The death of Ivana Trump, the end of an American dream

With Donald, she built an empire. before separation. Then to continue your career as a frantic jet engine. His life was a novel.

The bun is perfectly coated, right down to the smallest strand of bleached hair, to ensure nothing moves. Painted red lips match a glossy blouse. Ivana or the quintessential American… Native to Eastern Europe, she’s kept blonde doll hair and a solid bod that makes her “R” roll. Not really the height of elegance on Fifth Avenue! It doesn’t matter, it’s the one thing you never wanted to put makeup on. She made it her trademark, just like her first name: “Ivana” who sounded like a pop star with the name “Madonna,” she enjoyed. We almost forgot that she had a nickname: Trump, the 45th President of the United States, who was elected on November 8, 2016. He was her husband from 1977 to 1992.

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On October 9, 2017, in an interview with Good Morning America, the nation’s most-watched morning show, Mrs. Trump boasted of having a direct phone line with the Oval Office: “I don’t want to call him often, because of Melania. I don’t want to create jealousy. But we agree: I’m Trump’s first wife, so I’m the real first lady! She laughs, proud of the arrow shot in the direction of this very beautiful and very young rival, which only reminds her of time.

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With Eric and Ivanka, 1995.

© Abaca

It could have been the first lady, Ivana Trump. “I always told her she didn’t have to ask for a divorce,” explains close friend Massimo Gargia, a jet-setter, Massimo Gargia, who every year stays part of The Fall at her Manhattan home. “Men cheating on their wives, it’s normal in this environment. But she couldn’t accept it. She was too hard on it. She said something between them had broken. Despite everything, Mrs. Trump’s first name hasn’t strayed from the real estate mogul. In In 1995, three years after their divorce, they filmed an ad together for the Pizza Hut chain. Hand in hand as if nothing had happened. Once inaugurated in the White House, Donald Trump continues to seek advice from this stubborn businesswoman, who is more of a self-made man than he is, without which He wasn’t going to build his huge empire.

On July 14, the former president himself announced the death of his 73-year-old ex-wife: “I am very sad to announce to all those who loved her, and there were many of them, that Ivana Trump passed away at her home in New York.” Found unconscious by police, after being alerted by a 911 emergency phone call, she would have succumbed to “bump injuries to the torso”. The criminal path was ruled out: everything indicated that she was going to fall down the stairs.

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At Little Versailles in Trump Tower, four-poster beds rub shoulders with leopard prints

A very ordinary epilogue to this extraordinary fate—”larger than life,” Americans say—which one might think was written by the screenwriters of Dallas or Dynasty. “My life is more hectic than the more energetic adventure novels,” she joked to Henri-Jean Servat, who gave her an interview at Paris Match in 1994. “Poor Ivana! Money has never pleased her,” laments Amanda Lear, whom she met at several parties on the Riviera.

From her native Czechoslovakia, young Ivana Zelnikova was already rocking the American dream. How to escape from Gottwaldof, this industrial city that smells of sulfur and soot? The only child, she is admired by her father, a communist officer, who predicts a glorious future for her as an Olympic figure skater. From the age of six, Ivana rushes down the black slopes: “Going down the mountain on two logs, teaches you to rely only on yourself,” she will later congratulate herself. As a teenager, Liana with a height of 1.82 meters was distinguished by an impressive physique and joined the national team. Instead of presenting medals to the Soviet bloc, I traveled west. Another gold rush. To obtain a passport, she marries one of her fellow skaters, an Austrian who wants to make a fresh start in Canada. But as soon as she arrived in Montreal, in the early seventies, Ivana asked to dissolve her union and went to the United States. In the land of Marilyn Monroe, she will not be an actress, but a model.

Surrounded by her three children, Donald Jr. (left), Ivanka and Eric, in 2011 in New York.

Surrounded by her three children, Donald Jr. (left), Ivanka and Eric, in 2011 in New York.

© Ben Hider / Getty Images

She is 27 years old, has endless legs, and all men are at her feet, Wall Street bankers or wealthy heirs. One will succeed in making her forget all the others…One evening in 1976, at Maxwell’s Plum, an elegant First Avenue restaurant frequented by New Yorkers, Ivana and a few friends wait for a table. A man approaches her, in the manner of a playboy from a good family, blonde locks, square jaw: “I’m Donald Trump. I can help you,” he whispers in her ear. Then Ivana turns to her friends: “The good news is we’ll get a table pretty quickly. The bad news is this guy’s going to be sitting with us. The real estate developer, a budding entrepreneur, does more than that: he pays the bill, drives Ivana home with his silver Cadillac, He sends her roses the next day and, after a few weeks, proposes to her.

Therefore, the Trump family makes a powerful duo. They have three children (Donald Jr., Ivanka and Eric), an indispensable display of their family’s happiness, and they build their kingdom brick by brick. “We shared the same ambition,” Ivana later wrote. The antithesis of the desperate housewife works tirelessly, single-handedly running the Grand Hyatt and Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City. She gets up early and goes to bed late, because, unlike Donald, she loves social events and goes to nightclubs.

With her last husband, Italian actor and actress Rossano Rubicondi, in 2005. She married in 2008, and they divorced a year later

With her last husband, Italian actor and actress Rossano Rubicondi, in 2005. She married in 2008, and they divorced a year later


Her husband, a businessman, appoints the vice president of decoration for the Trump Organization. So Ivana improvises herself as the new Charles Le Brun, with a less certain flair. She transformed Trump Tower apartments into a bit of Rococo Versailles, where crystal chandeliers and four-poster beds sit alongside leopard prints and marble chests of drawers. “This is how Louis XVI would have lived if he had the money,” she commented in front of the cameras. She dreamed of being Lady Di, however, mastering media tricks much better than the Princess of Wales. In her rhinestone dresses, she offers reporters what they crave: m’as-tu-vu drips and frankness that can mar the pages and pages of newspapers. Her press attachés hand out volumes of the Empress of Manhattan’s best quotes.

Amanda Lear: “Last time, she was really hit. I think she had a drinking problem.

But at the end of the 1980s, bankruptcy awaited Trump’s empire. Madame tries to revamp the wardrobes and keep up with appearances, while Mr. Monsieur plays with his modern helicopter and flirts with the nominees for the Miss America title. Ivana pretends she doesn’t see anything, and she’s too busy releasing a perfume of her name or a new jewelry collection. Until Christmas Eve 1989, in Aspen, when Marla Maples, pseudo-actress and Donald’s official mistress, arrives at the mountain restaurant where everyone spends the family Christmas Eve. “I love your husband. And you? Divorce the official’s favorite. Ivana got up, went home, got on the first plane to New York and filed for divorce immediately,” says Massimo Gargia.

Ivana collapsed? It would be bad to know. Provident, she had renegotiated her marriage contract several times, until, at the time of the divorce, she received $25 million, a 46-room Connecticut estate, an apartment in Trump Plaza and a pension of more than $650,000 a year. To teach the three children who got custody of them alone.

Eric Trump in front of his mother's apartment, who had just learned of her death, in New York, on July 14.

Eric Trump in front of his mother’s apartment, who had just learned of her death, in New York, on July 14.

© Ordonez Elder/Splash News/Abaca

The chapter turns into a media series: Ivana sees it as a new way to match tickets. In 1992, she published a novel, “Rien que l’amour,” based on her own story for which Donald Trump sued. Bestsellers follow: “Free to Love” (1993), “The best is yet to come” (1995), “Raising Trump” (2017), in which she recounts her role as a mother. Her advice as a divorced woman is summed up in a letter from the heart published in the Globe, in radio records, at conferences where she charges her $20,000 an hour, or in Le club des ex (1996), where she confronts Diane Keaton and Bette Midler, abandoned by their husbands, she preaches: “Don’t go crazy, take it all!”

Deep down, is Ivana really frustrated? “The only men who might interest me are either in prison, gay, or married,” she joked. However, in 1995, she married in a third marriage to Italian billionaire Riccardo Mazuccilli. The union will last only two years: Ivana is very eager to have fun. In Palm Beach or Saint-Tropez, she cohabits with the muscular Adonis, younger than her two sons. “I’d rather play babysitters than nurses,” she replies to those who dare criticize her.

Always victorious.  Ivana Trump on Madison Avenue, May 3.

Always victorious. Ivana Trump on Madison Avenue, May 3.

© Abaca

His transformation is the glamor of reality TV. Like her ex-husband, who has long hosted The Apprentice, Ivana takes part in several shows, including “Celebrity Big Brother” – the British “Loft Story” – and “The Island of Celebrities”, a gorgeous Italian. Initial offer. In 2018, she was bobbing on RAI 1 in “Dance with the Stars” across the Alps, on the arm of Rossano Rubicondi, her fourth and final husband. Even if she breaks up with him just a year after her answer yes, she accompanies him in the illness that ended up in October 2021, at the age of 49. Ivana Trump has always remained faithful in her friendship to the men she loved.

Rossano’s death upset her, reveals Massimo Gargia. She did not want to leave her home and was depressed. Amanda Lear adds: “The last time I saw her, she was very upset. I think she’s had a drinking problem…” In the past two weeks, according to those around her, Ivana had found a smile. She had been looking forward to returning to Saint-Tropez, where she had spent all her summer.” I spoke to her on the phone the day before her accident, she couldn’t wait Until we have dinner together, she regrets Massimo Gargia. She had just gone to the hairdresser and had to get on a plane to Nice. Ivana Trump hasn’t had time to review her Mediterranean paradise. So he decided his amazing fate.

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