Melania Trump has been in the national spotlight since her husband announced his unlikely presidential campaign. Fast forward nearly two years, and the 46-year-old ex-model and Slovenian native is now the first lady of the United States. Because of her newfound social status and her husband's new gig as leader of the free world, Melania Trump and her life have become a matter of constant public discussion and scrutiny, and sources close to the first family say that the situation has left Melania "miserable."
The attacks on Melania Trump began well before Donald pulled off his unexpected White House win in November. During the campaign season she was frequently trashed in the media. Things got so bad for Melania that she was forced to file a libel lawsuit against a blogger and several prominent publications which spread unfounded rumors that she had once worked as an escort.In another instance, Melania Trump's "assets" became a cover story when the New York Post published a series of old nude modeling photos of the soon-to-be first lady. After Donald Trump's dark horse November 8 victory, marches, rallies, and even riots broke out across the U.S. in protests. At one such event, a protester carried a controversial sign that read "Rape Melania Trump." The shocking homemade sign quickly went viral, and Melania largely stayed out of sight until Inauguration Day.
However, the January 20 swearing-in of Donald Trump didn't do much to help Melania. As AOL News reports, Donald Trump himself was perceived by many to be cold and distant toward his wife of nearly a dozen years throughout the inauguration festivities. In at least one exchange between the new first couple, Donald Trump can be seen whispering a few short words to a grinning, clapping Melania. When Donald turned away, the expression on Melania's face (caught on camera for the whole world to see) immediately transformed. While nobody (save Donald and Melania Trump) know what Donald said to his wife in those brief moments, the look on her face quickly became one of sadness, fear, and even shame.A clip of the Inauguration Day interaction between Donald and Melania Trump quickly went viral, and the hashtag #FreeMelania was born. Many took to social media to share their thoughts on the disturbing footage, and Melania was likened to a hostage, a fairy tale princess kept locked in a tower, a domestic violence victim, and worse.Now, as Us Weekly reports, it's now rumored that Melania Trump feels something like a hostage in her new role. According to family friend Phillip Bloch, Melania never envisioned or desired this kind of life for herself. Often described as "deeply private," Melania Trump is said to be feeling very overwhelmed in her new role as first lady.
"This life wasn't her dream. It was Donald's. Truthfully, it's a lot to cope with."Even after her husband's inauguration, Melania Trump has been feeling the backlash of his controversial and divisive presidency. VogueMagazine faced a boycott after its editor announced that Melania (who has graced the magazine's cover in the past) would likely be appearing on the cover sometime in the future. Melania has also been publicly accused of trying to make money off of her new role as first lady as a result of her libel suit against Daily Mail. In filing documents, Mrs. Trump claimed that the escort story harmed her "unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity … to launch a broad-based commercial brand." A source close to Melania Trump reportedly said that the new first lady is incredibly distraught with her new position, and claims that because of the public attention she rarely leaves her New York penthouse home since Donald took office.
"Melania is unhappy with how her life ended up. She is miserable."Indeed, Melania has largely eschewed the traditional role as first lady in the weeks since her husband's swearing-in. Rather than move herself and 10-year-old son Barron into the White House, Melania has vowed to stay in New York until her son's school year ends. However, unlike before her husband became POTUS, she is said to rarely take her son to school herself anymore. Rather, she reportedly has him escorted by the Secret Service. Unfortunately for Melania, staying in New York rather than in D.C. has opened her up to even further public scrutiny, with many taxpayers crying foul over the mounting extra security costs.
Melania Trump has also faced criticism for seemingly ignoring some of her first lady duties. As CNN reports, Melania skipped out on her Japanese counterpart, Akie Abe (wife of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe), leaving the first lady of Japan to tour Washington, D.C., alone for part of her visit to the States.
Mrs. Trump did ultimately meet up with the Abes in Washington, D.C., sticking around just long enough to climb on board Air Force One with the foreign first family and her POTUS hubby for a trip to Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.
"Melania says she's most happy at Mar-a-Lago. She loves Palm Beach!"In Florida, Melania Trump did step up and do some hostessing, but according to a source, her heart wasn't in it.
"Don't let her smile in those photos fool you. She hates this."Not everyone speaking to the media on behalf of Melania Trump agrees that the new first lady is unhappy or even "miserable" in her new role. At least one source told Us Weekly that Melania is content in her new position as "supporting spouse."
"She is very happy with her life and supporting her husband and family..."What do you think? Is America's new first lady truly in need of freeing from her gilded "prison" as the #FreeMelania campaign suggests? Or do you think that Melania Trump is happy with her new gig?
[Featured Image by Evan Vucci/AP Images]