Ivana Trump's memoir came out this week
It's a juicy tale of her four marriages and three children
Before Ivana Trump’s memoir, “Raising Trump,” even came out Tuesday, she was already stirring the pot.
She sparked a public feud with her ex-husband’s wife, who happens to be the first lady, calling herself “first lady” in an interview with ABC News and saying she doesn’t call the White House often despite having a direct line, as to not make Melania Trump jealous.
And she told CBS News she turned down an opportunity to be ambassador to her native Czech Republic because “I have a perfect life.”
Ivana Trump, 68, the first wife of President Donald Trump and mother to Don Jr., Ivanka and Eric, recounts her childhood in communist Czechoslovakia, romance with Donald Trump and subsequent boyfriends and husbands, the tumultuous divorce and bringing up her children – all in 293 pages.
She writes about her over-the-top life in an equally vibrant, sometimes outrageous manner. Like her ex-husband, Trump doesn’t stick to talking points, and what results is an entertaining, and sometimes embarrassing, set of anecdotes and musings about bringing up the three eldest Trump children.
Here are 23 of the book’s greatest hits:
She thinks her daughter will be president one day.
“Who knows? One day, she might be the first female – and Jewish – POTUS,” Trump writes of her eldest daughter, Ivanka Trump, who was once following in her father’s real estate and entrepreneurial footsteps but is now a senior adviser to the President.
She has opinions on PDA between Ivanka and Donald Trump.
“I thought it was totally unfair for the media to dig up old photos of them and distort their affection into something offensive,” she said of those old photos of Ivanka Trump sitting on her father’s lap as a teenager.
Her first marriage wasn’t a real romance.
Ivana Trump married a friend, Austrian skier Alfred “Fred” Winklmayr, to escape communism. “If Fred and I got married, I’d have an Austrian passport and would be able to leave communist Czechoslovakia legally and still be able to see my family,” she wrote, adding, “The marriage wouldn’t be real, of course, and Fred had no illusion that it meant anything.” They were married two years.
Donald Trump wasn’t exactly romantic, either.
The couple stayed at a chalet in Aspen during their courtship. “It was a very sexy chalet. I knew Donald had picked it for my benefit. I’m a realist, but I have a strong romantic streak and can see the moon and the stars. Donald wouldn’t see the moon if it were sitting on his chest,” she wrote.
Likewise, the proposal, during the same ski trip, went as follows: “On New Year’s Eve, he said to me over dinner, ‘If you don’t marry me, you’ll ruin my life.’ I might’ve laughed, and then I saw the expression on his face. I realized, Oh my God. He’s serious.”
The Trumps don’t tolerate tardiness.
Ivana Trump stresses the importance of always arriving on time, one lesson she taught her children. It was important to the President, too: “Donald once left Don Jr. standing on the tarmac for being five minutes late to the airport.”
Donald Trump’s love of steak runs in the family.
The President is known for ordering his steak well-done (and sometimes with ketchup, per Washington Post). Ivana Trump recounts meeting his parents and siblings for brunch at Tavern on the Green shortly after their engagement. Everyone ordered steak, and Ivana caused a scene when she ordered fish. “I love a big, juicy steak as much as anyone – but at 11 a.m.?” she wrote. “Nobody said a word for at least three minutes. What was going on? In the Trump family, was it a law that you had to eat meat at brunch?”
Speaking of beef, the meatloaf.
Donald Trump has made multiple visitors to the White House, including Chris Christie and Tom Barrack, try the meatloaf, which he also cooked with Melania Trump on an episode of the Martha Stewart Show. The meatloaf, which is his mother Mary’s signature recipe, has Ivana Trump’s seal of approval, too. It’s “so excellent,” she says. “It’s served in the restaurant at the Trump Grill in Trump Tower to this day.”
Donald Trump once lived with a dog.
It was actually Ivana Trump’s. The President, who doesn’t have a pet at the White House, lived with Ivana and her poodle, Chappy, during the course of their marriage.
“Donald was not a dog fan. When I told him I was bringing Chappy with me to New York, he said, ‘No,’” Trump wrote.
“‘It’s me and Chappy or no one!’ I insisted, and that was that.”
Chappy, she later wrote, “had an equal dislike of Donald.”
Son Donald Trump Jr. was a honeymoon surprise.
Each of the Trump’s children were unplanned, but welcome, pregnancies, she said.
“Incredibly, I got pregnant on the honeymoon. Why so incredible? At the time, I had an IUD implanted in my uterus. The odds of conceiving with the coil were minuscule,” she said, later writing that she defied the same odds with both Ivanka and Eric. She said she got her tubes tied after that.
Not surprisingly, living in Trump Tower was ‘the lap of luxury.’
Ivana Trump decorated the family’s Trump Tower 30,000-square-foot triplex and “pulled out all the stops.”
“If something could be leafed in gold or upholstered with damask, it was … It was the ’80s, and my aesthetic at the time was over-the-top glitz, glamour and drama,” she said.
Ivana Trump was the family hairstylist.
She was behind all those childhood family photos of Don Jr. and Eric Trump sporting the bowl cut.
“Once a month, when the boys’ hair got too shaggy, I’d make Don and Eric sit down on a chair, tie a towel around their necks, places a figurative bowl on their heads, and trim the strands that peeked out from under it,” Ivana Trump said. “Ivanka’s hair got the at-home treatment, too, but she was spared the bowl.”
Ivanka Trump had a punk phase, and apparently a grunge phase.
Ivana Trump’s three children each wrote short excerpts peppered throughout the book, and Ivanka Trumpwrote about her “punk phase” in the ’90s.
“One day after school, I dyed my hair blue. Mom wasn’t a fan of this decision. She took one look at me and immediately went out to the nearest drugstore to buy a $10 box of Nice’n Easy,” she wrote.
She later added that she was “distraught” by the death of Kurt Cobain, spending 24 hours “crying inconsolably in my room” before her mother pulled her out.
Ivana Trump doesn’t approve of her sons’ hunting habits.
“The boys also go hunting often, which I’m not fond of,” she says of Don Jr. and Eric. “I don’t object to their going to Patagonia to shoot birds. There are a million of them there, enough to spare. Hunting rabbits in Westchester? No big deal. But why go to Zimbabwe to shoot Bambi and Dumbo? I don’t blame people for giving them a hard time about it.”
Michael Jackson spent a lot of time at Trump Tower.
The King of Pop was “the only person who had an open invitation” to come to Trump Tower for play dates, Ivana said, noting that he would come over and chat with the adults before hanging out with her children for “hours and hours,” watching MTV and playing video games and Legos.
“Michael was a 30-year-old kid. He could relate to Ivanka and the boys better than to us,” she said. “For the record, during those play dates with Michael, the nannies or I was always in the room. My read on him was asexual. He was a child himself in a man’s body, tender, sweet and gentle. I never believed the accusations that he molested those kids. There’s no way he could have hurt anyone.”
Don’t bring her a gift.
Ivana Trump said she “can’t stand it” when her friends send gifts.
“Then you have to reciprocate and lose half a day shopping. It’s a pain in the neck. You both get sucked into a tradition of sending each other gifts. Stop! Please do not send me anything,” she said.
She calls Frank Sinatra a ‘terrible man.’
Ivana Trump recounts a story of having dinner with Barbara and Frank Sinatra, and Barbara said something critical about President Ronald Reagan.
“He (Sinatra) jumped out his chair and started screaming at her. ‘You’re just a woman! You don’t know anything!’”
Later that evening, the Trumps were still with Sinatra when he ran into some fans.
“Frank looked over his shoulder at his bodyguards and said, ‘Get rid of these bums.’ The look on their faces! The couple was just destroyed. He could have said hello and shaken their hands. They didn’t even have a camera. But he didn’t because he was a mean bastard.”
She had a trick for getting through divorce depositions.
During the hours of depositions during her divorce from Donald Trump, she wrote, her lawyer talked “while I put on my headphones and cranked Gloria Gaynor’s ‘I Will Survive.’”
“The lawyers were going back and forth, and I was singing in my head, ‘Did you think I’d crumble? Did you think I’d lay down and die?’ Well, that was not going to happen. I would survive.”
She once confronted Hillary Clinton.
Soon after her highly publicized divorce, Ivana Trump attended a speech by Hillary Clinton in 1992.
“I went up to her and asked, ‘How do you deal with it?’ She knew I was talking about the cheating. She just looked at me and walked away,” Trump said.
She talked about Donald Trump’s subsequent wives.
Ivana Trump refused to refer to her ex-husband’s second wife, Marla Maples, by name, calling her “the showgirl.” But she had kinder things to say about his third wife, Melania Trump – sort of.
Ivana Trump recalled a luncheon during the presidential primary where an “insider” told the New York Daily News that she said Melania Trump “can’t talk.”
Daughter Ivanka Trump called to say that Melania Trump was upset about the article, and Ivana Trump texted her to make up.
“I hope she knows I’m rooting for her,” she said, noting that she thinks Melania will “surprise a lot of people and be a wonderful first lady.”
Referencing the first lady’s commitment to preserving Michelle Obama’s kitchen garden, Trump slid in a subtle dig, saying, “Somehow, I can’t picture her in jeans and work gloves, holding a shovel.”
She tried to order wine at Taco Bell.
When visiting Donald Trump Jr. at boarding school, her son wanted to take his mom for dinner somewhere where he wouldn’t run into his classmates.
“He wasn’t ashamed of Donald and me. He just wanted to be treated like everyone else, which I understood. We took the limo to a neighboring town and the only place to go was a Taco Bell,” she said.
Things got a little weird when she ordered. “We’ll have … tacos, please. That seems to be your espécialité. And I’d like a glass of Chablis, too. Thank you.”
“FYI: They don’t serve wine at Taco Bell,” she wrote. “One learns new things every day.”
She keeps up with the Kardashians.
Ivana Trump isn’t victim-blaming Kim Kardashian for the 2016 Paris robbery – but she sort of is.
Trump spends part of a chapter discussing security as it pertained to her multi-million-dollar jewelry collection.
“I felt bad for Kim Kardashian when she was robbed in Paris last year. But then the thieves told the police that she’d made it easy for them,” she said. “She posted a photo of herself on Instagram wearing her $4 million ring, and updated on Twitter where she was staying and what she was doing. I’m not blaming the victim, but the robbers themselves said they couldn’t have done the job if she hadn’t given them all the information they needed.”
She has a car but doesn’t know how to pump gas.
Ivana Trump made the trek from Miami to Mar-a-Lago to see her family for Easter in her Mini Cooper.
“Everything was fine until the gas light went on,” she wrote. She pulled over at a gas station. “I had no freaking clue what to do. I got out, picked up the hose, and opened the little door for the gas tank, but I couldn’t get the gas to start flowing. I was standing there, squeezing the pump, looking like fool.”
A young man stepped in and helped her.
She worries about Ivanka Trump.
Since her daughter moved to Washington to be senior adviser to the President, Ivana Trump is concerned.
“I worry about how she’s going to do it all: be a mother, wife and White House staffer; adjust to her new house, new city and new schools for the kids; and take care of herself, too.”
Ivana Trump’s mother, Ivanka’s grandmother, “is too diplomatic to say something to Ivanka, but behind closed doors, she told me she’s concerned, too.”
Ivana Trump also has opinions on her daughter’s conversion to Judaism: “She’s very smart and has always made wise decisions, none wiser than marrying Jared. I think he’s fabulous. I’m not convinced about some of the Orthodox customs, but if Ivanka was willing to give up lobster and bacon, she must really love him.”
And now, a bonus lightning round of Ivana-isms:
— On skiing: “I could have worn warmer clothes, but I don’t participate in a sport if I can’t look elegant.”
— On her time in Canada: “I wasn’t thinking about getting married and becoming a Canadian hockey mom or learning to sugar my own maple syrup. I was just settling into my freedom.”
— On giving birth: “I kicked Donald out of the room. Let him witness the birth? Never. My sex life would be finished after that.”
— On her kids’ behavior: “If anyone in our family showed up in the gossip columns for going to a wild party, it would be me.”
— On helicopter parenting: “My version of helicopter parenting was to bring the kids to work with me in the Trump chopper.”
— On an apology from Marla Maples: “I’m doing just fine with my resentment, thank you very much.”
— On watching “The Apprentice”: “I could always predict which person would get fired because I know how Donald thinks.”
— On Donald Trump’s weight: “I can always tell when Donald’s weight goes up and down between 235 and 215.”
— On dating younger men: “I’d rather be a babysitter than a nursemaid.”