EXCLUSIVE: ‘She seemed happy and healthy… we’re shocked’: Boss of Ivana Trump’s favorite restaurant fights back tears as he remembers ‘wonderful lady’ and regrets not visiting her before she died aged 73
- The first wife of former President Donald Trump and mother to three of his children looked ‘terrific, happy and healthy,’ during her last weeks of life, those close to her told DailyMail.com
- Atilla Cetin, general manager at the Italian restaurant Nello, just a block from the Upper East Side townhouse where Ivana was found dead, said she looked in good spirits when he last saw her three weeks ago
- ‘She was so wonderful. [To us] she was our First Lady,’ Cetin said. ‘Even when she was walking to the restaurant and people would want to take a picture with her or talk to her, she never refused anyone’
- Ivana was found ‘unconscious and unresponsive’ in her home on the same day she was set to have her weekly hair appointment at Salih Salon, where she had been a regular for the 20 years
- Fatih Cakirca, 49, brother of salon owner, Salih, told DailyMail.com the staff at the salon was also in disbelief at Ivana’s passing as she looked very healthy and was preparing for a vacation in St. Tropez
- ‘My brother [has done her hair] for 20 years. I’ve also known her for 20 years. She was a very nice lady, we’re shocked and sad. She had an appointment today at 2 p.m. and the housekeeper just canceled,’ Cakirca said
Ivana Trump seemed ‘happy and healthy’ in the weeks before she died, her friends have revealed, as they expressed shock at her passing aged 73.
The ex-wife of the former president appeared ‘terrific’ and ‘in good spirits’ three weeks ago, the owner of her favorite restaurant told DailyMail.com.
Atilla Cetin, general manager at the Italian restaurant Nello, a block from the Upper East Side townhouse, fought back tears as he said he regretted not visiting her before she died.
Staff at her local salon, which she regularly visited, also expressed disbelief at the news, saying she looked very healthy as she prepared for a vacation in St Tropez.
Ivana died at the age of 73 after being found ‘unconscious and unresponsive’ in her New York City townhouse, hours before she had a hair salon appointment.
The socialite was found at the bottom of a set of stairs in her Manhattan home shortly before 1pm on Thursday by a staff member arriving at the residence, and investigators she may have fallen.
Atilla Cetin, general manager at the Italian restaurant Nello, just a block from the Upper East Side townhouse where Ivana was found dead, said she looked in good spirits when he last saw her three weeks ago. He would often walk her home after she dined
Fatih Cakirca, 49, brother of the owner of Salih Salon where Ivana was a regular for the last 20 years, told DailyMail.com that the staff at the salon was also in disbelief at Ivana’s passing as she looked very healthy and was preparing for a vacation in St. Tropez
Cetin shows how Ivana had texted him a DailyMail.com article picturing him walking her home in May
Where she used to sit: Cetin said he had walked past her apartment July 14 and briefly thought about checking in on her, but ultimately didn’t. He told DailyMail.com he wished he could’ve had a last conversation with Ivana
Ivana had scheduled a hair appointment in preparation for her trip to St. Tropez at Salih Salon
Nello manager Cetin, 42, told DailyMail.com: ‘She was so wonderful. [To us] she was our First Lady. Even when she was walking to the restaurant and people would want to take a picture with her or talk to her, she never refused anyone. She was always so polite, so amazing.’
Cetin said he had walked past her apartment on Wednesday and briefly thought about checking in on her, but ultimately didn’t.
‘I should come by because I hadn’t seen her in a while. I wish I had, but I didn’t want to bother her,’ Cetin told DailyMail.com, before showing how Ivana had texted him a DailyMail.com article picturing him walking her home in May.
Ivana was found ‘unconscious and unresponsive’ after reportedly suffering a cardiac arrest in her home on the same day she was set to have her weekly hair appointment at Salih Salon. She had been a regular at the salon for the 20 years.
Cetin, said Ivana looked in good health the last time he had seen her. He said she would frequent the restaurant ‘twice a week,’ or sometimes three or four times a month.
He showed DailyMail.com pictures of Ivana and Donald Trump on the restaurant’s celebrity wall.
The two developed a close relationship during Cetin’s last eight years at the restaurant, and he would often find himself laughing while talking with Ivana as he walked her home after she dined.
Most of the time, however, Cetin said Ivana visited the restaurant with friends, politicians and designers. The manager said Ivana would usually get the Ossobuco, a cross-cut veal dish braised with vegetables.
‘How she talked, how she walked … she looked like she was born in a castle. I can’t believe it, because she looked so healthy,’ Cetin said.
‘I would walk her to her house and she never complained about anything bothering her. Still, now, I want to walk there and ask, ”are you guys sure that it is her who died?”’
Ivana is seen in 2016 with her regular hairdresser Salih Cakirca. Her salon said that she missed an appointment on Thursday, the same day she was found dead in her townhouse
Cetin showed DailyMail.com pictures of Ivana and Donald Trump on the restaurant’s celebrity wall
One of the pictures showed Ivana dining at the restaurant many years ago
Nello manager Atella Cetin, said Ivana looked in good health the last time he had seen her. He said she would frequent the restaurant ‘ twice a week,’ or sometimes three or four times a month
Meanwhile Fatih Cakirca, 49, brother of salon owner, Salih, told DailyMail.com that the staff at the salon was also in disbelief at Ivana’s passing as she looked very healthy and was preparing for a vacation in St Tropez.
‘My brother [has done her hair] for 20 years. I’ve also known her for 20 years. She was a very nice lady, we’re shocked and sad. She had an appointment today at 2 p.m. and the housekeeper just canceled,’ Cakirca said.
Ivana had also scheduled a hair appointment in preparation for her trip to St Tropez at Salih Salon.
‘I know she was going to St Tropez until September. I just saw her last Friday, she came to the salon, I did her hair. She was great, nothing wrong with her,’ Fatih Carkica told DailyMail.com
‘She looked very healthy and happy. She was a very lovely lady …. Very friendly. ‘
Cakirca said that Ivana’s on-again, off-again boyfriend Rossano Rubicondi, who passed away last year, would also get her hair cut at the salon.
Rubicondi, an Italian actor, was battling liver cancer and suffered a lung aneurysm in the bathtub in October.
Ivana and Rossano dated for six years before they tied the knot in 2008 during a lavish $3 million ceremony at Mar-A-Lago, the Palm Beach estate owned by her second ex-husband, Donald Trump. She was 59 at the time, while he was 36.
A bouquet of flowers left outside Ivana’s home in the Upper East Side
Ivana Trump passed away at the age of 73 of a suspected cardiac arrest after being found ‘unconscious and unresponsive at the bottom of a set of stairs in her apartment’. She was last pictured (above) on June 22 in New York City
Ivana’s youngest child Eric, 38, was seen outside his mother’s New York home on Thursday afternoon shortly after the news of her death broke. He issued a statement to DailyMail.com in the wake of Ivana’s passing, praising her as an ‘incredible woman’
Ivana was found at the bottom of a set of stairs in her Manhattan home shortly before 1pm on Thursday by a staff member arriving at the residence, and investigators she may have fallen, possibly after suffering a medical episode. An official cause of death has yet to be confirmed.
‘It’s been a very sad day, a very sad day,’ Eric Trump said as he left his mother’s Upper East Side home near Central Park.
Ivana spent her final days preparing for a long-awaited getaway to St. Tropez on Friday, and had planned a visit to her usual hair stylist on the day she was found dead, an employee at the salon told DailyMail.com.
News of Ivana’s death was first shared by Trump, via a post on his Truth Social account on Thursday afternoon.
‘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,’ he wrote.
Trump shared three children with his ex-wife, whom he married in 1977 and divorced in 1992, and went on to pay tribute to Ivana, describing her as a ‘beautiful, amazing’ woman, while honoring her close bond with their children together: Donald Jr, Eric, and Ivanka.
Eric was joined by his wife Lara Trump, 39, who kept her face shielded with large sunglasses as she made her way out of her late mother-in-law’s home
The youngest child of Donald and Ivana Trump was seen climbing into a waiting vehicle outside of the townhouse where his mother was found dead
Ivan’s Yorkshire Terrier, named Tiger, is seen being brought out of her townhouse following her death
Ivana’s son Eric confirmed the news of Ivana’s death to DailyMail.com, saying in a statement issued on behalf of the family: ‘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. She taught her children about grit and toughness, compassion and determination.
It was reported by ABC News that Ivana was found ‘unconscious and unresponsive’ at the bottom of a set of stairs in her New York City townhouse (pictured)
‘She will be dearly missed by her mother, her three children and ten grandchildren.’
Detectives believe Trump was fatally injured falling down the stairs, perhaps after suffering a medical episode, a police official told the Daily News. Foul play is not suspected.
She was last seen alive on Wednesday at 4.30pm when her housekeeper and assistant left the home, the person said.
Two people familiar with the matter told AP that police believe her death was accidental. The medical examiner’s office will determine an official cause of death.
Police said that Ivana was discovered unresponsive at 12.40pm by cops who had been called to her Upper East Side townhouse on a wellness check, according to the New York Post.
Authorities are investigating whether a cardiac arrest may have played a role in her death, the outlet reported.
Ivana was last pictured out and about in New York City on June 22, when she was seen leaving her Upper East Side townhouse and being escorted to hair salon.
Images showed the socialite being assisted by an aide, who gave her arm to Ivana as they strolled down the sidewalk to her hair appointment.
The 73-year-old grandmother had remained highly cloistered during the COVID-19 pandemic, but planned to depart for her St. Tropez trip on Friday, her best friend Nikki Haskell told Page Six.
‘She was leaving for St. Tropez tomorrow. This was going to be her first trip away since the pandemic,’ said Haskell. ‘She was afraid of getting the virus,’
Haskell added that Ivana was ‘totally locked down’ during the pandemic and ‘wouldn’t go anywhere’ because she was so afraid of catching COVID-19.
Ivana Trump is seen walking her dog Tiger on a stroll with an aide in New York City in 2020. Friends say she had remained highly cloistered during the COVID-19 pandemic, and feared falling ill
On Thursday, an unidentified individual, center, leaves the residence of Ivana Trump with Trump’s yorkie dog called Tiger, following Trump organization executive Matthew Calamari, left, after Ivana’s death
Lara Trump and Eric Trump are seen leaving Ivan’s Manhattan home after she was found dead on Thursday
Media gather outside the residence of Ivana Trump on Thursday after her death at age 73
Ivana Trump is survived by her mother, her three children and 10 grandchildren.
Ivana’s mother, Marie Zelníčková, is 95 and due to turn 96 in September; she was last seen with her daughter in 2019, when the family gathered to mark the matriarch’s 93rd birthday.
Ivana’s daughter Ivanka Trump posted a tribute to her mother on Instagram, sharing several family photos from throughout the years.
‘Heartbroken by the passing of my mother. Mom was brilliant, charming, passionate and wickedly funny. She modeled strength, tenacity and determination in her every action,’ wrote Ivanka.
‘She lived life to the fullest — never forgoing an opportunity to laugh and dance,’ she added. ‘I will miss her forever and will keep her memory alive in our hearts always.’
Eric also took to Instagram to post a tribute to his late mother, sharing several images of the socialite and her children over the years, including photos of Ivana with her children when they were younger.
A grieving Eric was pictured leaving his late mother’s home on Thursday afternoon, at around 4.30PM ET, making his way out of the townhouse alongside his wife, Lara.
Lara posted her own touching tribute to her mother-in-law on Instagram, writing: ‘An incredible spirit…an unmatched icon…an amazing woman. We love you, Ivana.’
According to TMZ, Ivana – who was reportedly worth $100 million when she died – was discovered in her home not breathing by a female employee arriving for the day, who called 911.
Donald and Ivana Trump married in 1977 and shared three children together before divorcing in 1992
Former President Donald Trump shared the news of his ex-wife’s passing on his Truth Social account on Thursday afternoon, revealing she died in her home on New York’s Upper East Side
Ivana is seen with her children, her mother Marie Zelnickova, and other family members on Mother’s Day 2021
In his statement, Trump, 76, paid tribute to Ivana as a ‘wonderful, beautiful, and amazing woman, who led a great and inspirational life’
Ivana’s daughter Ivanka Trump posted a tribute to her mother on Instagram, sharing several family photos
Eric and Ivanka Trump pay tribute to ‘brilliant’ mom Ivana with snaps from their childhood
Ivana Trump, model and first husband of former President Donald Trump, is being remembered fondly by her children with the ex-Commander in Chief.
Her only daughter, Ivanka Trump, posted to Instagram shortly after the news of her death broke with a series of photos of them together throughout the Trumps’ lives.
‘Heartbroken by the passing of my mother,’ she wrote. ‘Mom was brilliant, charming, passionate and wickedly funny. She modeled strength, tenacity and determination in her every action. She lived life to the fullest — never forgoing an opportunity to laugh and dance. I will miss her forever and will keep her memory alive in our hearts always.’
Her youngest son, Eric Trump and his wife Lara, did the same Thursday evening. Trump’s eldest son, Donald Jr., has yet to comment.
Ivana Trump, model and first husband of former President Donald Trump, is being remembered fondly by her children with the ex-Commander in Chief
Her youngest son, Eric Trump, posted this photo of the two of them Thursday evening to Instagram
Lara Trump also shared touching pictures of her mother in law from her wedding and with her son
Ivana was born in Czechoslovakia in 1949 to an electrical engineer father, Miloš Zelníček and telephone operator mother, Marie, however she relocated to Canada in the mid-1970s, before moving to the US, where she took up residence in New York City.
Ivana is survived by her three children, as well as her 95-year-old mother, Marie Zelníčková (seen together in 1990)
The then-teen used her impressive talents as a skier in order to plan her escape from behind the Iron Curtain; before her marriage to Trump, Ivana was wed to an Austrian ski instructor, Alfred Winklmayr, a friend with whom she tied the knot in order to gain an Austrian passport, which enabled her to leave her communist home country and move to Canada.
She divorced Winklmayr shortly after she was granted an Austrian passport – and she then went on to enjoy a romance with a ski boutique owner in Montreal while also working as a ski instructor. However after just a couple of years of living in Canada, Ivana relocated to Manhattan to pursue her work as a model.
It was here that she met Trump, whom she wed in 1977, having first met him at an event that she attended with a group of fellow models.
Ivana wed Trump in a private ceremony held at Marble Collegiate Church in New York City – and they went on to have three children together: Donald Jr., born in 1977, Ivanka, born in 1981, and Eric, born in 1984.
The couple were married for 13 years before splitting in 1990 after Trump had an affair with Marla Maples, who went on to become his second wife. Ivana was awarded a hefty $14 million as part of her divorce settlement with her former husband, which was made official in 1992 – just months before Trump wed Maples.
Ivana was said to have been left furious over her then-husband’s illicit relationship with Maples, whom she repeatedly bashed in the years following her split from Trump.
The bitter divorce became tabloid fodder, and four years after the split Ivana appeared 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.’
The cameo appearance helped cement Ivana’s status as an icon for defiant divorcees and spurned brides.
Ivana and Trump shared three children: Donald Jr., Ivanka, and Eric (seen in 2011), who issued a joint statement about their mother’s passing, describing her as ‘an incredible woman’
In a statement issued to DailyMail.com by Eric Trump, the siblings (seen with Ivana and Trump as children) said: ‘Ivana Trump was a survivor. She fled from communism and embraced this country. She taught her children about grit and toughness, compassion and determination’
Ivana Trump is seen with Donald Trump and their daughter Ivanka
In 2017, Ivana detailed her feelings about Trump’s affair with Maples in her book, Raising Trump – revealing in an interview with CBS at the time that she refused to ‘talk about her’ because she was a ‘showgirl’ who would ‘never achieve anything in her life’.
She then implied that Maples was to blame for her marriage ending.
‘Well, she was flirting… and I think she was flirting and and she got away with it,’ Ivana said.
When asked if she blamed Trump now for their marriage ending, Ivana replied: ‘I’m not sure, because Donald would get 1,000 business cards in the pocket every night. He could choose any girl he wanted to have.
‘So I’m not sure if she was. There could be another one, could be another one. I really don’t know.’
Following her death on Thursday, Ivana’s divorce lawyer Ira Garr said: ‘I was really sad to hear this. Back when I was working with her, it was a really big part of my life. I represented her after her divorce.
‘There was a post-nuptial agreement in which Donald Trump would pay her an amount of money after she vacated Trump Tower and we were able to settle the matter amicably.
‘I also did her prenups for two subsequent marriages. I feel beholden to her. She referred me to a lot of her friends and brought my practice to another level.
‘All of the sudden, my clients had a lot more zeros. It came with a certain cachet to represent her, just like when I represented Rupert Murdoch in 2013.
‘I will always be grateful to these people. She always struck me as a devoted mother. She wanted her kids to have good manners, to do well in school and to work hard and be productive.
‘She was just a regular person. Down to earth. If we went to a restaurant she would always be chatting with the waiters.
‘She wasn’t a snob, she never held herself above other people. One day a young woman came into my office and I asked her how she got my name and she said, ‘From Ivana Trump.’
‘I asked, ‘How do you know Ivana?’ and she said she didn’t. She said she saw Ivana in a restaurant and followed her to the bathroom and asked ‘Who was your divorce attorney?’ and Ivana said ‘Ira Garr. Call my assistant tomorrow and she’ll give you his number.’ She was gregarious with people.
‘She invited me to her small wedding with Ricardo. When she had a retirement party for the children’s nanny she invited me and I sat at the table with her and the kids. I don’t know why, but she was always very kind to me.’
Ivana spent years working as a model – which is how she first met Trump, who, she was introduced to at an event in New York City
Trump and Ivana (pictured in 1987) tied the knot in 1977, but split in 1990 after it was revealed he’d had an affair with Marla Maples, who would later become his second wife
Following her split from Trump, Ivana began a romance with Italian businessman Riccardo Mazzucchelli, whom she wed in 1995, however the marriage was short-lived and the pair divorced just two years later.
She then went on to date and marry Italian actor Rossano Rubicondi, who passed away in October 2021 following a battle with cancer.
Rubicondi had liver cancer and suffered a lung aneurysm in the bathtub, his parents said in an interview with an Italian talk show.
Ivana and Rubicondi dated for six years before they tied the knot in 2008 during a lavish $3 million ceremony at Mar-A-Lago, the Palm Beach estate owned by none other than her second ex-husband.
She was 59 at the time, while he was 36.
The wedding was set to the theme of Shakespeare’s Midsummer Nights Dream and 400 guests attended, including the ex-President.
Ivana’s relationship with Rubicondi went through several ups and downs over the years, with the former couple splitting just a few months after their marriage in 2008 and then again in 2009.
They split for a third time in 2011, before reuniting in 2019, when they appeared on Italy’s version of Dancing With the Stars, before breaking up again just a few months later.
But Ivana and Rubicondi remained close and were often pictured together in New York up until just a few months before he passed away.
Ivana maintained a good relationship with Trump over the years, even speaking out to wish him a Happy Birthday in 2021, when she revealed that she had spoken with her ex-husband and joked to him that he shouldn’t ‘worry about his age’.
However the socialite and former downhill skier was never one to hold back when speaking about her ex-spouse.
In November 2020, following the presidential election – which Trump lost to Joe Biden – she discussed his refusal to accept the result, saying that he was ‘not a good loser’ and that he was likely going to ‘fight and fight and fight’ against conceding the race.
Rossano Rubicondi, Ivana Trump and Ivanka Trump during the 2008 wedding of Ivana Trump and Rossano Rubicondi at the Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida
Ivana is seen with her three children and Rubicondi during her 2008 wedding to the Italian actor
Ivana split from Trump in 1990 after he had an affair with Marla Maples, who went on to become his second wife. The socialite then had a lengthy on-off relationship with Italian actor Rossano Rubicondi, who she married in 2008. He passed away last year after battling cancer
Ivana’s relationship with Rubicondi (seen together in 2018) went through several ups and downs over the years, with the former couple splitting just a few months after their marriage in 2008 and then again in 2009
‘He’s not a good loser,’ she told People of Trump. ‘He doesn’t like to lose, so he’s going to fight and fight and fight.’
Ivana went on to urge the former President to accept defeat, saying: ‘He has to go and declare that he lost. I just want this whole thing to be over with, one way or the other. I really don’t care.’
She was also incredibly outspoken about her feelings towards Trump’s currently wife Melania, sensationally stating in 2017 that she was the true ‘first lady’ because she was the then-President’s first wife.
Ivana added that she had a ‘direct line’ to Trump at the White House, and spoke to him once every two weeks, but that she was always reluctant to call him because ‘Melania was there’.
‘I [don’t] really want to call him there, because Melania is there,’ she told ABC News. ‘And I don’t want to cause any kind of jealousy or something like that, because I’m basically [the] first Trump wife. OK? I’m first lady.’
However, Ivana insisted that she would never have wanted to take on the role of first lady because she would have ‘hated Washington’, despite believing that she would be the perfect person for the job.
‘Would I straighten up the White House in 14 days? Absolutely,’ she said. ‘Can I give the speech for 45 minutes without [a] teleprompter? Absolutely. Can I read a contract? Can I negotiate? Can I entertain? Absolutely. But I would not really like to be there. I like my freedom.’
In the last years of her life, Ivana – who was once a regular on the New York social scene – had shied away from glitzy public events, instead maintaining a much more low-key lifestyle.
She was spotted on occasions stepping out in the Upper East Side neighborhood where her townhouse was located, either on shopping trips, or for meals that she often enjoyed with Rubicondi, before he passed away.
In recent months, she has been accompanied by an unnamed female aide, who was frequently seen by her side whenever the socialite was pictured out in public.
‘Don’t get mad, get EVERYTHING’: How Ivana Trump went from Communist misery to wife of real estate mogul Donald and used their bitter divorce as a springboard to launch her multi-million dollar QVC empire
- Ivana came from humble Czech roots, but died a millionaire after an astonishing life
- Her talent for skiing helped her escape the Iron Curtain for Canada, with her father’s encouragement
- She met Donald Trump while on a modeling job in NYC in 1976
- Their marriage brought her huge wealth – and a massive divorce settlement
- Ivana then turned her attention to fashion design and writing
- She remained one of the world’s most famous socialites until recent years
BY JIMMY MCCLOSKEY FOR DAILYMAIL.COM
Ivana Trump’s sudden death at the age of 73 has shone a light on the impressive rise of Donald Trump’s former wife, from poor Czech immigrant to business tycoon.
Her success – fueled by a hefty $14 million divorce settlement – was so notable that she even landed a cameo role in 1996 movie hit The First Wives Club.
That saw Ivana advise three Manhattan divorcees – played by Bette Midler, Goldie Hawn and Diane Keaton – ‘Don’t get mad, get everything.’
And Ivana certainly followed her own advice after splitting from Donald, turning her attention to fashion and jewelry lines, writing and a return to a modeling career that began during the 1970s.
At the time of Ivana’s death, her fortune sat at an estimated $100 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth.
Ivana Trump’s amazing life took her from humble beginnings as a Czech skiing prodigy to one of the world’s best-known socialites who bagged a famous cameo in 1996 movie The First Wives club, which saw her poke fun at her divorce from Donald Trump
Ivana became manager of the Plaza Hotel while her husband owned the famous property, and is pictured outside the building in 1990
Ivana was born in the Czech city of Zlin in 1949, to electrical engineer father Miloš Zelníček and telephone operator mom Marie Zelníčková.
She was a prodigious skier. It was that talent – encouraged by her father – that proved the key to her escape from the gloom of life behind the Iron Curtain.
After marrying Austrian ski instructor Alfred Winklmayr – the first of her four husbands – Ivana was able to move to Canada in the early 1970s, where she worked as a ski instructor and model.
The sportswoman said she never considered modeling more than a temporary job.
But it ultimately led to her first meeting with Donald Trump during a booking in New York City in 1976.
That encounter helped propel Ivana to a life of unimaginable wealth and luxury – although she used her famed work ethic to turn her $14 million divorce settlement from Donald into an even greater fortune.
Rather than rest on her laurels during the Trumps’ tempestuous 15 year marriage, Ivana worked as executive vice president of interior design at the-then property mogul’s businesses.
That included overseeing the décor at Trump Tower in Manhattan – including its famed pink marble interior.
Ivana also oversaw construction of the Grand Hyatt Hotel in NYC, as well as the Trump Taj Mahal Casino in Atlantic city.
She later became the manager of New York City’s iconic Plaza Hotel after Donald bought the Central Park South property in 1988.
After the Trumps divorce was finalized in 1992, Ivana was handed $14 million in cash, as well as multiple properties – including a Connecticut mansion she later sold for $18 million
Despite divorcing in 1992, Donald and Ivana reunited in 1995 for a Pizza Hut commercial, which saw them poke fun of their tempestuous marriage
When Ivana’s marriage to Trump imploded in 1990, she was able to leverage a pre-nuptial agreement that had been updated four times during their marriage, to secure what was then one of the biggest divorce settlements in history.
She pocketed the cash after the split was finalized in 1992.
As well as the $14 million lump sum, Ivana was also given a 45 room Connecticut mansion, an apartment at Trump’s New York Trump Plaza apartment complex.
Ivana, pictured in an undated photo, also developed a successful career as a fashion designer, and sold glitzy clothes and jewels on QVC and the Home Shopping Network
She went on to sell the Connecticut mansion for $15 million in 1998, almost doubling her assets at a stroke.
Ivana was also granted the run of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago country club in West Palm Beach, Florida, for a month a year.
Despite the couple’s torrid divorce – triggered by Donald’s affair with Marla Maples, who became his second wife – they reunited for a pithy Pizza Hut advert in 1995 which mocked their own relationship.
The commercial saw the pair pretend to flirt on screen while implying that getting back together would be ‘wrong’ – before revealing that they were actually discussing eating pizza crust-first.
And rather than enjoy settlement, Ivana set about building herself a business career to rival her former husband’s.
She designed multiple fashion lines inspired by her famously glitzy taste in clothes and jewels, which were sold on TV channels the Home Shopping Network and QVC.
Recognizing the power of her image, Ivana would herself appear on TV to sell her wares to viewers and make them feel as if a purchase would help give them a foothold into an enviable lifestyle like hers.
The pinnacle of her career as a fashion plate came in 1995, when she opened the House of Ivana fashion and fragrance company on New York’s Park Avenue.
In 1998, Ivana dabbled in the world of media, acquiring a stake in Croatia’s Slobodna Dalmacija newspaper, which was later sold as the publication’s fortunes declined.
She dabbled in property development, but enjoyed her most consistent success by marketing her own image.
Ivana published multiple autobiographical tomes, including For Love Alone and Free To Love.
She also penned a 1995 self-help book called The Best Is Yet To come, and even turned her attention to an agony aunt column.
It was called Ask Ivanka and ran in Globe for an impressive 15 years, from 1995 to 2010.
During her later years, Ivana largely dropped out of the spotlight. In 2017 she published Raising Trump, the definitive account of her marriage to the then-newly elected president.
The tome also focused on Ivana’s relationship with the couple’s three children; Donald Jr, Ivanka and Eric.
Source: Read Full Article