- Ivana Trump’s friends said she felt she would have been a better first lady than Melania Trump.
- Ivana was married to Donald Trump from 1977 until their contentious divorce was finalized in 1992.
- The two later developed a friendly relationship and she was supportive of his 2016 presidential campaign.
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Ivana Trump — who during the 1970s and 1980s was a prominent character on the New York social scene — was married to former President Donald Trump from 1977 until their divorce was finalized in 1992.
Despite the couple’s breakup, Ivana had — even before their marriage — been a force of nature in her own right.
Ivana — who died last month after falling in her New York City townhome and was memorialized at an Upper East Side service on July 20 — had been a competitive skier whose competitive nature was always on display.
Ivana’s friends told New York Magazine that she felt she would have been a better first lady than Melania Trump, a former model and businesswoman who her former husband married in 2005.
Per an Intelligencer report, Donald Trump’s ascent to the White House sparked a range of emotions for Ivana.
Shortly before her ex-husband was set to be inaugurated in January 2017, Ivana went to the studio of fashion designer Marc Bouwer to pick several dresses and began crying.
Alongside Bouwer’s partner, Paul Margolin, she was reportedly “hysterical,” per the report.
Bouwer told the publication that people were spewing vicious comments at her and also protesting outside of her Manhattan home.
“And I’m not even married to him anymore,” she told the two men. “It’s not my fault!”
Ivana shared three children with Donald Trump — Donald Jr., Ivanka, and Eric — and after the couple’s contentious divorce, they eventually developed a solid relationship.
During Ivana’s 2017 promotional tour of her book, “Raising Trump,” she said on ABC that due to her being Donald Trump’s first wife, she was the true first lady.
“I [don’t] really want to call him there, because Melania is there,” she said at the time. “And I don’t want to cause any kind of jealousy or something like that, because I’m basically first Trump wife. OK? I’m first lady.”
Melania Trump’s spokeswoman at the time dismissed Ivana’s remarks in a statement, calling them “attention seeking and self-serving noise.”
Ivana later said that she would have been able to perform myriad duties as first lady, but emphasized that she valued her “freedom.”
“Would I straighten up the White House in 14 days? Absolutely,” she said at the time.
“Can I give the speech for 45 minutes without [a] teleprompter? Absolutely. Can I read a contract? Can I negotiate? Can I entertain? Absolutely. But I would not really like to be there. I like my freedom,” she added.