New York: Ivana Trump, a skier-turned-businesswoman who formed half of a publicity power couple in the 1980s as the first wife of former President Donald Trump and mother of his oldest children, has died in New York City. She was 73.
“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 posted on social media platform Truth Social on Friday (AEST). “She was a wonderful, beautiful, and amazing woman, who led a great and inspirational life. 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!”
The Trump family also released a statement. “It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved mother, Ivana Trump. Our mother was an incredible woman – a force in business, a world-class athlete, a radiant beauty, and caring mother and friend. Ivana Trump was a survivor.
“She fled from communism and embraced this country,” the statement continued. “She taught her children about grit and toughness, compassion and determination. She will be dearly missed by her mother, her three children and ten grandchildren.”
A Czech-born ski racer and sometime model, Ivana Trump married the future president in 1977.
She became an icon in her own right, dripping with ’80s style and elegance, complete with accent and her signature beehive hairdo. She would eventually appear in the 1996 hit film The First Wives Club with the now-famous line: “Ladies, you have to be strong and independent, and remember, don’t get mad, get everything.”
Partners in love and business – with her playing roles such as manager of one of his Atlantic City casinos – Ivana and Donald were fixtures of New York’s see-and-be-seen scene before their equally public, and messy divorce. Donald Trump had met his next wife, Marla Maples.
During the split, Ivana Trump accused him of rape in a sworn statement in the early 1990s. She later said that she didn’t mean it literally, but rather that she felt violated.
Nevertheless, she ultimately remained friendly with her ex-husband, whom she famously called “The Donald”. She enthusiastically backed his 2016 White House run and told the New York Post in 2016 that she was both a supporter and an adviser.