- Donald Trump’s first wife, Ivana Trump, died on Thursday. She was 73.
- She was rarely in the spotlight after her ex-husband became president — 24 years after their public 1992 divorce.
- Here were her thoughts — as said in interviews — about Trump as a husband, father, and politician.
Donald Trump’s first wife Ivana Trump distanced herself from politics and remained mostly out of the spotlight when her ex-husband became president.
On Thursday, she died in her New York apartment at the age of 73, her family announced.
“She was a wonderful, beautiful, and amazing woman, who led a great and inspirational life,” Donald Trump said in a post on Truth Social.
Over the years, the former president’s ex-wife had shared candid thoughts of Donald Trump — both as a husband and father to their three children and his controversial tenure as the nation’s leader.
In 2017, she wrote a book about her 14-year marriage with Trump — the second of four husbands throughout her lifetime — and their three kids, Ivanka, Eric, and Donald Jr.
Trump as a politician
As the first wife of a businessman-turned-president, Ivana Trump said she had spotted Donald Trump’s political career before it happened.
“Probably five years before our divorce, Reagan or somebody brought him a letter and said, ‘You should run for president,” she told The New York Post in 2016.
“So he was thinking about it. But then . . . there was the divorce, there was the scandal, and American women loved me and hated him,” she said.
Their divorce in 1992 followed Trump’s affair with then-26-year-old Marla Maples, who would go on to be his second wife.
“So there was no way that he would go into [politics] at that point,” Ivana added. “But he was always tooling around with the idea.”
Since Trump became president in 2016, Ivana said she played a role as an advisor during his administration and said he offered her an ambassadorship in the Czech Republic, though she denied the offer.
“We speak before and after the appearances and he asks me what I thought,” Ivana Trump said in the interview with The Post. She said she told him to “be more calm,” but “Donald cannot be calm … He’s very outspoken. He just says it as it is.”
“He’s no politician. He’s a businessman,” she added. “He knows how to talk. He can give an hour speech without notes . . . He’s blunt.”
Ivana, an immigrant from the Czech Republic, was also an advocate of Trump’s immigration policies.
“As long as you come here legally and get a proper job … we need immigrants. Who’s going to vacuum our living rooms and clean up after us? Americans don’t like to do that,” she told The Post.
She hasn’t always been supportive of his political career though.
In a 2018 interview with Page Six prior to Trump’s failed run for re-election in 2020, Ivana suggested that “he should just go and play golf and enjoy his fortune” instead.
Trump as a father and husband
After a nearly 15-year-long marriage, the two split in a very public divorce in 1992 where she accused Trump of rape, according to The New York Daily News. But she later recanted her statement, adding that she was “violated” by him but didn’t mean it “in a literal or criminal sense.”
In court documents, she also said Trump was verbally abusive and “cruel and inhuman,” The New York Daily News reported in 2016.
Twenty-five years later, Ivana penned a memoir, “Raising Trump,” which was released in 2017.
“I believe the credit for raising such great kids belongs to me,” Ivana wrote. “I was in charge of raising our children before our divorce, and I had sole custody of them after the split.”
“I made the decisions about their education, activities, travel, child care, and allowances,” she continued. “When each one finished college, I said to my ex-husband, ‘Here is the finished product. Now it’s your turn.'”
Ivanka and her husband, Jared Kushner, became advisors in the White House, while Donald Trump Jr. and Eric worked for the Trump Organization. But both Donald Trump Jr. and Eric have been unofficial advisors for their father and vocal proponents of his political career.
In an interview with Page Six in 2018, Ivana Trump said she would prefer it if her children weren’t involved in the political sphere, adding that she was thankful Melania Trump was in the White House instead of her.