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Ivana Trump dead: Former President Trump’s ex-wife found at bottom of staircase in NYC home

Date Added: July 15, 2022 11:10:50 AM
Author: Sutra Web Directory
Category: News & References
 
 
Ivana Trump, the Czech American businesswoman and ex-wife of former President Donald Trump, died Thursday in Manhattan. She was 73.

The 45th president announced the death of his first wife and mother of his three children, Donald Jr., Eric and Ivanka, on his Truth Social platform.

“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,” he wrote. “She was a wonderful, beautiful, and amazing woman, who led a great and inspirational life.”

He continued: “Her pride and joy were her three children, Donald Jr., Ivanka, and Eric. She was so proud of them, as we were all so proud of her. Rest In Peace, Ivana!”

Police are investigating whether Ivana Trump may have fallen down the stairs at her home on East 64th Street, police sources told The Post. She was found at the bottom of the staircase and believed to have suffered cardiac arrest, though the city’s Medical Examiner’s Office will determine the official cause of death.

Building staff discovered her body around 12:40 p.m. and then called the cops, sources said.

Ivana Trump’s health had been declining over the past few years, a source close to the family said.

Born Ivana Marie Zelníčková in Czechoslovakia, Ivana Trump was a competitive skier in her youth, almost making the Olympic team by some accounts. 

She worked as a model in the early ’70s, and met her future husband Donald Trump in New York City in 1976. They married a year later. The two divorced in 1992, but she kept her ex-husband’s famous surname.   

Ivana Trump was known for her taste for the finer things in life, her gaudy interior designs and her big blonde hair. 

Her marriage to the then-real estate mogul thrust her into the spotlight, where she both shined and struggled. As a fixture of the 1980s New York high society, Ivana Trump called the likes of Michael Jackson her friends and routinely found herself on the covers of magazines and papers. 

“You couldn’t walk down the street without people stopping her. Not everyone loved Donald Trump, everyone loved Ivana Trump,” her friend and former publicist Todd Shapiro told The Post. “She always brought her dog with her, Tiger. Tiger would sit with her at the table wherever she went. Tiger was her partner in crime.”

Outside his mother’s townhouse on Thursday after her death was announced, Eric Trump told reporters, “It’s a very sad day, guys. It’s a very sad day,” as he left with wife Lara Trump.

In a statement, he said that “our mother was an incredible woman — a force in business, a world-class athlete, a radiant beauty, and caring mother and friend. 

“She will be dearly missed by her mother, her three children and ten grandchildren,” he added.

A source close to Ivanka Trump told The Post the former first daughter is in “shock” over her mother’s death.

“They were super close,” the source said, adding that Ivana Trump had spent her last days with family in New York City.

In an Instagram post Thursday, Ivanka Trump wrote she was “heartbroken by the passing of my mother.”

“Mom was brilliant, charming, passionate and wickedly funny. She modeled strength, tenacity and determination in her every action. She lived life to the fullest — never forgoing an opportunity to laugh and dance,” she said.

Ivana Trump proudly worked for the former president throughout their 15-year marriage. She was the CEO and president of the Atlantic City, NJ casino Trump’s Castle in the ’80s and held the role as the Trump Organization’s vice president of interior design and manager of the Plaza Hotel.

In 1988, she told Vanity Fair that “Donald calls me his twin as a woman” and often referred to the former president as “The Donald.”

Her friend of five decades Roger Stone told The Post following her death that besides being “a gracious lady, a great mother and an incredible hostess … Ivana was also a great businesswoman and manager.”

“She ran a tight ship at the Plaza hotel and greatly improved the performance of the property,” he said.

Shapiro said she ran the New Jersey casino “like a five-star general.”

But the power couple’s marriage soured when Donald Trump’s affair with model Marla Maples became public. The pair went one to marry and have their daughter, Tiffany Trump.

Ivana and Donald Trump’s resulting divorce garnered international attention, and during a deposition for its proceedings, she accused her then-husband of rape. She later disavowed the allegation while Donald Trump was running for office in 2015.

“I have recently read some comments attributed to me from nearly 30 years ago at a time of very high tension during my divorce from Donald,” she said in the July 2015 statement. “The story is totally without merit. Donald and I are the best of friends and together have raised 3 children that we love and are very proud of.”

Ivana Trump tried to take her ex-husband for all he was worth, including the Plaza Hotel. She told Oprah Winfrey in an interview at the time that “I will not let men dominate me anymore.”

In a not-so-subtle nod to the breakup, Ivana Trump made an iconic cameo in the 1996 film “The First Wives Club” that helped cement her legacy as a cultural icon beyond her marriage. 

“Ladies, you have to be strong and independent. And remember, don’t get mad — get everything,” she said in the film.

Still, the former couple remained close throughout the rest of her life. A source close to the family told The Post that she called Donald Trump all the time during his presidency to give him advice. She often called herself the “real Mrs. Trump,” much to his now-wife Melania Trump’s irritation.

She claims to have turned down the president’s offer to be an ambassador to her home country, the Czech Republic, saying she preferred her freedom. “I would hate Washington,” she said in 2017, adding she didn’t envy Melania Trump’s role as First Lady.

 “Would I straighten up the White House in 14 days? Absolutely. Can I give the speech for 45 minutes without teleprompter? Absolutely. Can I read a contract? Can I negotiate? Can I entertain? Absolutely. But I would not really like to be there,” she said.

Ivana Trump went on to marry twice after Donald Trump — first to Italian businessman Riccardo Mazzucchelli in 1995, whom she divorced two years later, and again to Rossano Rubicondi in 2008. Rubicondi, an Italian model and actor, was more than 20 years her junior. 

The couple was married at Mar-A-Lago in a wedding hosted by the former president and her daughter Ivanka served as the maid of honor. They divorced a year later, but later got back together until officially ending things in 2019. Rubicondi, who was often referred to as Ivana’s boy toy, died in 2021 from melanoma complications.

During the final years of life, Ivana Trump split her time between New York, Miami and St-Tropez. 

While she was known for her exorbitant lifestyle, sources told Page Six in 2018 that she would often scarf down hot dogs from an Upper East Side food cart.

Former Vanity Fair columnist George Wayne said he was “very close” with Ivana Trump, whom he called his “Godmama Ivana” and said was, to many’s surprise, “really quite the recluse.” She became more withdrawn during the Trump presidency, he said.

Her next-door neighbor on the Upper East Side, meanwhile, remembered Ivana Trump as “impeccable” with never a hair out of place.

“What can I say about her? I think her life would have been easier if she changed her name,” Broadway producer Judith Ann Abrams told The Post.

“It’s the end of an era on this block. She was always very nice to us, very friendly … I’ll miss her.”

Additional reporting by Steven Vago

~ Via NY Post