Ivana Trump in 2007
|Born||Ivana Marie Zelníčková
February 20, 1949
Gottwaldov, Moravia, Czechoslovak Republic
(now Czech Republic)
|Occupation||Businesswoman, model, author, socialite|
|Political party||Republican|
|Spouse(s)||Alfred Winklmayr (1971–1973)
Donald Trump (1977–1992)
Riccardo Mazzucchelli (1995–1997)
Rossano Rubicondi (2008–2009)
|Children||Donald Trump, Jr.
Ivana Marie Trump (née Zelníčková, Czech pronunciation: [ˈɪvana ˈmarɪjɛ ˈzɛlɲiːt͡ʃkovaː], February 20, 1949) is a Czech-American socialite and former fashion model, known for her first marriage to Donald Trump.
Ivana Zelníčková was born in the Moravian town of Zlín (before known as Gottwaldov), Czechoslovakia, the daughter of Miloš Zelníček and Marie Francová. From a very young age, her father nurtured and encouraged her skiing talent. She has claimed that she was selected as an alternate on the 1972 Czechoslovak Olympic Ski Team. However, in 1989, Petr Pomezny, Secretary General of the Czechoslovak Olympic Committee, stated, "Who is this Ivana woman, and why do people keep calling us about her? We have searched so many times and have consulted many, many people, and there is no such girl in our records."
In 1971 Ivana married real estate agent Alfred Winklmayr. They were divorced in 1973. She left Czechoslovakia for Canada to be with a childhood friend, George Syrovatka, who owned a ski boutique there. For the following two years, she lived in Montreal, improved her English by taking night courses at McGill University, and worked as a model for some of Canada's top fur companies. Ivana then left Syrovatka and moved to New York to promote the Montreal Olympics.
It was in New York that Ivana met Donald Trump, son of prominent real estate developer Fred Trump. On April 7, 1977, she married Donald in a lavish society wedding. Donald and Ivana Trump became leading figures in New York society during the 1980s. They set to work on several massive projects, including the renovation of the Grand Hyatt Hotel and construction of the Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort in Atlantic City, New Jersey and the Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. They had three children: Donald John Jr. (born December 31, 1977), Ivanka Marie (born October 30, 1981), and Eric Fredrick (born January 6, 1984). The older son learned to speak fluent Czech (with help of his maternal grandfather), while daughter Ivanka has only basic understanding of her mother's native tongue and the younger son was not exposed to the language because at the time of his birth his grandparents were already comfortable enough in using English. Ivana Trump has eight grandchildren.
Ivana took a major role in the Trump Organization. She became the Vice President of Interior Design for the company, spearheading the signature design of Trump Tower. Afterwards, her then-husband appointed her to head up the Trump Castle Hotel and Casino as president. She became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1988, with Donald at her side.
In the late 1980s, Ivana decided to leave Atlantic City in order to devote more time to her family. However, her husband asked her to oversee the restoration of the landmark Plaza Hotel, and she took over as its president. She was named Hotelier of the Year in 1990. Her work at the Plaza would be the zenith of her work within the Trump Organization. Towards the end of that year, rumors began to circulate that her husband was having an affair with a former beauty queen from Georgia, Marla Maples. While the family was on vacation in Aspen, Colorado that Christmas, she encountered Maples on the ski slopes; their confrontation was reported in the New York Post the following day. In 1991, she retained entertainment attorney Neil Papiano and filed for divorce, seeking a greater amount of the family fortune than had been set out in her prenuptial agreement. Her husband fought back in court, protesting her claims that she had contributed to the Trump Organization.
The divorce proceedings led to extensive pieces in the gossip columns. In October 1990 her 63-year-old father died suddenly from a heart attack. The Trumps stood side-by-side at the funeral. Their divorce was settled after that in 1992. Although the settlement remains sealed by the courts, it is rumored that Ivana received $20 million; the $14 million family estate in Connecticut; a $5 million housing allowance; $350,000 annual alimony; all of her jewelry; and 49% of Mar-a-Lago, the family home in Palm Beach, Florida, that also serves as a private club for the Palm Beach elite. Not long after her divorce from Donald, Ivana married Riccardo Mazzucchelli. The marriage was dissolved before two years had elapsed, and she filed a $15 million breach of contract suit against Mazzucchelli for violating the confidentiality clause in their prenuptial agreement. The suit was settled out of court. In 1997, Mazzucchelli sued Ivana and Donald for libel.
In April 2008, Ivana, then 59, married Rossano Rubicondi, then 36. The $3 million wedding for 400 guests was hosted by Donald at his Mar-a-Lago estate. Trump's daughter Ivanka was her maid of honor. On December 1, 2008, Trump confirmed to the Associated Press that she had filed a legal separation agreement three months previously; she has stated in interviews that she and her husband have an on-again/off-again relationship.
Soon after her divorce from Donald Trump, she signed on with the William Morris Agency and developed lines of clothing, fashion jewelry and beauty products that have been successfully sold through television shopping channels. She has also written several bestselling books including the novels For Love Alone, Lucy Wilkins and Free to Love as well as a self-help book The Best is Yet to Come: Coping with Divorce and Enjoying Life Again. In 2001, she penned an advice column for Divorce Magazine. She played a cameo role in the Hollywood film The First Wives Club with the memorable line, "Ladies you've have to be strong and independent. And remember: don't get mad, get everything."
In 2005, she was involved in several proposed condominium projects that ultimately failed, including the unbuilt Ivana Las Vegas, and the Bentley Bay in Miami, Florida. She was the host of Oxygen Network's reality-dating series Ivana Young Man in 2006. In 2010, she sued a Finnish fashion company, accusing it of selling women's clothing that incorporates her name without permission. In the same year, she took part in the UK's Celebrity Big Brother, finishing seventh.
In popular culture
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- Ivana Trump weds actor Rossano Rubicondi: report Reuters
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- Ivana Trump sues Finnish designer over name:report Reuters
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- "The Story of Absolutely Fabulous," BBC, broadcast 2/1/04. http://www.bbc.co.uk/comedy/abfab/vault/specials/storyofabfab.shtml