Ivana Trump

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Ivana Trump
Ivana Trump.jpg
Ivana Trump in October 2007
Born Ivana Marie Zelníčková
(1949-02-20) February 20, 1949 (age 66)
Gottwaldov, Czechoslovakia
Ethnicity Czech
Occupation Athlete, model, socialite
Years active 1970–present
Spouse(s) Alfred Winklmayr (1971–1976)
Donald Trump (1977–1992)
Riccardo Mazzucchelli (1995–1997)
Rossano Rubicondi (2008–2009)
Children Donald Trump, Jr.
Ivanka Trump
Eric Trump
Parent(s) Miloš Zelníček
Marie Francová-Zelníčková

Ivana Marie Trump (née Zelníčková; (Czech pronunciation: [ˈɪvana ˈmarɪjɛ ˈzɛlɲiːt͡ʃkovaː]); February 20, 1949) is a Czech-American former athlete, socialite, and fashion model known for her marriage to American business magnate Donald Trump.

Early years[edit]

Zelníčková was born in the Moravian town of Gottwaldov (nowadays Zlín) in Czechoslovakia (today in the Czech Republic), the daughter of Marie (née Francová) and Miloš Zelníček.[1] From a very young age, her father nurtured and encouraged her skiing talent. She has stated that she was selected as an alternate on the 1972 Czechoslovak Olympic Ski Team. However, in 1989, Petr Pomezny, Secretary General of the Czech 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."[2]

In the early 1970s she earned a master's degree in physical education from Charles University of Prague.

Personal life[edit]

In 1971, she married real estate agent Alfred Winklemeier, but they were divorced in 1973.[3] In 1975 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 and worked as a model for some of Canada's top fur companies. She then left Syrovatka and moved to New York to promote the Montreal Olympics.

It was in New York that she met Donald Trump, son of prominent real estate developer Fred Trump. On April 7, 1977, she married Donald John Trump, in a lavish society wedding. Donald and Ivana Trump became leading figures in New York's high society and business during the 1980s. They set to work on several massive projects, including the construction of the Grand Hyatt Hotel, the Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort in Atlantic City, New Jersey, and the Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.[4][5] They had three children: Donald John (born December 31, 1977), Ivanka Marie (born October 30, 1981), and Eric Fredrick (born January 6, 1984). She has seven grandchildren.[6]

Trump 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. Trump became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1988, with Trump at her side.[7]

In the late 1980s, Trump 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. Trump's 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 holiday 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 Ivana's 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.[8] Their divorce was settled after that in 1992.[9] 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 which also serves as a private club for the Palm Beach elite. Not long after her divorce from Trump, she married Riccardo Mazzucchelli. The marriage did not make it to its second anniversary. Trump 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.[citation needed]

In April 2008, Trump, 59, married Rossano Rubicondi, who is 23 years her junior.[10] The $3 million wedding for 400 guests was hosted by ex-husband Donald Trump at his Florida Mar-A-Lago estate. Trump's daughter Ivanka, of the reality show The Apprentice, was her maid of honor.[11] 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.[12] She played a cameo role in the Hollywood film The First Wives Club with the memorable line, "Remember girls: don't get mad, get everything."

She was the host of Oxygen Network's reality-dating series Ivana Young Man in 2006. In 2010, Ivana sued a Finnish fashion company, accusing it of selling women's clothing that incorporates her name without permission.[13] In the same year, she took part in the UK's Celebrity Big Brother, finishing seventh.[14]

In popular culture[edit]

Absolutely Fabulous creator Jennifer Saunders has admitted that the character Patsy Stone (who shares Trump's characteristic blond beehive) is partially based on Trump.[15]

In the John David Coles-directed TV movie Trump Unauthorized (2005), Ivana is portrayed by actress Katheryn Winnick.


  1. ^ Novelguide.com Archived June 17, 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ van Meter, Johnathan. "That's Why the Lady is a Trump". Spy Magazine. Retrieved 30 June 2013. 
  3. ^ "After Months of Marital Swordplay, the Donald's No Longer a Hubby, and Ivana's No Longer a Trump". People. April 8, 1991. Retrieved January 10, 2016.
  4. ^ "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.
  5. ^ "THE EMPIRE AND EGO OF DONALD TRUMP". New York Times. August 7, 1983. Retrieved January 10, 2016.
  6. ^ 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 2 February 2016. 
  7. ^ "Ivana Trump becomes U.S. citizen". Associated Press. May 27, 1988. Retrieved August 21, 2015. 
  8. ^ Robert E. TomassonPublished: October 31, 1990 (1990-10-31). "Chronicle". Nytimes.com. Retrieved 2012-10-24. 
  9. ^ "IvanaTrump.com". IvanaTrump.com. Retrieved 2012-10-24. 
  10. ^ Marx, Linda. "Ivana Trump Marries for the Fourth Time - Weddings, Ivana Trump". People.com. Retrieved 2012-10-24. 
  11. ^ Ivana Trump weds actor Rossano Rubicondi: report Reuters
  12. ^ Zwecker, Bill, "Ivana's trump? Divorce column that shares all she's learned", Chicago Sun-Times, January 24, 2001
  13. ^ Ivana Trump sues Finnish designer over name:report Reuters
  14. ^ Celebrity Big Brother: Ivana Trump makes a magical entrance into the house Mail Online, January 9, 2010
  15. ^ "The Story of Absolutely Fabulous," BBC, broadcast 2/1/04. http://www.bbc.co.uk/comedy/abfab/vault/specials/storyofabfab.shtml