Dark Secrets About Melania Trump

It takes a special type of woman to put up with the antics of Donald Trump day in and day out, but Melania Trump managed to do so even under the harsh spotlight of the American public. The former model has been heavily criticized since she became the first lady after her husband's 2016 presidential win, and she's constantly compared to the women who held the esteemed title before and after her.

Melania hasn't had an easy road to the White House by any means, as the former model grew up in Slovenia (formerly known as Yugoslavia) to a father who worked as a car dealer and a mother who worked in the textile industry. Her stunning looks eventually earned her a ticket out of the country when she pursued a modeling career, leading her to prestigious jobs in two of the fashion capitals of the world, Paris and Milan. It was her career that had her crossing paths with Donald in New York City, and the two eventually tied the knot in 2005. 

The former cover girl has been chastised for her background; from her career choices to her right to work in the United States as an immigrant. In addition to dealing with the numerous sex scandals of her husband (and defending them), she has had to weather several controversies of her own in the public eye. We're breaking down the dark secrets about Melania Trump.

Melania and Donald Trump spend a lot of time apart

It's often been alleged that Melania Trump isn't exactly the biggest fan of her husband. She has become an internet sensation in a series of videos capturing the former first lady seemingly swatting her husband's hand away, which speaks to her alleged evasive behavior towards the former president. While we can't confirm or deny her feelings towards "The Apprentice" star, it's largely reported that while the pair share a life — they barely spend time together if they don't have to.

According to an insider, Melania and Donald Trump live completely separate lives while living under the same roof. "They spend very little to no time together," a source told The Washington Post. The couple reportedly has completely separate schedules that have them rarely crossing paths, even in their time off. Melania spoke to The Washington Post about the nature of their relationship while supporting her husband on the campaign trail, admitting that she and Donald are "very independent," adding, "We give ourselves and each other space." 

Their odd relationship came into question when Donald appeared on a "Fox & Friends" segment (via The Washington Post) on his wife's birthday when he ranted about former porn star Stormy Daniels, who alleged she had an affair with the former president. When asked about what he had gifted Melania, Donald admitted: "I didn't get her so much. I got her a beautiful card, you know I'm very busy to be running out looking for presents."

She reportedly feuded with her stepdaughter

Melania Trump and her stepdaughter, Ivanka Trump, aren't exactly close, according to multiple reports. In a memoir published by Melania's ex-associate, Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, titled, "Melania and Me: The Rise and Fall of My Friendship with the First Lady" (via the BBC), Melania and Ivanka's relationship was characterized by betrayal and "deception." The former model reportedly patronizingly referred to Ivanka as "princess" and confided in Wolkoff about her snake-like behavior.

During an episode of The Daily Beast's podcast, "The New Abnormal,Wolkoff alleged that Melania's dislike for her stepdaughter peaked after Donald Trump took office. At the time, he signed a controversial immigration ban into effect which forbade the entry of illegal immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries, leading to widespread separation of children and their families. Melania declined to travel to Washington D.C. with her husband after the decision, while Ivanka stayed with her father and hosted movie screenings of the family film, "Finding Dory." 

"Now, if you couldn't be more tone-deaf," Wolkoff related. "Children were being separated from their parents. And here you're screening a film where again, this trout fish is being separated from its mother." Wolkoff also alleged that Ivanka hired staffers out from under Melania that were previously vetted for the former first lady. "I mean, these were people Melania was looking to bring in. We called [Ivanka] the serial poacher," she recalled. "It was deceptive. But you don't go and hire people that the first lady's looking to bring in."

Melania doesn't have many friends

Melania Trump has to choose her friends and confidants wisely, especially since some of them have turned against her in favor of tell-all memoirs. The former first lady is rumored to have little to no close friends in her inner circle, and even her former chief of staff has come out against her. Stephanie Grisham began serving as communications director for the East Wing in 2017 and later became the first lady's chief of staff.

However, Grisham went on to admit on CNN that she hadn't voted for Donald Trump and declined to admit who she wrote in. She resigned after the January 6, 2021 riot and later wrote a scathing memoir — which she previously swore to never do — titled "I'll Take Your Questions Now: What I Saw in The Trump White House." 

With Melania's trusted aides and staffers turning against her, she has a hard time making friends. "Melania's friends are her family members," an insider told OK! magazine. "Many Mar-a-Lago Club members and others know and see Melania. But they aren't friends. They don't get together and gab or socialize. She has always surrounded herself with family."

She helped spread the Barack Obama birther rumor

It was the birther rumor heard around the world — and Melania Trump endorsed it. For those unfamiliar, during the 2008 election, former president Trump and others spread a rumor that candidate Barack Obama was not a natural-born citizen, demanding that he prove his birth rights by showing his birth certificate. Of course, Obama won the election, but Donald was more than happy to spark the controversy yet again in 2011. 

At the time, Donald promised to give up to $5 million to whoever could prove that Obama had indeed been born in the United States. Before the Obama White House officials released his official long-form birth certificate, Melania appeared on "The Joy Behar Show" (via The Washington Post) in 2011 to help spread the rumors as well. "It's not only Donald who wants to see it," she claimed. "It's American people who voted for him and who didn't vote for him. They want to see that." Though she was reminded that Obama had already released his short-form birth certificate, she responded by saying: "We feel it's different."

Melania spent Christmas taking care of her sick mother

Melania Trump took a step back from Christmas festivities in 2023 to help care for her sick mother, Amalija Knavs. The former first lady was notably absent from that year's Trump family Christmas photo, as well as family events held at Mar-a-Lago. Former President Trump acknowledged her absence at a New Year's Eve party at the Florida resort (via the Daily Mail), admitting (in his typical fashion): "Melania — great First Lady, so popular, the people love her — she's now in a hospital with her mother. Her mother, Amalija, is very ill, but hopefully she'll be recovering." 

Donald revealed that Knavs was receiving treatment at a Miami hospital while Melania remained by her side. "Hopefully they'll be ok, but it's a tough one, it's a very tough one," he added. "She knows probably about 95% of the people in this room. We just want to wish Amalija that she gets better as quickly as possible." Knavs and her husband, Viktor, reside at Mar-a-Lago alongside their daughter and the former president. 

Donald remained in cheery spirits despite the news of his mother-in-law, telling the crowd to gear up for early voting in Iowa and New Hampshire despite the multiple federal indictments against him. "We are going to have a great 2024. We are going to make America great again!" he told partygoers during the New Year's Eve celebration. 

She doesn't support her husband's immigration policies

Shocking audio recordings released by Melania Trump's former Chief of Staff Stephanie Winston Wolkoff in 2018 shed light on just how differently the former first lady feels about her husband's policies. At the time, Melania was grappling with Donald's immigration ban that had thousands of children separated from their families after illegally crossing the Southern border.

Revealed in a segment of "Anderson Cooper 360," the Slovenian native spoke with her former aide in the recording, saying, "I'm working ... my a** off on the Christmas stuff, that you know, who gives a f*** about the Christmas stuff and decorations? But I need to do it, right?" she admitted, claiming that the public had chastised her for prioritizing the holidays while children were stuck in shelters. "Give me a f***ing break," she added. "Where they were saying anything when Obama did that? I can not go, I was trying get the kid reunited with the mom. I didn't have a chance — needs to go through the process and through the law," she complained.

Melania went on to denounce reports that she supports her husband's immigration policies, saying, "They say I'm complicit. I'm the same like him, I support him. I don't say enough, I don't do enough where I am."

Melania felt she was partly blamed for the January 6 insurrection

Donald Trump's role in the January 6, 2021 riot at the U.S. Capitol has long been disputed. His actions on that infamous day (or lack thereof) led to a federal indictment of the former president over his alleged failure to prevent the violent protest of the 2020 election results. Melania Trump has also been blamed for her lack of action on the day, and the former first lady spoke out about the vicious attacks she incurred by Americans who believe she carries some responsibility for the chaotic demonstration.

"I am disappointed and disheartened with what happened last week," she wrote in a statement (via ABC News). "I find it shameful that surrounding these tragic events there has been salacious gossip, unwarranted personal attacks, and false misleading accusations on me — from people who are looking to be relevant and have an agenda." She concluded by saying, "This time is solely about healing our country and its citizens. It should not be used for personal gain."

However, some people find contradictions in her statement, especially since she reportedly declined to denounce the attacks when they were occurring. In the screenshot her former aide Stephanie Grisham tweeted, she appears to ask Melania: "Do you want to tweet that peaceful protests are the right of every American, but there is no place for lawlessness & violence?" Melania curtly replied: "No."

She claimed the American public was biased against her

Melania Trump entered the White House as first lady in an unprecedented fashion. She is the second foreign-born woman to assume the position after Louisa Catherine Adams, the wife of the sixth President, John Quincy Adams. The former model is also the only Slovenian-born first lady. Many have criticized Trump for her lack of relatability or emotion and have constantly compared her to the women who took the role before her.

In a 2022 interview on "Fox & Friends" (via The Hill) with host Pete Hegseth, Trump was asked about why she feels she wasn't received by the American public as well as other first ladies, such as Hillary Clinton, Michelle Obama, and Jill Biden — all three of which landed Vogue covers during their time in the East Wing. "Yet with your business background and your fashion background and your beauty, never on the cover of Vogue. Why the double standard?" Hegseth pondered.

"They're biased, and they have likes and dislikes," Trump responded. "It was their decision. And I have much more important things to do and I did in the White House than being on the cover of Vogue." Despite her feelings of biases against her, Trump defended her role as first lady, which included launching her "Be Best" anti-cyberbullying campaign. "To be first lady of the United States was my greatest honor. I think we achieved a lot in the four years of Trump administration," she acknowledged.

Melania lied under oath

Melania Trump was caught in a lie after she provided false information about her college education. According to the fashion blog Racked, Trump removed her bio from her former website which sold her now defunct line of caviar-infused skincare products after people questioned her claims that she received an architecture degree in Slovenia. The fashion blog's report included uncovered depositions over Trump's skincare line in which the businesswoman lied under oath about receiving a college degree.

As per CBS News, false information about her education pursuits was also listed on her bio during the 2016 Republican National Convention. Her bio previously read: "After obtaining a degree in design and architecture at University in Slovenia, Melania was jetting between photo shoots in Paris and Milan, finally settling in New York in 1996." That claim was later debunked by CBS News after verifying public records.

As it turns out, Trump was admitted to the University of Ljubljana in Slovenia but dropped out during her freshman year. According to NBC News, shortly after former President Trump was elected in 2016, the official White House website tweaked Melania's original claims to write in her bio that she "paused her studies to advance her modeling career in Milan and Paris." Melania's former professor Blaz Matija Vogelnik confirmed to NBC News that she dropped his course: "My personal opinion is that, because she was very beautiful girl ... I believe that she realized that she could gain more with that than to have long studies."

She sued multiple publications that alleged she was an escort

Melania Trump had plenty of obstacles to overcome on the 2016 campaign trail alongside her husband, including allegations that she once worked as an escort. In 2016, a Slovenian magazine published an article claiming she had worked for a fashion agency that offered high-end escort services. The former model later sued the magazine for libel over the accusations.

The Slovenian magazine issued an apology to Trump (via CBS News), saying the piece "was understood as if Melania Trump conducted the escort job. We have no proof for that. So we apologize. We had no intention to hurt and offend Mrs. Trump." The two parties settled out of court awarding the former model an unknown sum in damages. 

Trump also filed two lawsuits in 2016 against the U.K. newspaper, the Daily Mail, and their online publication, Mail Online, both of which had published articles about her providing escort services. A London court awarded the former first lady damages over the libel suit against the publications, yet the amount was not disclosed to the public. The Daily Mail issued an apology to Trump, writing in an official statement: "We accept that these allegations about Mrs. Trump are not true and we retract and withdraw them. We apologize to Mrs. Trump for any distress that our publication caused her."