Why Donald Trump Jr. Refused To Talk To His Father For A Year

Former President Donald Trump is known as a charismatic businessman and politician who cannot seem to stay out of bad press. However, through all his allegations and opposition, Donald Trump has always had the support and loyalty of his children, especially his eldest son, Donald Trump Jr.

Trump Jr. has been a regular presence since his father's presidential bid and has been quite vocal in Trump's defense amidst legal troubles and media backlash. His actions, tweets, and words have often earned him comparison to his father, with political media outlets like CNN calling him a "chip of the old block." However, Trump Jr.'s shocking revelation in 2004 hinted at another side to Donald Trump's relationship with his kids. He revealed that he had once refused to talk to his beloved father for a year.

Trump Jr. disclosed that his decision was due to the messy divorce between his father and his mother, the late Ivana Trump. The divorce, which occurred in 1992, was rumored to be due to his father's affair with Marla Maples. Aged 12, Trump Jr. had a tough time coping with the affair and the spotlight it cast on him. He reportedly accused his father of "not loving" him and his siblings and only loving "his money" (per Vanity Fair). After the divorce, an angry young Donald Trump Jr. and his brother, Eric Trump, were shipped off to a boarding school in Pennsylvania to keep them out of the public eye.

Donald Trump Jr. cut contact with Donald Trump again after college

While Donald Trump Jr.'s relationship with his father improved over the years, it remained rocky for an extended period. After boarding school, Trump Jr. attended Donald Trump's former school, the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. At the university, he developed a reputation as a partier and troublemaker.

A former classmate of Trump Jr., Scott Melker, alleged that he was frequently found drunk and passed out in public (per Vanity Fair). Melker also believed that Trump Jr. harbored resentment towards his father, negatively impacting him. He recalled a hostile incident when Donald Trump came to the dormitory to pick up his son for a Yankees game and slapped Trump Jr. across the face without an explanation, knocking him to the ground.

After graduating, Trump Jr. moved to Aspen, Colorado, against his family's wishes. There, he became a bartender and took up camping, hunting, and fishing — skills he had picked up from his maternal grandfather, Milos Zelnicek. During this period, Trump Jr. cut off contact with his father, similar to what he did in his teen years. However, he returned home in September 2001, rejoining his father and the family business.

Donald Trump Jr. has become Donald Trump's greatest supporter

In recent years, Donald Trump Jr. has demonstrated unrivaled support for his father, indicating that all has been forgiven between the father and son. At an April 2016 town hall meeting, he told CNN's Anderson Cooper that his father had "always been there," but it had always been on Donald Trump's terms. The late Ivana Trump once stated that Trump was uninterested in their children until they were old enough to discuss business, and this seems to have been the case (via Slate). Trump Jr.'s return to the family business was the turning point of his relationship with his father.

Trump Jr.'s loyalty was most evident in his father's fraud trial in 2023. In November, he testified in the former President's defense and was full of praise, saying, "He's an artist with real estate" (per Forbes) — highlighting one of the wildest moments from Donald Trump Jr.'s trial testimony. Although some of his accounts were reportedly debatable, his statements show that Trump Jr. will admit no wrong of his father. With the Trump family fraud case and the 2024 U.S. Presidential Elections ahead, we can expect to see more of Trump Jr.'s unwavering support.