Melania Trump, wife of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, has found herself at the center of yet another battle between The Donald and fellow GOP candidate Ted Cruz — this time, over nude photos from her past. While her husband and Cruz are duking it out on Twitter, with Donald making threats to expose secrets related to Cruz’s wife, Melania tries to rise above the ruckus. Donald Trump himself has admitted Melania has told him to try to “act presidential.”
While Donald Trump doesn’t appear to be heeding the advice, Melania seems to be emerging from his shadow into the spotlight, even if not always in the way she’d probably like. The Week says this former model is more than just a “trophy wife,” and here are a few things you may not know about the Yugoslavian-born mother to 9-year-old Barron, who has been nicknamed the “mini-Donald” due to his penchant for wearing suits, playing golf with his dad, and firing nannies.
Melania Trump grew up in Slovenia when it was part of Yugoslavia and under communist rule, which would make her the first First Lady to come from a communist country if Donald were elected president, and only the second not born in the United States. (The other was John Quincy Adam’s wife, Louisa.) Yet despite being foreign-born and immigrating to the United States in 1996, Melania agrees with her husband’s tough stance on immigration, as she told MSNBC in a video interview.
“I follow the law. I follow the law the way it’s supposed to be. I never thought to stay here without papers.”
Another little known fact about Melania Trump is that she speaks five languages: Slovenian, English, French, Serbian, and German. Before becoming a model at 19 years old, Melania studied design and architecture at the University of Ljubljana in Slovenia, and she’s the daughter of a car salesman and fashion designer. Donald isn’t the only entrepreneur in the family, as Melania Trump has her own jewelry and cosmetic lines.
Unfortunately, what the former model has become most famous for recently — or infamous for — are the nude photos of Melania Trump from her modeling days, featured in a slightly NSFW political ad from an anti-Trump Super PAC. That ad stirred up the latest war of words between her husband and Ted Cruz, although Cruz denies any part in the creation of the ad campaign.
If Donald Trump should win the GOP nomination and the general election, Melania Trump would hold the “distinction” of being the first First Lady to have posed nude, at least the first that we know of. While Melania sports nothing but diamonds and handcuffs in the British GQ spread, when asked back in 1999 by the New York Times about potentially being the First Lady someday, Melania promised to go for something a bit more subdued in style in the White House.
‘”I would be very traditional, like Betty Ford or Jackie Kennedy. I would support him.'”
Is anyone else trying to picture Melania in a pink Chanel suit and pillbox hat?
Yet Melania told CNN that she doesn’t just blindly follow what her husband says, and expresses her opinions to the man who wants to become the leader of the free world.
“We are both very independent — I let him be who he is and he let me be who I am. I don’t try to change him. He’s an adult. He knows the consequences and so I let him be who he is. I give him my opinions, many, many times. I don’t agree with everything that he says, but you know, that is normal. I’m my own person, I tell him what I think, I’m standing very strong on the ground on my two feet and I’m my own person, and I think that’s very important in the relationship.”
[Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images]