Trump in 2007
Ivana Marie Zelní?ková
February 20, 1949
|Alma mater||Charles University|
Ivana Marie Trump (née Zelní?ková; Czech: ['z?l?i:t?kova:], born February 20, 1949) is a Czech former model and businesswoman, 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.
Ivana Zelní?ková was born on February 20, 1949 in the Moravian town of Zlín (formerly known as Gottwaldov), Czechoslovakia, the daughter of Milo? Zelní?ek, who was Czech, and Marie Francová, who was Austrian. From the age of 13, her father nurtured and encouraged her skiing talent. In the early 1970s, she attended Charles University in Prague.
According to Zelní?ková, she was selected as an alternate on the Czechoslovak ski team during the 1972 Winter Olympics, her specialties being the downhill and slalom. 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."
In 1971, Zelní?ková married Austrian ski instructor Alfred Winkelmayr to enable her to leave Communist Czechoslovakia. She received her Austrian passport in March 1972 and left for Canada in September 1972. The marriage was formally dissolved in 1973. In Canada she lived with her boyfriend George (Ji?i) Syrovatka whom she had been dating since 1967 and who had emigrated to Canada in 1972 and owned a ski boutique in Montreal. For the following two years, she lived in Montreal, improved her English by taking night courses at McGill University, and worked as a model. Her modeling jobs included promoting the 1976 Summer Olympics that were being hosted in Montreal.
In this capacity Zelní?ková was in New York City with a group of models in 1976 where she met Donald Trump. They were married in 1977 in a lavish wedding officiated by Norman Vincent Peale. 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.
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. Ivana has nine grandchildren.
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.
In October 1990, Ivana Trump's 63-year-old father died suddenly from a heart attack. According to The Guardian, her father - Milo? Zelní?ek - was an informer for Czechoslovakia's Státní bezpe?nost (StB) intelligence service and relayed information from Ivana Trump, including a prediction that George HW Bush would win the 1988 presidential election. Ivana stood side-by-side with her husband Donald at the funeral in Prague. Jaroslav Jansa, codename "Jarda" and secret collaborator to the StB also attended the funeral. That Christmas, when the family was on vacation in Aspen, Colorado, Ivana Trump encountered Marla Maples on the ski slopes.
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. 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 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. The divorce was finalized in 1992.
In 1995, she married Riccardo Mazzucchelli. She filed a $15 million breach of contract suit against Mazzucchelli for violating the confidentiality clause in their prenuptial agreement. In 1997, Mazzucchelli sued Ivana and Donald for libel.
In the summer of 1997, she began dating Roffredo Gaetani; that continued until his death in 2005.
In April 2008, Ivana, then 59, married Rossano Rubicondi, then 36. 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. 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; the couple has continued to be seen together as recently as May 5, 2018.
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.
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. 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. In February 1999, she launched her own lifestyle magazine titled Ivana's Living in Style. In 2001, she contributed an advice column for Divorce magazine. In January 2010, Trump ended her advice column in Globe to pursue other business interests.
In 2008, she was a boardroom advisor on The Apprentice.
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.