The Truth About Ivana's Relationship With Donald Trump Now

The following article includes allegations of domestic abuse and sexual assault.

Ivana Trump often popped up in the headlines with exclusive interviews and her thoughts on the one-term President Donald Trump. She released a book called "Raising Trump," which featured her commentary on her ex-husband, and she continuously shed light on her relationship with the real estate mogul-turned-politician.

From her stance on immigration to her thoughts on who the real first lady was, Ivana certainly kept curious Americans on their toes. Had she always been a supportive ex? To an extent. Had she always sung Donald's praises? Absolutely not. Did she think her ex-husband would win reelection? A resounding yes. All of these questions point to the very rollercoaster-like relationship between the couple that were married for 14 years.

To get to the bottom of what Ivana really thought about Donald over the years, what their dynamic was like, and how she imaged her kids would recover from the presidency, we combed through every corner of the internet to get a sense of what went down. Here is the truth about Ivana's relationship with Donald Trump.

Ivana Trump caused a stir when she said she was really the first lady

Talk about drama. Ivana Trump caused quite the stir in 2017, when she said that she was the nation's real first lady, not Donald Trump's wife and actual First Lady Melania Trump. Just wait ... it gets messier. In an interview with ABC News, Ivana said that not only does she think she is the first lady, but that she talked to Donald regularly when Melania isn't around. 

"I have the direct number to White House but I don't really want to call him there because Melania is there," she said, "and I don't really want to cause any kind of jealousy or something like that because I'm basically first Trump wife, OK? I'm first lady, OK?" Well this clearly didn't sit well with Melania because her communications director, Stephanie Grisham, released a very poignantly worded statement shortly after the interview (via CNN.)  "Mrs. Trump has made the White House a home for Barron and the President. She loves living in Washington, DC, and is honored by her role as first lady of the United States," the statement read, noting, "There is clearly no substance to this statement from an ex, this is unfortunately only attention-seeking and self-serving noise." Yikes.

Ivana Trump claimed that Donald thought she was too successful to be Mrs. Trump

We love a woman who knows her worth, and Ivana Trump knew just how much she benefited the Trump Organization and, furthermore, Donald Trump's image. She served as a senior executive for seven years and even was the president of Trump's Castle located in Atlantic City (via News.com.au). And according to her, she knew just how much strength she added to her ex-husband's brand, and she claimed in an interview with Time that "it wouldn't have happened without her." 

As she grew in her stature and success, overseeing casinos and Trump Plaza, her marriage began to crumble — and she had an idea as to why. "I think Donald probably felt a little bit jealous of my success. And I felt it," she told Time. "There was nothing really he could do. He saw how much profit I made, so he would never fire me from Atlantic City. He would never fire me from Plaza Hotel because I did such a great job. And maybe he resented it a little bit." 

She later wrote in her book, "Raising Trump," "In our marriage there couldn't be two stars. So one of us had to go."

Ivana Trump was clearly hurt after Donald Trump got with Marla Maples

It's clear that, even years later, Ivana Trump still held some animosity towards Donald Trump's second wife, Marla Maples. Ivana and Donald were finally divorced in 1990, after months of speculations that their marriage was in turmoil, as Donald had been seen with Maples earlier in the year. As noted by The New York Times at the time, "cruel and inhuman treatment by Mr. Trump was cited as the grounds for the uncontested divorce" and that Ivana had endured "anxiety and sleeplessness" due to the media attention her then-husband and Maples garnered. 

Maples is a model and actress, but that didn't stop Ivana from calling her by this nickname: "the showgirl." In an interview with Time in 2017, Ivana still referred to Donald's second wife and mother of daughter Tiffany by the nickname, and she even recalled some rather messy interactions during her divorce from Donald. As noted during the interview, Donald threatened to take Don Jr. away from Ivana, but she quickly retaliated. "Very often he doesn't mean that," she told Time. "He has said silly things."

Ivana Trump grew tired of the dramatic 2020 presidential election

It seems like most people grew tired of the 2020 presidential election before it even began. After it ended, Ivana Trump shared her thoughts on the whole ordeal. 

In October 2020, the president's first wife revealed that she thought her ex-husband would win reelection come November. "He will win," she told People. "There's no question about it." But after he lost, Ivana wanted the whole election and all the drama that went with it to be left in the dust. "I just want this whole thing to be over with, one way or the other," Ivana told People in another interview. "I really don't care." 

A close source to the Trump team told People that there was "chaos" among Donald's immediate family, and "that they haven't fully realized the election results because 'nobody was expecting it.'" The source called the whole election ordeal a "headache," clearly a sentiment that Ivana has echoed. If one thing ws clear, though, Ivana was more than ready for the 2020 election to be over. 

Donald Trump's ex-wife couldn't wait until their three children could resume normal lives

Despite the whirlwind drama that always seems to encapsulate the Trump family, Ivana Trump couldn't wait until her kids were out of politics and out of the White House. "I just want them to be able to live their normal lives — normal lives," Ivana told People. "Not the Washington life and all that, just in New York or wherever they're going to be and just live their normal lives." 

The businesswoman and mom of three said that she thought her children were doing "fine" as they occupied their roles in the White House, but that she was ready for them to move on. "I think they enjoyed being around Donald and running the election and seeing what will happen, but now it is — thank god — over," she continued. "I'm not really sure what they are going to be up to."

Ivana thought that Donald Trump would say goodbye to politics after his presidency

There was much speculation as to what Donald Trump would do upon leaving the White House. He was the first incumbent president to lose reelection since George H.W. Bush, and with that legacy comes uneasy political footing. According to the BBC, Donald had a couple of options — he could return to the Trump Organization, make his way back to television, or even try to run for a second term come 2024. 

But as far as Ivana Trump saw it, she believed the one-term president would retire from politics. "I don't think he has a choice," Ivana told People. "He's going to go down to Palm Beach and play golf and live the normal life, I think. This is the best choice for what he can do." Presidential retirement doesn't sound too bad either. As noted by the BBC, former presidents get a lot of perks, including a pension of over $200,000 a year, a lifetime of Secret Service protection, health benefits, and traveling expenses. "He has plenty of money, places to go and live in and enjoy his life," Ivana said. 

Donald Trump's first wife felt her ex-husband was not a good loser

The following might not sit well with Donald Trump, as noted by the BBC: Ivana Trump felt he was a sore loser — something that came into focus in the 2020 election aftermath. "He's not a good loser," she told People. "He doesn't like to lose, so he's going to fight and fight and fight." 

As the world watched, Donald made unsupported claims that there was mass voter fraud during the election. However, reporters from The New York Times called officials in every state and asked about voter fraud. There is no evidence to suggest that voter fraud took place.As for Ivana, she made it clear that Donald should've accepted the results. "He has to go and declare that he lost. But he hates to be a loser, that I'm sure of," she said. "But if he loses, he loses." 

Donald's refusal of defeat is something that Ivana experienced personally. "Donald during the divorce was brutal," Ivana has said, as noted by CNN. "He took the divorce as a business deal and he cannot lose, he has to win."

This is what Ivana thought of Donald Trump's comments about other countries

Donald Trump said some pretty offensive statements during his time in office, as noted by Politico. But despite the comments he has made regarding other countries, Ivana Trump did not think her ex-husband to be a racist. 

After Donald described Haiti, El Salvador, and other African nations in an offensive way, he came under intense fire, but his ex-wife defended him. In an interview with Good Morning Britain, Ivana said that he often made "silly" comments (via Independent). "Sometimes he says things that are silly," she said, before adding that she didn't think her ex would "do anything irrational." She went on, saying, "When he tweets it's out of his mouth, and sometimes it might not be clear, but at least it is exactly what he thinks." 

Well, others did not take well to what Donald was thinking. UN Human Rights spokesman Rupert Colville thought of the president's characterization as "racist," but clearly Ivana disagreed.

Ivana Trump said that her ex-husband had no idea how to interact with his children

It was always hard to get a read on whether or not Ivana Trump liked her ex-husband or not. In one breath, she'd defend his policies, and in another, she'd say he had no idea how to be a father.

In an interview with AM970's "The Answer," Ivana said that Donald "did not know how to speak the children's language" and wasn't really able to talk to them until they were in college (via Independent). She even echoed the sentiment in an interview with Time.  "He was not the kind of father who would be able to speak to them ... when they were six years old, eight years old," she said. "He was able to communicate with them by the time they were in university, when they could go and talk the business with each other." 

Well, it seems clear that Donald doesn't have the best skills with kids, even now. As noted by NBC News, the president made odd comments to children who came by the White House on Halloween in 2017, telling one of the little kids, "You have no weight problems — that's the good news, right?" Ok then...

Ivana Trump believed the credit for raising her children belonged to her, not Donald Trump

In her book "Raising Trump," Ivana Trump flat-out wrote that the credit for raising her kids — and raising them well — belongs to her. 

"Some people — including Hillary Clinton — consider [the kids] to be Donald Trump's finest accomplishments," Ivana wrote, as noted by Time. "I believe the credit for raising such great kids belongs to me." And despite the very messy public blunders that her children made while in the White House — think Ivanka's fashion line violating over 20 international standards — Ivana claimed that people in the street have asked her what she did to raise such good kids. 

"When Donald started to campaign, he was going on the debates, and [the kids] were going with him to rallies, people came to know them," Ivana told Time. "On the street and in the airport, total strangers were coming to me and they'd say, 'Ivana, how did you do it, to raise such a fabulous kid?'" 

Ivana Trump addressed the allegations she made against her ex-husband

When the topic of sexual assault comes up in reference to Donald Trump, it's a grave subject. As noted by Business Insider, 26 women accused the president of sexual misconduct, ranging from harassment to unwanted sexual encounters. The "Access Hollywood" tape, in which Donald brags about being able to make advances on women because of his social standing, remains infamous (via The Washington Post). Donald was also accused of sexual assault by E. Jean Carroll, a former columnist who claimed that he attacked her in a New York City department store, as reported by NBC News

For some time, there was talk of Donald Trump having sexually assaulted Ivana, but she used an interview with Time to clear up her side of the story. "That was all just the lawyers' talk," Ivana said. So what exactly was claimed? Well in a deposition, it was reportedly stated that Donald had raped her, according to "Lost Tycoon: The Many Lives of Donald J. Trump" (via The Daily Beast). It was reportedly an aspect of their divorce that they both wanted to keep private during the 2016 presidential campaign.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

Ivana made some waves when she publicly agreed with Donald Trump's comments on immigration

Like Donald Trump's current wife, Melania, Ivana Trump is an immigrant to the United States. So it came as a surprise when she agreed with her ex-husband's hardened perspective on immigration once he became president. As noted by Time, Ivana had become desensitized to the issue of immigration after spending time in Europe. 

"There are millions and millions of immigrants, which are coming from Syria," she told the magazine. "They don't have education. They don't know our culture. They don't know how to dress to fit in. And so it's a disaster." She also echoed support of her ex-husband's efforts to build a border wall between the United States and Mexico. 

The comments were shocking given Ivana's own immigration story. She later told People that she had "no problem" with immigrants coming to the United States, but doubled down on her previously shared thoughts. "I have absolutely no problem with the immigrants, but they have to come to the country legally," she told People. "They have to get a job, they have to pay taxes like the rest of Americans and just live and be well and just [mesh] into the society."

Ivana was confident that she could've fixed Donald Trump's White House

Donald Trump's White House certainly saw some drama — from his impeachment trial to the backlash Melania Trump received over her dramatically red Christmas decorations in 2018 — the news coming out of the White House was nonstop. And according to Ivana Trump, she could have fixed all of it. 

"Could I straighten out the White House in 14 days? Of course," she told Time. "Can I go and give the speech without a teleprompter for 45 minutes? Of course. Can I entertain? Of course I can entertain. But it is just not something I would like to do," she concluded. But it's safe to conclude that Ivana clearly thought she could have handled the White House better. 

She went on to say that she even turned down political offers because she simply wasn't interested. She told Time that Miloš Zeman, the Czech president, asked her if she would ever consider being the American ambassador — something that even Donald was on board with himself. But she ultimately said no, given that she enjoys her life so much as it is.

Ivana thought that Donald Trump was 'careless' when it came to COVID-19

When asked about her ex-husband's approach to COVID-19, which he eventually contracted himself, Ivana Trump said that he was "careless." According to People, Ivana kept in contact with her three children while Donald was being treated for the illness, saying that it was a very difficult time. 

"I spoke to all my kids and they, of course, are worried," she said, but she went on to say that her husband should have been more careful. "He didn't think it would happen to him," she concluded. NPR has since reported that Donald downplayed the severity of COVID-19, even after he found out just how dangerous the illness was. Even so, Ivana said that she was surprised when she found out that he had gotten sick given that he is, as she said, "the cleanest, healthiest person."

"I just hope he's going to get out of it and be healthy," Ivana later told People. "But who knows what will happen, because I don't know anything about this virus and nobody else does and nobody knows how to cure it." As we know, Donald did recover and made quite the show when he returned to the White House.

Ivana's death was announced by Donald Trump

On July 14, 2022, Ivana Trump died at the age of 73. Her ex-husband, Donald Trump, announced the news to the world via his social media platform Truth Social. "I am very saddened to inform all of those that loved her, of which there are many, that Ivana Trump has passed away at her home in New York City," Trump wrote (via The Hill). "She was a wonderful, beautiful, and amazing woman, who led a great and inspirational life." He continued to emphasize how proud Ivana was of their children and, despite their once-tumultuous relationship, how equally proud he and their children were of her. "Rest in peace, Ivana!" he concluded the post.

Ivana's youngest son, Eric Trump, also posted a tribute to his mother on Truth Social, recounting how she made America her home after fleeing from communism. "She taught her children about grit and toughness, compassion and determination," he wrote, adding that she was "a survivor." Ivana is survived by her three children, Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka Trump, and Eric Trump, as well as 10 grandchildren.