Ivana Trump was a larger-than-life celebrity, dubbed an “inspiration” by her daughter Ivanka Trump. Ivana’s only daughter told People in 2016 that her mother is the “ultimate role model.” Ivana had a good relationship with her children; Their youngest son, Eric, told Gayle King (via Us Weekly), “I have the best mom in the world … She’s bigger than life.” After the death of their mom, Ivanka tweeted a poignant tribute. “Mom was brilliant, charming, passionate and hilariously funny,” the former first daughter wrote. “She lived life to the fullest — and never passed up an opportunity to laugh and dance.” Ivana rose to fame as Mrs. Donald Trump, but after her divorce, she became a celebrity herself.
The first Mrs. Trump made a hilarious cameo in the 1996 film The First Wives Club. Ivana delivered her famous line, “Don’t go crazy, get it all!” Although she was humorous, Ivana never found humor in Donald’s second wife, Marla Maples. Ivana called Maples the “show girl” to the end. In an excerpt from Raising Trump (via The Daily Beast), Ivana wrote, “I’m not saying that without the showgirl Donald and I would still be together or that my life hasn’t existed since our divorce. It wasn’t a wonderful adventure full of love, travel, success and laughter. I’ve had a fabulous life.” Ivana’s anger at Maples stemmed from the effects of the divorce on their children. She explained the children have “deep scars from that time in our lives, partly as a result of their actions.”
Ivana has always had her own way of doing things — even in highly structured settings like rehab.
Ivana Trump’s girlfriend opens up about her time in rehab
Guinness heiress Ivana Lowell paid tribute to her friend Ivana Trump by writing a column about her time in rehab. In an Air Mail essay titled “The Other Ivana,” Lowell shared stories from her time with the late Ivana in a way she would likely love. The Guinness heiress was surprised to find out there was another Ivana at the Malibu rehab facility after meeting her. But the two Ivanas quickly became friends when the former Mrs. Trump said: “Darlink, you have to tell me your story. Come and talk to me.” Lowell spilled that Ivana — who claimed she was there because of “exhaustion” — could did not follow the rehab rules. She brought along her much younger boyfriend Roberto, she never went to a group meeting and she made everyone call her Maria, not Ivana.
Lowell wrote that Ivana initially didn’t disclose why she was in rehab. Over time, the former Mrs. Trump “spoke at length about the abusive marriage she had been in, how much she had suffered at the hands of this man, and how much she hated him.” There were reports that Donald Trump had attacked Ivana, which were later retracted, per The Daily Beast.
At the end of her stay, Ivana invited a group of her rehab friends over for dinner and even offered champagne to accompany the fancy meal. On her last day in rehab, Ivana gifted Lowell with… IVANA perfume. The handwritten note accompanying the gift read, “With love from one Ivana to another.”
Stories about Ivana Trump show her zest for life
The stories told by Ivanka Trump at Ivana Trump’s funeral showcased a love for life that even rehab couldn’t eclipse. The New York Times wrote about Ivanka’s eulogy, describing how Ivana made fun of her for leaving a party at 1 a.m. while “she stayed until 4.” Ivanka joked that her mother’s motto was “flaunt her while you’ve got her” and that her mother’s reaction after hearing that she had converted to Orthodox Judaism to marry Jared Kushner was hilarious. Ivana quipped, “Ivanka must really love him if she’s ready to give up Hummer.” But it wasn’t just Ivana’s zest for life — some people credit her with helping Donald Trump become a mogul.
In an interview with The Atlantic, former Vanity Fair editor Tina Brown said, “I think Ivana was hugely important to Donald Trump’s rise — she socially domesticated the beast.” Brown explained, “Before and after her, you never had Trump with you a top meeting or a cultural opening. She got him in circles he’d been eyeing from the outside and created an aura of glamor.” The New York Times credits Ivana with helping Donald become “The Donald.” The Times wrote that while her husband could be “bold and often boorish,” Ivana “appeared charming and sophisticated to the city’s wealthy elite and opened doors to exclusive social circles.”
But Ivana’s greatest achievement was her children, and she took credit for raising them. In her book, Raising Trump (via The New York Times), she wrote, “I believe the credit for raising such great children is mine.”