Here’s what we know and don’t know about Don Trump’s 3rd wife:
FACTS (we think):
- Born in 1970 in Slovenia as Melanija Knavs
- Her father was a car salesman and communist party member; her mother worked as a children’s clothing maker
- She has one sister she grew up with and a half-brother she’s never met from her father’s previous relationship
- She began modeling at age 16 (1986) in Slovenia
- After turning 18 she worked as a model in Paris & Milan and also won a young modeling competition in Slovenia
- She attended the University of Ljubljana in Slovenia
- She received a H-1B visa to work in the USA in 1996, sponsored by Italian businessman Paolo Zampolli and his modeling agency. Zampolli went on to work with Donald Trump in several real estate and modeling ventures
- She was in the USA for a nude photo shoot in 1995, with pics published in France in January 1996
- She moved to NYC in 1996
- She was in the 2000 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue
- During her career she was represented by Irene Marie and Trump Model Management
- She campaigned with Donald when he ran for President in 2000
- She became a permanent resident of the US in 2001
- They were engaged in 2004 and married in 2005. She wore a $200k dress.
- They have one son, Baron, born in 2006. Baron had an entire floor of Trump Tower to himself as a toddler. She calls her boy “Mini-Donald” and he enjoys wearing business suits.
- Not many people were active, open members in the communist party in Slovenia during the years she was growing up, making her father unusual in that regard.
- For many years she claimed to have earned 2 degrees from the University of Ljubljana, in design and architecture. This has proven to be a lie, and all record of it has been scrubbed from her online bio’s. But until spring 2016, it was continually written and stood behind. She actually attended for only 1 year, and also spent a few months at a trade school.
- It is illegal to work in the USA without a visa, so her 1995 photo shoot could be in violation. The photographer now claims she was not paid for the nude photoshoot, even though the photos were published in a respectable french magazine.
- Until the 1995 pictures surfaced in 2016, she claimed she had never done nude work.
- Her immigration record is confusing and inconsistent. After obtaining the 1996 work visa, it isn’t clear that she complied with the rules of the visa for the next 5 years. She says she followed the rules but travel records have not been verified, and friends in Slovenia have cast doubt on her claims.
- It’s reported that she received her green card in 2001, which is 4 years before marrying Donald. With no additional work visas on record, how was she in the country for those 4 years? There’s three ways to receive a green card, from what I’ve read: marry an american, be of special exemplary talent needed to aid the US, or invest $1 million in a US company. She either has a secret first marriage, or an investment that was not disclosed. No model is considered exemplary talent needed to aid the US, sorry guys.
- A Slovenian magazine published a story in 2016 claiming she was a high-priced escort, along with many of the young women at Paolo Zampolli’s modeling agency, in the years 1995-1998. The story claims that some of the girls were issued two cards, one for modeling that included their body specs, and one for escorting rich businessmen that included their sexual and age preferences. The story as translated is full of holes but so is her biography during those years.
- At the Republican National Convention to nominate her husband in 2016, she gave a speech which lifted several lines from Michelle Obama’s speech 7 years earlier. After 2 days of denying plagiarism, an employee of Trump took the blame and claimed Ms. Trump had conveyed those ideas to her over the phone and they were accidentally put directly into the speech instead of being rephrased. She also claimed Ms. Trump is a big admirer of Ms. Obama, hence the similar speeches! This speech writer is also the ghost-writer of several of Mr. Trump’s books, and was not fired.