Mon. Mar 20th, 2023

Ivana Trump, the Czech American businesswoman and ex-wife of former President Donald Trump, died Thursday in Manhattan. She was 73.

The 45th president announced the death of his first wife and mother of his three eldest children, Donald Jr., Ivanka and Eric, on his Truth Social platform.

“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. “She was a wonderful, beautiful, and amazing woman, who led a great and inspirational life.”

He continued: “Her pride and joy were her three children, Donald Jr., Ivanka, and Eric. She was so proud of them, as we were all so proud of her. Rest In Peace, Ivana!”

Police are investigating whether Ivana Trump may have fallen down the stairs at her home on East 64th Street, police sources told The Post. She was found at the bottom of the staircase and was believed to have suffered cardiac arrest, though the city’s Medical Examiner’s Office will determine the official cause of death.

The Trumps are seen in this family photo posted by son Eric on Instagram.The Trumps are seen in this family photo posted by son Eric on Instagram.Norman Parkinson / Iconic Images Donald Trump and Ivana Trump attend Second Annual Manhattan Awards on May 18, 1988 at the Plaza Hotel in New York City.Donald Trump and Ivana Trump attend the Second Annual Manhattan Awards on May 18, 1988, at the Plaza Hotel in New York City.Ron Galella Collection via Getty Donald and Ivana married in 1977 and had three children together.Donald and Ivana married in 1977 and had three children together.Popperfoto via Getty Images Eric Trump is seen leaving his mom Ivana's house on Thursday afternoon.Eric Trump is seen leaving his mom Ivana’s house on Thursday afternoon.Brigitte Stelzer for NY Post

Building staff discovered her body around 12:40 p.m. and called the cops, sources said.

Ivana Trump’s health had been declining over the past few years, a source close to the family said.

Born Ivana Marie Zelníčková in Czechoslovakia, Ivana Trump was a competitive skier in her youth, almost making the Olympic team, by some accounts. 

She worked as a model in the early ’70s, and met future husband Donald Trump in New York City in 1976. They married a year later. The two divorced in 1992, but she kept her ex-husband’s famous surname.   

Ivana Trump has died at 73.Ivana Trump has died at 73.Annie Wermiel/NY Post Ivana Trump and Donald Trump attend the 1989 U.S. Open.Ivana Trump and Donald Trump attend the 1989 U.S. Open.Ron Galella Collection via Getty

Ivana Trump was known for her taste for the finer things in life, her gaudy interior designs and her big blond hair. 

Her marriage to the then-real estate mogul thrust her into the spotlight, where she both shined and struggled. As a fixture of 1980s New York high society, Ivana Trump called the likes of Michael Jackson her friends and routinely found herself on the covers of magazines and papers. 

The Trumps marriage was front page fodder for the Post on numerous occasions.The Trumps’ marriage was front-page fodder for The Post on numerous occasions. The Trumps divorce did not become final until 1992.The Trumps’ divorce did not become final until 1992.

“You couldn’t walk down the street without people stopping her. Not everyone loved Donald Trump, everyone loved Ivana Trump,” her friend and former publicist Todd Shapiro told The Post. “She always brought her dog with her, Tiger. Tiger would sit with her at the table wherever she went. Tiger was her partner in crime.”

Outside his mother’s townhouse on Thursday after her death was announced, Eric Trump told reporters, “It’s a very sad day, guys. It’s a very sad day,” as he left with wife Lara Trump.

In a statement, he said that “our mother was an incredible woman — a force in business, a world-class athlete, a radiant beauty, and caring mother and friend. 

“She will be dearly missed by her mother, her three children and ten grandchildren,” he added.

A source close to Ivanka Trump told The Post the former first daughter was in “shock” over her mother’s death.

Donald Trump with first wife, Ivana, at their Greenwich, Conn. mansion in 1987.Donald Trump with first wife Ivana at their Greenwich, Conn., mansion in 1987.Getty Images

“They were super close,” the source said, adding that Ivana Trump had spent her last days with family in New York City.

In an Instagram post Thursday, Ivanka Trump wrote she was “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. She lived life to the fullest — never forgoing an opportunity to laugh and dance,” she said.

Ivana Trump proudly worked for the former president throughout their 15-year marriage. She was the CEO and president of the Atlantic City, NJ, casino Trump’s Castle in the ’80s and held the role of the Trump Organization’s vice president of interior design and manager of the Plaza Hotel.

Ivana and Donald's marriage was the subject of much scrutiny.Ivana and Donald’s marriage was the subject of much scrutiny.Corbis via Getty Images

In 1988, she told Vanity Fair that “Donald calls me his twin as a woman” and often referred to the former president as “The Donald.”

Her friend of five decades Roger Stone told The Post following her death that besides being “a gracious lady, a great mother and an incredible hostess … Ivana was also a great businesswoman and manager.”

“She ran a tight ship at the Plaza Hotel and greatly improved the performance of the property,” he said.

Shapiro said she ran the New Jersey casino “like a five-star general.”

But the power couple’s marriage soured when Donald Trump’s affair with model Marla Maples became public. The pair went on to marry and have a daughter, Tiffany Trump.

Ivana and Donald Trump’s resulting divorce garnered international attention, and during a deposition for its proceedings, she accused her then-husband of rape. She later disavowed the allegation when Donald Trump was running for office in 2015.

“I have recently read some comments attributed to me from nearly 30 years ago at a time of very high tension during my divorce from Donald,” she said in the July 2015 statement. “The story is totally without merit. Donald and I are the best of friends and together have raised 3 children that we love and are very proud of.”

Ivana Trump tried to take her ex-husband for all he was worth, including the Plaza Hotel. She told Oprah Winfrey in an interview at the time that “I will not let men dominate me anymore.”

Family portrait of, from left, socialite Ivana Trump, her son Eric Trump, her former husband Donald Trump, and her daughter Ivanka Trump as they sit at a table at the Mar-a-Lago estate, Palm Beach, Florida, 1998.(From left) Socialite Ivana Trump, her son Eric Trump, her former husband Donald Trump, and her daughter Ivanka Trump sit at a table at the Mar-a-Lago estate, Palm Beach, Florida, 1998.Getty Images

In a not-so-subtle nod to the breakup, Ivana Trump made an iconic cameo in the 1996 film “The First Wives Club” that helped cement her legacy as a cultural icon beyond her marriage. 

“Ladies, you have to be strong and independent. And remember, don’t get mad — get everything,” she said in the film.

Still, the former couple remained close throughout the rest of her life. A source close to the family told The Post that she called Donald Trump all the time during his presidency to give him advice. She often called herself the “real Mrs. Trump,” much to his now-wife Melania Trump’s irritation.

She claims to have turned down the president’s offer to be an ambassador to her home country, the Czech Republic, saying she preferred her freedom. “I would hate Washington,” she said in 2017, adding she didn’t envy Melania Trump’s role as first lady.

 “Would I straighten up the White House in 14 days? Absolutely. Can I give the speech for 45 minutes without teleprompter? Absolutely. Can I read a contract? Can I negotiate? Can I entertain? Absolutely. But I would not really like to be there,” she said.

Ivana Trump went on to marry twice after Donald Trump — first in 1995 to Italian businessman Riccardo Mazzucchelli, whom she divorced two years later, and again to Rossano Rubicondi in 2008. Rubicondi, an Italian model and actor, was more than 20 years her junior. 

The couple was married at Mar-a-Lago in a wedding hosted by the former president, and daughter Ivanka served as the maid of honor. They divorced a year later, but later got back together until officially ending things in 2019. Rubicondi, who was often referred to as Ivana’s boy toy, died in 2021 from melanoma complications.

During the final years of her life, Ivana Trump split her time among New York, Miami and St-Tropez. 

Ivana and Rossano Rubicondi married in 2008.Ivana and Rossano Rubicondi married in

While she was known for her extravagant lifestyle, sources told Page Six in 2018 that she would often scarf down hot dogs from an Upper East Side food cart.

Former Vanity Fair columnist George Wayne said he was “very close” with Ivana Trump, whom he called his “Godmama Ivana” and who he said was, to the surprise of many, “really quite the recluse.” She became more withdrawn during the Trump presidency, he said.

Her next-door neighbor on the Upper East Side, meanwhile, remembered Ivana Trump as “impeccable” with never a hair out of place.

“What can I say about her? I think her life would have been easier if she changed her name,” Broadway producer Judith Ann Abrams told The Post.

“It’s the end of an era on this block. She was always very nice to us, very friendly … I’ll miss her.”

Additional reporting by Steven Vago


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