Crisis Expert Says Donald Trump Arrest Presents Rare Window Of Opportunity For Melania - Exclusive

By all accounts, Melania Trump has been spending her post-White House time just the way she likes it: out of the media spotlight and free to enjoy her personal pursuits. People recently spoke to insiders who say the former first lady socializes mainly with her own family and is primarily focused on being a good mom to teen son Barron. "Melania is leading her own life and still feels happy being at Mar-a-Lago, surrounded by people who love her and who never talk about reality, or bad things about her husband," a source revealed. 

Much as she may want to avoid it, however, Melania still knows some very bad things are being said about her husband at the moment. On March 30, 2023, former president Donald Trump was indicted on numerous charges related to money paid to gain the silence of Stormy Daniels. The adult film star alleges she had an affair with Trump in 2006, and was paid $130,000 by his former lawyer to prevent the story from leaking during the 2016 presidential campaign. (Trump is accused of using campaign funds to reimburse the attorney.)  

Older Trump sons Donald Jr. and Eric have blasted the indictment online. Even normally private daughter Ivanka issued a statement on Instagram, saying in part, "I love my father, and I love my country. Today, I am pained for both." But Melania has yet to comment on her husband's historic criminal charges, which begs the question of whether she's pondering her options.

Is Melania really standing by her man?

Former president Donald Trump is scheduled to be arraigned in New York on April 4, but it is not yet known whether his wife will join him. Whatever happens, it will make a powerful statement about Melania Trump's feelings about her husband's legal troubles. Some sources claim she's still resentful over the affair he allegedly had, but is coping by keeping quiet and refusing to listen to any discussion of the scandal. Another insider who spoke to the Daily Mail tabloid says the former first lady is staying loyal. "Mrs. Trump is strong. She is focused on her family and stands behind her husband, as she always has," the unnamed friend says. "For the past seven years, the left has made multiple attempts to smear and attack her family, and this is just the latest attempt to bring him down." 

The Mail adds that on the eve of the indictment, the Trumps had dinner together in the dining room of their Mar-a-Lago resort, opting to make a public showing rather than hiding from view. Melania wore a bright red dress, uncharacteristically calling attention to herself. This would certainly seem to indicate her support for her husband in the midst of his crisis. In an exclusive interview with The List, crisis management expert Eden Gillott, president of Gillott Communications, says, "If Melania's committed, she has to toe the line, especially leading up to a presidential election." 

Is this Melania's black swan moment?

It's long been rumored that Melania Trump still holds a grudge against husband Donald for his alleged affair. Stephanie Grisham, her former press secretary, wrote in her memoir that the former first lady openly scoffed at Trump's denials of a fling with adult film star Stormy Daniels. Melania also reportedly "figured out ways to leave out Mr. Trump from photos and social media posts" as revenge, according to The Independent. Yet the Trumps' marriage has endured up till now, and communications expert Eden Gillott suggests to The List that Melania's actions in the coming weeks and months will be a good predictor of her future with Trump. "In any partnership, whether it's business or marital, you can't be seen as abandoning your partner if you want the partnership to survive," she says.

But Trump's indictment could be a "black swan event" for their marriage, Gillott adds. (Investopedia defines this as "an extremely rare event with severe consequences.") If Melania "had been looking for an opportunity to part ways or have a clean break," she might very well start lawyering up, says Gillott. Even the most ardent Trump supporters would have to admit that the combined strain of the infidelity accusations and the historic arrest would be justifiable grounds for divorce. All eyes will be on both Trumps as the court proceedings begin.