Ivana Trump, the first wife of Donald Trump and the mother of his three eldest children, died at the age of 73 on Thursday due to injuries she sustained after apparently falling down a spiral staircase inside her Upper East Side townhouse. Her death was accidental, New York City’s chief medical examiner said Friday, the result of “blunt impact injuries” to her torso.
“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,” Donald Trump announced Thursday on Truth Social. “She was a wonderful, beautiful, and amazing woman, who led a great and inspirational life. Her pride and joy were her three children, Donald Jr., Ivanka, and Eric. She was so proud of them, as we were all so proud of her. Rest In Peace, Ivana!”
WABC reported that police responded to a call of cardiac arrest at her Upper East Side townhouse on Thursday afternoon.
Born Ivana Zelníčková in 1949 in what was then Czechoslovakia, she became a prominent skier, joining the country’s national team, and married an Austrian instructor in 1971. They moved to Canada and divorced a year later. She transitioned into modeling and met Trump at a party on the Upper East Side in 1976. The two married a year later.
Over their 15-year marriage, she worked alongside her husband at the Trump Organization and one of his three Atlantic City casinos. “Donald calls me his twin as a woman,” she told Vanity Fair in 1988. They were most prominent as a couple, though, thanks to their sensational divorce in the early 1990s when Trump was revealed to have cheated on her with Marla Maples, whom he subsequently married and divorced.
During the divorce, Ivana cited cruel and inhuman treatment from her husband as the grounds for splitting, once claiming that he violently assaulted her. When the story resurfaced during his 2015 campaign for president, she said her prior claim was “totally without merit” and the alleged assault did not take place in a “criminal sense.”
The former couple were on good terms in recent years. In 2017, Ivana wrote a book in which she said they spoke once a week.
This post has been updated.