Inside Ivana Trump's Relationship With Melania Trump

Ivana Trump, designer and ex-wife of former president Donald Trump, has died at 73, according to a statement by her family. "It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved mother, Ivana Trump," her family said (via ABC7). "Our mother was an incredible woman — a force in business, a world-class athlete, a radiant beauty, and caring mother and friend." The outlet further reports that officials believe Ivana died of natural causes, as they initially responded to a call for a person experiencing cardiac arrest.

Donald later confirmed the news himself and called the former model an "amazing woman." "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," the former reality star wrote on Truth Social. "She was a wonderful, beautiful, and amazing woman, who led a great and inspirational life." And while it's clear Ivana had a loving bond with her family, the truth about her relationship with former first lady Melania Trump may be surprising to some.

Ivana and Melania Trump seemingly had a complicated relationship

Ivana Trump was married to Donald Trump for 14 years, divorcing in 1991. During their time together, the pair welcomed three children: Donald Jr., Ivanka, and Eric. And while Ivana's union with the former president was over long before her death, some may be wondering about the former businesswoman's relationship with Melania Trump.

While Ivana has never explicitly stated whether she was (or wasn't) fond of Melania, the "Raising Trump" author has publicly voiced her opinions on the former FLOTUS. When asked in 2020 if she thought Melania was doing a first job during her run as first lady, Ivana had a coy response. "I am not sure. She's very quiet, and she really doesn't go to too many places. She goes to stuff when she has to go," Ivana said on "Loose Women," adding that "she's quiet." Ivana was also asked if she had a personal relationship with Melania, to which she responded, "No, I speak directly to Mr. President, and I don't get involved with his ex-wives and his private life." However, Ivana did confirm that the two had met at some point.

Ivana Trump once said she felt bad for Melania

Although it appears as if Ivana Trump and Melania Trump did not have a close bond, the author appeared to sympathize with the former first lady in the midst of Donald Trump's scandal with Stormy Daniels. "I feel bad for [Melania] because I know how bad I did feel. It hurts a lot," Ivana told Page Six. "I divorced Donald immediately [after I discovered the Marla Maples affair] because I told myself, 'Am I going to live with the person [who] is going to say, 'I'm going to go and play golf' [leaving me to] think, 'Is he really going to go and play golf?' I cannot do it."

Ivana detailed her ex-husband's alleged affair with Marla Maples in her 2017 book, "Raising Trump." Ivana claimed the "Two of Hearts" star made her aware of the affair in 1989, which led to her split from the business mogul in 1992. "This young blonde woman approached me out of the blue and said 'I'm Marla and I love your husband. Do you?'" Ivana wrote in the book (via AP). "I said 'Get lost. I love my husband.' It was unladylike but I was in shock." Maples eventually became Donald's second wife.

Ivana Trump believed at one point that she was the first lady

Ivana Trump and Donald's Trump current wife Melania Trump have had quite the unusual relationship throughout the years. While neither have made mention of an apparent feud, Ivana, at one point, alluded that she didn't care too much about what the former president and his wife had going on in the White House. "I think for her to be in Washington must be terrible," Ivana said during a 2017 interview with ABC News. "It's better her than me. I would hate Washington."

Although Ivana was adamant that she would have disliked living in the White House, she did believe she was, in fact, the First Lady — not Melania. "Melania is there and I don't want to cause any kind of jealousy or anything like that because I'm the first Trump wife," she told Good Morning American in 2017 (via the Daily Mail). "I'm the first lady, OK?" 

While Ivana was probably just sharing her heart, her words didn't sit right with Melania. The former first lady fired back, releasing a statement aimed at her husband's ex-wife. "There is clearly no substance to this statement from an ex. Unfortunately only attention seeking and self-serving noise," Melania wrote (via Daily Mail). Her spokesperson also noted that Mrs. Trump enjoys living in Washington and is focused on helping the community around her. "She plans to use her title and role to help children, not sell books."