Before Melania: What you need to know about Donald Trump's previous marriages

Alice Sholl
It’s been a whirlwind 40 years [Photo: PA/Rex]

Believe it or not, Melania isn’t President Donald Trump‘s first wife.

Having already been under heavy limelight since way before he became President, Trump’s marriages – of which he had two before his most recent to Melania – have always received buckets of publicity.

After all, let’s not forget that before he was running one of the world’s largest economic and military powers, he was well known as a business tycoon and television personality.

And his weddings were grandiose enough to match.

His first wife: Ivana Zelníčková, 1977-1992

Trump and Zelníčková [Photo: Keith Butler/REX/Shutterstock]

Trump married Zelníčková, a Czech model, after the pair met at a New York City fashion show in 1976.

Marrying soon after in 1977, they had three children who are very much under the spotlight today including Donald Junior that same year, Ivanka and Eric.

Though after 15 years of marriage, the pair divorced in 1992 after Trump had an affair with actress Marla Maples – much to the glee of the tabloids which heavily publicised the relationship.

In an interview with New York Post, Zelníčková said that Maples once asked if she could publicly apologise to her in the Daily Mail, but she rejected the offer: “Why should I? She broke my marriage.”

His second wife: Marla Maples, 1993-1999

Trump and Maples’ wedding day [Photo: Nancy Kaszerman/ZUMA Wire/REX/Shutterstock]

Maples soon gave birth to Trump’s less-talked-about child, Tiffany, in 1993 and the two were married two months afterwards.

At the time, the high-profile marriage was heavily covered by the media which was hardly surprising given it hosted the likes of Rosie O’ Donnell and O J Simpson.

But what Maples has described as a “combative” relationship didn’t last long and four years later they publicly separated, divorcing in 1999.

Maples then moved to California to raise Tiffany alone.

His third wife: Melania Trump née Knauss, 2005-current

Trump and Knauss [Photo: PA]

Donald and Melania Trump famously met when Donald was on a date with another woman – cosmetics heiress Celina Midelfart – in 1998.

But upon spying Melania, the moment Midelfart was in the bathroom he approached Melania and asked for her number.

Melania refused and took his number instead.

The rest is history: they married in 2005, and a year later, Melania gave birth to their son Barron.

Since the presidential race, the happiness of their marriage – and especially Melania’s happiness – has come under scrutiny.

But unless groundbreaking proof emerges, we’ll be left guessing for now.

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