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Ivana Trump

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Ivana Trump
Ivana Trump cropped retouched.jpg
Trump in 2007
Ivana Marie Zelníčková

(1949-02-20) February 20, 1949 (age 70)
Alma materCharles University
  • Businesswoman
  • model
Years active1970–present
  • Alfred Winklmayr
    (m. 1971; div. 1973)
  • Donald Trump
    (m. 1977; div. 1992)
  • Riccardo Mazzucchelli
    (m. 1995; div. 1997)
  • Rossano Rubicondi
    (m. 2008; div. 2009)

Ivana Marie Trump (née Zelníčková; Czech: [ˈzɛlɲiːtʃkovaː], born February 20, 1949) is a businesswoman and former model who was the first wife of Donald Trump. They married in 1977 and divorced in 1992. They have three children together, Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka Trump, and Eric Trump.

Early life

Ivana Zelníčková was born on February 20, 1949 in the Moravian town of Zlín (formerly known as Gottwaldov), Czechoslovakia, the daughter of Miloš Zelníček (1927–1990) and Marie Zelníčková (née Francová).[1][2][3][4] From the age of 13, her father nurtured and encouraged her skiing talent. In the early 1970s, she attended Charles University in Prague.[5]

According to Trump, she was selected as an alternate on the Czechoslovak ski team during the 1972 Winter Olympics, her specialties being the downhill and slalom.[6] However, in 1989, Petr Pomezný, Secretary General of the Czechoslovak Olympic Committee, said, "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."[7]


In 1971, Zelníčková married Austrian ski instructor Alfred Winklmayr to obtain Austrian citizenship to be able to leave Communist Czechoslovakia without defecting and not being able to return to visit her parents.[8][9][10][11] She received her Austrian passport in March 1972[12] and, as Ivana Winklmayr, in 1973 obtained an absentee divorce from Alfred Winklmayr in Los Angeles, California, where he had moved to teach skiing.[8][9][12] After her then boyfriend George (Jiři) Staidl was killed in a car accident in 1973,[13] Ivana moved to Canada where she lived with George (Jiři) Syrovatka whom she had dated since 1967; he had defected to Canada in 1971 and owned a ski boutique in Montreal.[8][4][9][11] For the following two years, she lived in Montreal, improved her English by taking night courses at McGill University,[citation needed] and worked as a model.[4][11] Her modeling jobs included promoting the 1976 Summer Olympics that were being hosted in Montreal.[4][11]

Ivana and Donald Trump, 1985

In this capacity Ivana was in New York City with a group of models in 1976 where she met Donald Trump.[11] Donald Trump and Ivana M. Winklmayr were married in 1977 in a lavish wedding officiated by Norman Vincent Peale.[14][15][16] Donald and Ivana Trump became leading figures in New York society during the 1980s. They worked on several large projects, including the renovation of the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City, construction of the Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort in Atlantic City, New Jersey, and the Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.[17][18]

They had three children: Donald Trump Jr. (born December 31, 1977), Ivanka Trump (born October 30, 1981), and Eric Trump (born January 6, 1984). Donald Jr. 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 Eric was not exposed to the language because at the time of his birth his grandparents were already comfortable enough in using English.[19][20] Ivana has nine grandchildren.[21]

Ivana took a major role in The Trump Organization. She became the Vice President of Interior Design for the company, leading 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.[22][23]

In October 1990, Ivana Trump's 63-year-old father died suddenly from a heart attack. According to The Guardian, her father – Miloš Zelníček – was an informer for Czechoslovakia's Státní bezpečnost (StB) intelligence service and relayed information from Ivana Trump, including a prediction that George HW Bush would win the 1988 presidential election.[24] Ivana stood side-by-side with her husband Donald at the funeral in Zlín.[25] Jaroslav Jansa, codename "Jarda" and secret collaborator to the StB also attended the funeral.[24] That Christmas, when the family was on vacation in Aspen, Colorado, Ivana Trump encountered Marla Maples on the ski slopes.[26]

Ivana met with King Fahd of Saudi Arabia, 1985

The Trumps' divorce proceedings appeared on New York tabloid newspapers' covers for 11 days in a row, and Liz Smith wrote about nothing else for three months.[27] Their divorce, in a deposition for which she accused him of rape and of pulling out handfuls of her hair, was settled in 1991. However, in 2018, in a TV interview on Good Morning Britain she stated that Donald Trump had never touched her badly and that it was in fact the lawyers who had suggested to make these false accusations. A condition of settlement was that she not talk about their marriage without his permission.[28] The divorce was finalized in 1992.[29][30]

In 1995, she married Riccardo Mazzucchelli.[31] She filed a $15 million breach of contract suit against Mazzucchelli for violating the confidentiality clause in their prenuptial agreement.[32] In 1997, Mazzucchelli sued Ivana and Donald for libel.[33]

In the summer of 1997, she began dating Roffredo Gaetani; that continued until his death in 2005.[34]

In April 2008, Ivana, then 59, married Rossano Rubicondi, then 36.[35] The $3 million wedding for 400 guests was hosted by ex-husband Donald Trump at his Mar-a-Lago estate. Daughter Ivanka Trump was her maid of honor.[36] On December 1, 2008, Ivana 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. In December 2009, she said she had filed for divorce from Rubicondi;[37] the couple has continued to be seen together as recently as May 5, 2018.[38]


Business ventures

Soon after her divorce from Donald Trump in 1992, she developed lines of clothing, fashion jewelry and beauty products that have been sold through television shopping channels.

In 2005, Trump was involved in several proposed condominium projects that ultimately failed, including the never-built Ivana Las Vegas, and the Bentley Bay in Miami, Florida.[39][40]

In 2010, she sued the Finnish fashion company, Ivana Helsinki, accusing it of selling women's clothing that incorporates her name without permission.[41]


She has written several novels, including, For Love Alone (1992), Free to Love (1993) and a self-help book called, The Best is Yet to Come: Coping with Divorce and Enjoying Life Again (1995).

In June 1995, she began writing an advice column for Globe, titled Ask Ivana, about love and life.[42] In 1998, she bought 33% of Croatia's second-largest daily newspaper – with a circulation of 100,000 – she used to travel with her parents from the Czech Republic to Croatia on vacation.[43][44] In February 1999, she launched her own lifestyle magazine titled Ivana's Living in Style.[45] In 2001, she contributed an advice column for Divorce magazine.[46] In January 2010, Trump ended her advice column in Globe to pursue other business interests.[47]

In 2017, she released an autobiography, Raising Trump, that covers her own upbringing and the early years of raising her children with Donald Trump.[48]

Media appearances

She played a cameo role in the Hollywood film The First Wives Club (1996) with the line, "Ladies you have to be strong and independent. And remember: don't get mad, get everything."[49]

She was the host of Oxygen Network's reality-dating program Ivana Young Man, which aired in 2006.[50]

In 2008, she was a boardroom advisor on The Apprentice.

In 2010, Trump took part in the UK's Celebrity Big Brother, finishing seventh.[51]


  1. ^ Hurt III 1993, p. 96.
  2. ^ "Extchyně amerického prezidenta Marie Zelníčková (92) ze Zlína: Trump mi říká bábrle!". October 23, 2018. Retrieved June 1, 2019.
  3. ^ "Marie Zelníčková (born Francová)". Retrieved June 1, 2019.
  4. ^ a b c d Prachi Gupta, "6 Things You Need to Know About Donald Trump's First Wife, Ivana". Cosmopolitan. March 16, 2017. Retrieved October 1, 2017.
  5. ^ van Meter, Johnathan (May 1989). "That's Why the Lady is a Trump". Spy. Sussex Publishers, LLC. ISSN 0890-1759 – via Google Books.
  6. ^ Bell, B., "They met, they saw and they conquered: Donald and Ivana Trump seemed to have it all", Daily News|location=New York, February 11, 1990.
  7. ^ van Meter, Johnathan (May 1989). "That's Why the Lady is a Trump". Spy. Sussex Publishers, LLC. ISSN 0890-1759. Retrieved June 30, 2013 – via Google Books.
  8. ^ a b c Hurt III 1993, p. 99.
  9. ^ a b c Lague, Louise (March 19, 1990). "Ivana Alone". People Magazine. Retrieved November 4, 2018.
  10. ^ McCauley, Dana (May 1, 2016). "This is the woman who made Donald Trump a household name". People Magazine. Retrieved November 4, 2018.
  11. ^ a b c d e Gross, Michael (October 15, 1990). "Ivana's New Life". New York Magazine. Retrieved November 4, 2018.
  12. ^ a b Conconi, Chuck (February 22, 1990). "PERSONALITIES". Retrieved November 22, 2017 – via
  13. ^ Burleigh 2018, p. 82.
  14. ^ Barrett 2016, p. 132.
  15. ^ Blair 2015, p. 300.
  16. ^ Mahler, Jonathan; Flegenheimer, Matt (June 20, 2016). "What Donald Trump Learned From Joseph McCarthy's Right-Hand Man". The New York Times. Retrieved June 3, 2019.
  17. ^ "After The Gold Rush". Vanity Fair. August 1990. Retrieved January 10, 2016. "They were married in New York during Easter of 1977. Mayor Beame attended the wedding at Marble Collegiate Church. Donald had already made his alliance with Roy Cohn, who would become his lawyer and mentor.
  18. ^ "The Empire and Ego of Donald Trump". The New York Times. August 7, 1983. Retrieved October 31, 2016.
  19. ^ "Ivana Trump Now Fashions Herself As Plaza's Innkeeper". Retrieved August 11, 2016.
  20. ^ "Did Their Father Really Know Best?". New York. Retrieved August 11, 2016.
  21. ^ Corcoran, Kieran (June 16, 2015). "Dad for President! Donald Trump's five children steal the spotlight at 2016 announcement – with nine-year-old Barron looking all grown up". Daily Mail. Retrieved February 2, 2016.
  22. ^ "Ivana Trump becomes U.S. citizen". Associated Press. May 27, 1988. Retrieved August 21, 2015.
  23. ^ Hurt III 1993, p. 236.
  24. ^ a b Harding, Luke (October 29, 2018). "'A very different world' – inside the Czech spying operation on Trump". The Guardian. Retrieved October 29, 2018.
  25. ^ Libiger, Milan; Železník, Tomáš (November 11, 2016). "Trumpa přivedl do Zlína tchánův pohřeb, děti sem jezdily na prázdniny". (in Czech). Retrieved January 19, 2019. Father-in-law's funeral brought Trump to Zlín, his children used to spend holidays there
  26. ^ Lavin, Cheryl. "With 'Dynasty' Dead, Just Tune To The Trumps". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved October 13, 2016.
  27. ^ Leland, John (July 30, 2017). "Life Among the Boldface Names". The New York Times. p. MB1. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved July 28, 2017.
  28. ^ Mak, Tim (July 27, 2015). "Ex-Wife: Donald Trump Made Me Feel 'Violated' During Sex". The Daily Beast. Retrieved May 10, 2017.
  29. ^ "Court docs reveal Donald Trump's 'cruel' treatment of Ivana". NY Daily News. Retrieved October 15, 2017.
  30. ^
  31. ^ "Riccardo, We Hardly Knew Ye :". People. Retrieved July 22, 2016.
  32. ^ "Ivana wants to muzzle soon-to-be-ex". Daily News. New York. Retrieved July 22, 2016.
  33. ^ "Husband sues Ivana and Donald Trump for libel". The Independent. July 29, 1997. Retrieved July 22, 2016.
  34. ^ Wadler, Joyce (March 20, 1998). "PUBLIC LIVES; Ivana's Boy Toy (for the Record, He's a Prince)". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved March 29, 2017.
  35. ^ Marx, Linda. "Ivana Trump Marries for the Fourth Time – Weddings, Ivana Trump". People. Retrieved October 24, 2012.
  36. ^ Ivana Trump weds actor Rossano Rubicondi: report Reuters
  37. ^ "Ivana Trump divorcing husband Rubicondi". United Press International. December 27, 2009. Retrieved February 24, 2018.
  38. ^ "Ivana Trump Appeared On Italian Dancing With The Stars With Ex-Husband Rubicondi".
  39. ^ Robison, Jennifer (August 15, 2005). "High-Rise Development: Ivana buys into project". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Archived from the original on October 29, 2005.
  40. ^ Clarke, Norm (July 19, 2006). "Pamela, Kid Rock finally to marry". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Archived from the original on July 20, 2006.
  41. ^ Ivana Trump sues Finnish designer over name:report Reuters
  42. ^ "Ask Ivana". The Daily Gazette. June 1, 1995. Retrieved November 28, 2016.
  43. ^ "Successful Beach Polo Premiere in Croatia". POLO+10 The Polo Magazine. May 19, 2016.
  44. ^ Tribune New Services (January 22, 1998). "And The Town's Name Rang A Bell With Her". Chicago Tribune.
  45. ^ White, Diane (February 24, 1999). "Picture This: Ivana Has Her Own Magazine". Boston Globe. Retrieved November 29, 2016.
  46. ^ Zwecker, Bill, "Ivana's trump? Divorce column that shares all she's learned", Chicago Sun-Times, January 24, 2001
  47. ^ Trump, Ivana (January 25, 2010). "Bye, Bye Ivana!". Globe. p. 18. Dear Readers: After years of hard work and devoted service as GLOBE's advice columnist, I regretfully have decided to resign from the position. While I have thoroughly enjoyed being a part of the GLOBE family, as well as the many friendships that I have developed over the years, other business pursuits, both nationally and internationally, will not allow me to devote the attention necessary to the column and to my readers.
  48. ^ Trump, Ivana (October 2017). Raising Trump. Gallery Books. ISBN 978-1-5011-7728-6.
  49. ^ Cettl, Robert (2010). Film Talk. Wider Screenings. p. 54. ISBN 9780987050038.
  50. ^ Peyser, Andrea (April 30, 2006). "Ivana: Give Me a Stud; Boy-Toy Joy On Her Dating Reality Show". New York Post. Retrieved November 29, 2017.
  51. ^ Celebrity Big Brother: Ivana Trump makes a magical entrance into the house Daily Mail, January 9, 2010

Further reading

External links