The ‘billion Dollar Blowup’: Inside Ivana and Donald Trump’s Explosive and Expensive 1990s Divorce

Ivana Trump, who passed away on Thursday at 73 at her New York City home, was undoubtedly one of the most well-known divorcees in history due to her tumultuous breakup with a flashy real estate magnate named Donald Trump in the early 1990s.

Ivana’s status as an advocate for women whose marriages have reached their sell-by date was highlighted with a cameo in the 1996 divorce comedy The First Wives Club. Ivana, who is portraying herself, encourages the movie’s major characters, “Don’t get furious, acquire everything.”

Ivana and Donald got married nine months after they first met and had three kids, Donald Jr., Ivanka, and Eric before their marriage started to fall apart more than ten years later, as reported in media outlets all over the world.


Inside Ivana and Donald Trump's Explosive, Expensive Divorce

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Details of the contentious divorce in New York City dominated the front pages of tabloid newspapers for an 11-day stretch. For months, renowned tabloid writer Liz Smith covered the dissolution of the Trumps’ marriage. The divorce was covered on the cover of People in February 1990 with the headline “Trump Vs. Trump: Billion Dollar Blowup.”

Ivana stated in her 2017 memoir Raising Trump, “I can only shake my head at how terribly insane that was.” “I would always hear my name when I turned on the television.”

During a 1989 encounter with Marla Maples, who was having an affair with Donald and eventually married him, during a Christmas ski trip in Aspen, Ivana claimed in the book that she realized her marriage was destined to fail.

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“I was completely unprepared for this young, blonde woman to approach me and tell me, “I’m Marla, and I adore your husband.” Do you?'” Ivana wrote. “I yelled, “Get lost.” I cherish my husband. I was shocked even though it was unladylike.”

Inside Ivana and Donald Trump's Explosive, Expensive Divorce

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According to a 2015 article in The Aspen Times, the incident took place in front of bystanders outside of Bonnie’s restaurant on Aspen Mountain. Donald remarked, “You’re overreacting,” according to a 1990 article in Newsweek.

Ivana is said to have taken off down the slope on skis with her husband close after, but days later, at a New Year’s Eve party, it was Maples who was said to be by his side. According to Newsweek, Ivana called the party’s host to inquire about the presence of her husband and his mistress.

A family member described the event to PEOPLE, saying, “I was in Aspen standing right next to her when she was yelling at Donald about his ‘whore’ Marla Maples. She wasn’t poised at any other moment, to my knowledge.

Weeks later, The New York Post ran a front-page article with the headline “Best Sex I Ever Had,” quoting Maples.

By the beginning of February, a representative for Donald told the media that his client had “told Ivana it just wasn’t working out.”However, the divorce was not legally formalized until 1992. Of course, the delay was entirely due to money.

Ivana reportedly signed a nuptial agreement multiple times that established a $25 million cap on the amount she might receive in a divorce settlement. The arrangement also gave her access to Mar-a-Lago, custody of the couple’s children, a house in Connecticut, spousal support, and child support.

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Inside Ivana and Donald Trump's Explosive, Expensive Divorce

According to Newsweek, Ivana’s lawyer referred to the document as “unconscionable and dishonest,” hoping that she might fight for a more significant compensation due to her involvement in creating the Trump organization.

Ivana had overseen the magnificent Plaza Hotel in Manhattan, one of the Trump Organization’s premier properties, as vice president of interior design for the family business. Another juicy incident from 1990 involved Donald allegedly locking her out of her hotel office as they battled over their divorce.

Ivana made her rape accusation against her estranged spouse while testifying under oath in a deposition during the divorce process. When questioned in 2017 about the allegation made by his ex-wife, Donald responded, “It never took place.”

Ivana added in a statement, “I referred to this as a ‘rape,’ but I do not want my words to be construed in a literal or criminal sense. For the benefit of their children, Donald and Ivana put their differences aside during their bitter divorce battle.

“It’s a challenging thing if you’re a kid growing up in school and your parents are on the cover of the newspaper every day for months,” Ivana told PEOPLE. However, despite that, kids are incredibly resilient, as I discovered during the entire procedure.

In a message on his Truth Social app on Thursday, the former president paid tribute to his ex-wife, calling her a “lovely, beautiful, and magnificent woman, who led a fantastic inspirational life.”

Her three children were her “pride and pleasure,” Donald added. “She was extremely proud of them, just as we all were of her. Peace be with you, Ivana!”

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