What Could Happen To Melania If Donald Trump Goes To Prison?

Former President Donald Trump has been indicted four times (as of this writing). According to Forbes, if he is found guilty of all 91 state and federal charges against him, he could face up to 717.5 years in prison. While he may not actually serve any of it, one can't help but wonder what that sentencing would mean for Donald Trump's wife, Melania Trump.

From sexual assault allegations to the insurrection to impeachment trials, Melania has seemed unflappable in recent years. However, she has made a point of staying out of the public eye ever since her family left the White House, which has certainly raised some eyebrows. "Melania publicly supports her husband but privately prefers a life with 100 percent privacy and no press scrutiny," an unnamed source told People in August 2023. "She hates all of the legal problems and says very little about them anytime anywhere. She leads her own life." Of course, there are those who suspect she's ready for divorce, but at this point, it's all speculation. 

So, what would Melania Trump's own life look like if Donald Trump went to prison? Here are some theories.

Melania Trump might embrace the role of dutiful wife

If sources who spoke to Page Six in June 2023 are to be believed, the naysayers are all wrong and Melania Trump has no plans to abandon her husband no matter what happens with the indictments. According to the outlet's tipsters, the former first lady may be ready to "stand by her man." Many would point out that Melania's absence during Donald Trump's various indictments and arraignments speaks volumes, but a Page Six source refuted this. "Melania is standing by her husband, but quietly and privately. He's been on the phone with Melania, who's supporting him 100 percent," one claimed.

Other sources pointed out that Melania is used to Trump's legal woes and that the various indictments haven't come as a surprise to either of them. "She is used to this. They are used to dealing with this stuff," an insider said. But should Trump go to prison, Melania will have a whole new reality to get used to. Will she still "stand by her man" then? If the aforementioned sources are to be believed, it's likely she might. "Melania knows what she signed up for. She is in a wait-and-see position. He'll either be in prison or be president. Or both. It's not a time for fighting within the family," one said. Could Trump do both, though? Legal expert Richard L. Hasen told CNN that there's no law prohibiting Trump from running the country from prison. So yes, Melania might end up roaming the halls of the White House once again.

Or she may not be much of a cheerleader

Melania Trump may very well be super supportive behind the scenes, but the public eye is an entirely different story. For example, she wasn't with her husband when the second indictment was brought against him in June 2023. While Trump was at a golf club in New Jersey at the time, Melania was walking the streets of New York City. According to the New York Post, she appeared to look "unbothered." But was she really?

Before Trump received his first indictment in March 2023, former White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham predicted that Melania would not be much of a cheerleader. Speaking to Inside Edition, Grisham, who was also Melania's chief of staff, was confident that if Trump were to be indicted for making hush money payments to porn star Stormy Daniels, Melania wouldn't go out of her way to show the public that she's in his corner. "She's not lending him a whole lot of moral support," Grisham told the outlet, adding that we shouldn't expect to see Melania show up in court alongside Trump. (She didn't.) "She always said to me this is his problem," Grisham added.

On the flip side, Trump maintains that this is how he prefers things. "I try and keep [Melania and Barron Trump] shielded and out of it," he said on "The John Fredericks Show" in July 2023 (via Newsweek). 

Melania Trump might become a single woman

Time and time again, Donald and Melania Trump have faced divorce rumors — and those rumors only escalated after the former president was indicted. However, some people close to the Trumps have been quick to deny they are on their way to splitsville. "[S]he isn't leaving him," Melania's former best friend and former aide, Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, claimed to Page Six days after Donald Trump received his first indictment. "This is a transactional marriage, she knew what she was getting into when she married Donald," Wolkoff added.

And yet, there are those who are not convinced by this assessment of their relationship. Ahead of Trump's fourth indictment, which occurred in August 2023, inside sources claimed to Marca that Melania and Trump are practically strangers. "Their paths barely cross," an unnamed tipster said. "There is little wonder people believe it's not just the criminal court Trump is heading to but possibly a divorce one too."

It should come as no surprise that there's no shortage of online discussions about Melania possibly divorcing Trump should he go to prison. In one Quora thread, users predicted that Melania will eventually write a scathing book about her husband once she divorces him. "You thought 'Fire and Fury' was bad for Donnie? Wait till Melania signs a book deal for 'Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned: My life as Donald's third wife,'" one person commented. We'd pay good money to read that.

Or she might remain a Trump to avoid the hassle of a divorce

Should Melania Trump decide to stay married to Donald Trump if he goes to prison, one could assume it's because she's incredibly loyal. One could also assume she doesn't want to deal with the hassle and pressure that can come with a high-profile divorce. 

As veteran divorce lawyer Cheryl New noted to the Washingtonian, Trump isn't one to pull away from the spotlight, and he could very well make a personal matter such as divorce very public and messy. "[Trump] would not be able to do this in a way that would be quiet," divorce attorney Cheryl New told the outlet, adding, "I don't think he's constitutionally capable of that. He's so cocksure that he would put this out there for everybody to see."

Fellow divorce attorney Sandy Ain, however, envisions a different outcome. "I suspect if they got divorced, he would pay her a lot of money, and it would be done in an appropriately dignified way," he told the Washingtonian. "You don't say 'you're fired' to your wife.' You say 'here's a really nice severance package—and it's gonna be more than $130,000.'" 

Melania Trump could use what she knows to her advantage

Melania Trump has been in a relationship with Donald Trump since 1998, so it isn't so bold to assume she knows more about him than the average bear. If he was to go to prison, one might think it would be her "chance" to share her account with a journalist. However, some experts believe she'd instead use it as a golden opportunity to squeeze as much as she can out of a divorce settlement.

Trump and Melania reportedly do have a prenup, but divorce attorney Sandy Ain told the Washingtonian that Melania might be in a position to negotiate — especially if Trump doesn't want her to talk to the media about his, erm, extracurricular activities. Divorce attorney Cheryl New says Melania doesn't even need to file for divorce to get a good deal — she can use what she knows as leverage to get Trump to amend their original prenup. If he gets elected president again, she'll have even more leverage. "I'd be happy to assist her," New said.

As for what Melania may or may not know, we can only guess. "[S]he knows about Donald's affairs, she knows everything," Melania's former friend Stephanie Winston Wolkoff told Page Six. New thinks Melania is playing the long game. "I think [Trump] underestimates Melania totally. She is a chess player. He is a checkers player," she said. Perhaps Melania is simply waiting for Trump to get hauled off to prison before she whispers "checkmate."

Melania Trump would probably receive a lot of Google alerts

While it might appear as if Melania Trump doesn't enjoy all the media attention, former White House press secretary and Melania's former chief of staff, Stephanie Grisham, paints an entirely different picture of the former first lady. According to Grisham, Melania actually likes reading about herself.

In her book "I'll Take Your Questions Now" (via CNN), Grisham says that, in many ways, Melania is a lot like Donald Trump in that they both keep tabs on news stories about themselves. "Like her husband and all of his kids, Mrs. Trump scrutinized her press clippings like an expert architect focusing on blueprints," writes Grisham. "No detail was overlooked, nothing missed her eye. She had Google alerts set up for herself and saw everything." Those alerts must be going off nonstop. And should Donald Trump go to prison, Melania's Google alerts probably would not slow down. 

As for how Melania would handle said hypothetical Google alerts? We cannot possibly know for certain, but Grisham's account suggests, at the very least, she would continue to follow along. 

Melania Trump might become a very rich single woman

The Stormy Daniels scandal might be humiliating for Melania Trump, but it could also lead to a pretty decent divorce settlement, should she decide to go that route if Donald Trump ends up in prison for his alleged crimes. At least, that's what London divorce lawyer Janette Johnson told the Mirror in 2021. New York-based divorce lawyer Jacqueline Newman added that the longer Melania stuck it out with Trump after he lost his 2020 reelection bid, the more she had to gain. As Newman explained, this could provide her with ample opportunity to renegotiate their existing prenup. While it's hard to say exactly how much money Melania could get if she files for divorce, lawyers speculated in 2021 that she could be looking at $50 million. According to Forbes, Trump is worth $2.5 billion. 

Johnson also pointed out that, thanks to the Stormy Daniels controversy, it's possible that Melania could cash in on some penalty clauses stipulated in the prenup. As Newman said to the Mirror, Melania would likely be set for life if she divorces her husband. Not only would she have plenty of cash, but she would also remain the owner of several properties.

She may have to parent Barron Trump on her own

If Donald Trump were to go to prison before Barron Trump turned 18, Melania Trump could have sought full custody of their son along with a divorce. However, Barron will turn 18 on March 20, 2024, and Trump's first trial reportedly could begin around then, so this hypothetical situation is moot. Regardless, talk about a way to ring in a birthday.

While Trump has stayed busy with his political and business endeavors, Melania has always been a very present parent. As she once said in Parenting magazine (via Redbook), "I am a full-time mom; that is my first job. The most important job ever." In the wake of Trump's legal woes, Melania has reportedly gone to great lengths to shield their son from the mess. "Barron has always been a first priority in [Melania's] life," a source People in March 2023. "Of course she is worried and concerned about the legal issues but she has not done anything more to protect Barron now than she ever did. She has always put him first. She is a good mother." If the indictments don't pan out in Trump's favor, Melania likely would not struggle with parenting Barron on her own.

Melania Trump might double down on her disappearing act

As previously noted, Melania Trump has made a point of keeping out of the spotlight. So much so, that the former first lady has become known for her so-called disappearing act, with some outlets even jokingly comparing her to Harry Houdini. Questions regarding her whereabouts began when Donald Trump was in office and only continued to ramp up after they left the White House. When Trump was indicted for the first time in March 2023, said questions reached fever pitch. 

As the Daily Mail reported at the time, when Trump showed up to court in New York in April 2023, Melania was nowhere to be seen. And when he made his way back to Florida for a "homecoming" event, Melania was once again absent. The outlet also noted that when Trump addressed the crowd, he made no mention of Melania in his speech. Melania and Trump would not be spotted out together for another few days when they celebrated Easter together at Mar-a-Lago. As the New York Post reported, the couple went to Sunday brunch. In July 2023, Newsweek noted that she hasn't been at any of his political events since November 2020.

The indictments continue to roll in, Melania continues to let Trump deal with the public eye on his own. As a source told People, "[T]his fourth indictment is another problem for her husband. Not for her." If he does go to prison and if she continues to stick to this approach, she may vanish altogether. 

Melania Trump may stick to her beloved self-care routine

We cannot possibly know what Melania Trump's day-to-day life would look like if Donald Trump were to go to prison. However, it does not feel like too much of a reach to assume she would try to keep up with the things that she values, such as health and wellness. According to Melania Trump's former chief of staff Stephanie Grisham, the former first lady is dedicated to self-care. "She believed that relaxation was central to one's beauty regimen, as were, of course, spa treatments and facials," Grisham dished in "I'll Take Your Questions Now." Grisham also shared that Melania gets more than enough sleep each night.

When she's not catching some Zs or soaking in a mud bath, Melania likes to tap into her creative side and put together photo albums. If she does decide to disappear in the wake of whatever happens with Trump's trials, Melania's favorite activities can keep her busy, at least.

Melania Trump could stay in a 'fairy tale world'

If Donald Trump goes to prison, one might predict that Melania Trump will keep doing what she's apparently been doing and sweep it all under the rug. "Melania is leading her own life [...] surrounded by people who love her and who never talk about reality, or bad things about her husband," a source divulged to People in March 2023.

Not only does Melania not want to hear a word from anyone about Donald Trump's legal troubles, but she's apparently also hopeful that it will magically go away. "They [Melania and her family] live in a fairy tale world and just deal with things as they come and seem to survive pretty well," another source told People. "They do what is possible to get past the problems without disrupting their lifestyle." That does not, however, mean that Melania isn't mad about Trump's indiscretions. "She remains angry and doesn't want to hear [the alleged hush money payment] mentioned," a source claimed, adding that Melania is determined to keep things light and happy by spending time with compliant friends and family members.

While she may prefer to keep her head in the sand, it's not like Melania would totally be in the dark. After all, this is apparently someone who has Google alerts set.