Melania Trump is facing growing divorce rumors after the embattled wife of the Republican presidential candidate reportedly refused to stand by his side after the scandal that has rocked his campaign to its core.
On Friday afternoon, the Washington Post published a potentially campaign-ending tape recorded back in 2005 that showed Donald Trump and Access Hollywood host Billy Bush on a hot mic engaged in some incredibly lewd banter. The audio showed Trump bragging about pursuing married women and appearing to talk about sexually assaulting unwilling women.
“I’m automatically attracted to beautiful [women]—I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star they let you do it. You can do anything… Grab them by the p***y. You can do anything.”
The Trump Tapes, as the audio was dubbed in the media, was a bombshell to Trump’s campaign. Republican officials have condemned and abandoned Trump in droves, and the Republican National Committee has also pulled critical get-out-the-vote funding that had been earmarked for Trump.
But the Trump Tapes could be even more damaging personally, and have led to growing rumors that Melania Trump could end up divorcing the real estate magnate. Though those rumors were mostly relegated to unnamed sources and conjecture on social media, they got a real boost on Sunday with a report that Melania Trump refused to stand beside her husband as he made an apology for his remarks — a 90-second mea culpa that quickly pivoted to an attack on Bill Clinton. Nowhere in the apology did Donald Trump apologize to his wife, who was pregnant with the couple’s son at the time that he was caught bragging about pursuing other women.
Melania Trump’s refusal to appear alongside Donald destroyed his wish to have a joint appearance that would have mirrored the Clintons during their own scandal, The Hill reported.
“However, anonymous sources within the campaign told the Times that Melania Trump had no interest in doing a joint video statement with her husband.
So far, the reports that Melania Trump might be considering divorce are still lacking any concrete evidence. Melania herself hasn’t spoken publicly, though Trump’s campaign did release a statement on her behalf. Even in this campaign-controlled message, Melania’s anger was evident.
“The words my husband used are unacceptable and offensive to me,” she was quoted. “This does not represent the man that I know. He has the heart and mind of a leader. I hope people will accept his apology, as I have, and focus on the important issues facing our nation and the world.”
If Melania Trump were to seek the internet’s opinion, she would certainly be heading for divorce. Within minutes of the Trump Tapes being released on Friday afternoon, there was a wave of supporters encouraging her to leave Donald Trump and condemning the real estate magnate for his brutish behavior.
Others noted that Melania Trump had already been embarrassed by the campaign in the months leading up to the Trump Tapes release. At the Republican National Convention in July, she delivered a primetime address that ended up containing large portions plagiarized from a speech given by Michelle Obama. Many believed that Melania unfairly took the heat for the speech, which was prepared with the help of some Trump campaign insiders, and ultimately Trump’s wife was left out to dry for the flap.
If Melania Trump is considering divorce, she hasn’t given any indication of it just yet. Melania appeared at Sunday night’s debate, sitting in a booth behind Donald Trump along with three of his children.
[Featured Image by Evan Vucci/AP Images]