According to a new book about the women in President Donald Trump’s life, the old adage of women marrying men like their fathers appeared to be the case in the marriage between Trump and his wife Melania, according to reports from People.
The book, titled Golden Handcuffs: The Secret History of Trump’s Women, which hit shelves on Tuesday, sees author Nina Burleigh suggesting the reason for Melania to marry a man that is 24 years her senior is due to her need for a “father figure” and someone who could protect her.
According to Burleigh’s book, what is described as an “old friend” of Melania’s from Slovenia told her, “It’s about all that power and protection. I think she needed a strong man, a father figure.”
The White House quickly got in front of the story and denied all of the allegations made in the book.
In an email to People, Stephanie Grisham, director of communications for the first lady wrote, “As usual, the claims made by anonymous sources in the book are not true. I’d also add that the author didn’t bother to reach out to fact check anything that she wrote.”
Golden Handcuffs takes a deep dive into the most important women in President Trump’s life, focusing primarily on his paternal grandmother and mother, wives, and daughters. Burleigh, who is also a journalist for Newsweek, details the life of Melania, a woman born to a mother who worked in a factory and a chauffeur father described as “tough” before chasing a career in modeling and eventually marrying the future 45th president.
According to excerpts from the book, a “family friend” told a television station in Slovenia that Melania had “married her father,” with Burleigh adding, “The two men are only a few years apart in age, and look alike, both rotund, given to bellicosity, and otherwise all business.”
Golden Handcuffs isn’t the first place that such a claim was made. In fact, the first comparison came from Melania herself. In an April 2016 interview with GQ, Melania said, “They’re both hardworking. They’re both very smart and very capable. They grew up in totally different environments, but they have the same values, they have the same tradition. I myself am similar to my husband. Do you understand what I mean? So is my dad; he is a family man, he has tradition, he was hardworking. So is my husband.”
Burleigh also suggests that beyond the similarities to her father, Trump gave her the security that she desired. Her modeling career skyrocketed and she lived a life surrounded by luxury, and there was only one demand that was made of her to maintain the lifestyle.
Burleigh writes, “There was a role to play… Melania would play sex kitten Slovenian.”