Without Ivana there is no ‘The Donald’
Over the next decade, they would become New York’s preeminent power couple — a status that, in retrospect, seems almost inevitable. Both had overbearing and demanding fathers and were hyper intense and driven; Donald’s high school coach said he was the most competitive kid he had ever worked with, and Ivana broke several bones while training for ski racing, but refused to stop. Both had an easy path with the truth; Donald played freely with numbers when making offers, and before Ivana met Donald she had what she called “a Cold War marriage” – that is, an unconsummated union and fraudulent – to obtain an Austrian passport and move to Canada. Both were intransigent on money; just before their wedding in April 1978, Donald presented her with a tight marriage contract prepared by his lawyer, Roy Cohn and Ivana refused to go ahead with the ceremony until it was made less miser.
But perhaps most importantly, both were brimming with raw ambition and focused on success. Donald, who later bragged that he never changed his diaper, delved into the details of the project and future deals; Ivana outfitted him in classic black Brioni suits, moved them and their first child, Donald Jr., to a gleaming Fifth Avenue apartment suitable for in-home couple interviews, and began the social networking that would give them access at a high end. real estate market — while acting as Donald’s eyes and ears on the job site. Her hair teased and sprayed in a huge blonde make-up, dressed in a Gucci pantsuit and Manolo stilettos, she toasted supervisors and managers, pounced on any perceived problems and scribbled numerous notes on a clipboard . It was an approach they found irritating and distracting, but she insisted it was necessary to ensure adherence to what would be a Trump trademark, a flashy, opulent aesthetic – shiny brass, mirrors everywhere and ultra-dramatic lighting. The style would find full expression in Trump Tower, with its giant pink marble-clad atrium, overhanging balconies, suspended walkway and 60-foot waterfall.
She will spend the next decade playing the role of Donald Trump’s co-pilot. doing everything from running their 53-room triplex at Trump Tower, 45-room mansion in Greenwich, Connecticut, and 126-room Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach to running Trump Castle Casino in Atlantic City and then the Plaza Hotel in New York City. Opening after opening, reception after reception, photograph after photograph, interview after interview, she promoted the myth of the perfect golden wedding and Donald’s seemingly endless stream of successful ventures.
To build Donald Trump’s image as a real estate megastar, Ivana had spent 10-hour days on the Grand Hyatt site for months, surveyed Italian marble quarries in search of the right stone for the Trump Tower lobby, and argued hoarsely over fabric choices, surface finishes, and chandelier placements. But despite her best efforts, and unbeknownst to her, the legend she had helped establish was unraveling. As she and the rest of the world would learn later, her husband had nothing to do with the business titan she so fervently believed in. Instead, he was hugely over-leveraged, his business was in shambles, he was close to a billion dollars in debt, and he had sent her to head Trump Castle not as a reward for putting all her life to promote his interests, but because he wanted to be free to see his mistress, Marla Maples.
But Ivana had, indeed, drunk the Kool-Aid of all the photo ops and flattering media coverage she had helped generate. Even after news of Donald’s affair broke, in early 1990, and newspapers around the world ran out of steam, he said – she told headlines and stories, Ivana had no no idea how underwater Donald was. In the end, she walked out with a fraction of what she expected, but the relentless public spotlight had given her something that would prove extremely valuable: a large and loyal fan base who saw her as the wronged woman.
Maybe because of a personal reluctance to dump the father of her children, maybe because of an ironclad NDA in her divorce settlement with Donald, or maybe just because she kept the same insight that had been the basis of her marriage to Donald, Ivana staunchly refused to criticize him in public and even amended a rape accusation she had made in a divorce petition. Instead, she followed the same maxim she uttered in a cameo role in the 1996 film. The First Women’s Club: “Don’t be angry, be quits.” Maximizing the power of the brand she helped create, she kept the Trump name and built her own business empire, based on fashion and beauty, which made her a multi-millionaire from the sale of perfumes, jewelry and jewelry from the Ivana brand. Clothes.
As satisfying as those accomplishments would have been, however, she must have felt particular delight in her best-selling wish-granting novel, For love alone. Released in 1992, the same year her divorce from Donald was finalized, it features a beautiful Czech immigrant who is a ski champion, builds a chain of hotels, has a jet-set lifestyle and has sex torrid with a businessman’s first husband and ends up landing a handsome press mogul. It was another myth in a long line of myths, but this time it was about her and the ending was happy.