because she could not bear four years living in Prague.

The shy, once friendly socialite became afraid of being infected and shut down during the pandemic. A friend of hers said that she too was ‘devastated” by Rubicondi’s passing last October.

Her daughter Ivanka described her as ‘brilliant, charming, passionate and wickedly funny’, adding: ‘She lived life to the fullest — never forgoing an opportunity to laugh and dance.’

Trump’s “brand” glows with a bit less brassy lustre.