Melania Trump: What was Donald Trump’s wife like when she was young?

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First Lady of the United States Melania Trump has been married to Donald Trump since 2005. Despite having a 24-year age gap, the couple have been together ever since they first met in 1998. Since 2016, the couple have acted as the President and First Lady of the United States. These days, Melania can be found supporting her husband at presidential events, including this weekend where she wore a stunning polka dot dress to celebrate the start of the summer at the White House. This week it was claimed that Melania and Donald were living “separate lives”. 

According to Michael Wolff, author of Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House several sources close to the couple – including Steve Bannon, Trump’s former advisor – “never saw any evidence of a marriage.”

So what was Melania like before she became the First Lady? And what did she do for work when she was young?

Modelling

Melania was born in Slovenia. She is the second First Lady born outside of the United Stated States – after Louisa Adams, who was born in London – and the only First Lady to become a naturalised U.S. citizen.

She began modelling at the young age of five, and moving onto commercial work at 16.

Two years later, she signed with a modelling agency in Milan, launching her international modelling career.

By 1996, she moved to Manhattan – where she’s said to have done 10 paid modelling jobs before receiving legal permission to work in the country.

In 1996, Melania took part in an explicit photoshoot for Max – a former French men’s magazine – alongside Swedish model Emma Ericsson.

When questioned about the x-rated photo, President Trump said: “Melania was one of the most successful models, and she did many photo shoots, including for covers and major magazines. This was a picture taken for a European magazine prior to my knowing Melania. In Europe, pictures like this are very fashionable and common.”

Nevertheless Melania went on to pose nude on the January 2000 edition of GQ.

She was later granted her visa in 2001, making her a US citizen.

Business

As well as a successful modelling career, Melania is also a lucrative business woman.

She launched her own jewellery line, Melania Timepieces and Jewellery in 2010, and also had a skin care range.

The companies are said to have brought in £39,000 in royalties, and on inauguration day, her companies and products were listed in her official White House biography, although they were quickly removed

It was recently revealed that her companies were no longer active, with a White House spokesperson revealing Melania had “no intention of using her position for profit and will not do so.”

Marriage and babies

Melanie became engaged to Donald in 2004, with the pair tying the knot a year later.

They married in a lavish ceremony which took place at Donald’s Mar-a-Lago estate on 22 January 2005. After the wedding, Melania became the step-mum of Donald’s children, Donald Trump Jr, 41, Ivanka Trump, Eric Trump, 35, and Tiffany Trump, 25.

The marriage was her first and his third.

She wore a $200,000 dress made by John Galliano of the house of Christian Dior.

In 2006, she gave birth to their son, Barron William Trump,admitting motherhood is the “most important and joyous role.”

Delivering a speech at a luncheon in 2017, she gushed: “What could possibly be a more essential focus in everyone’s life than that of loving, educating and bringing up our next generation to be happy, productive and morally responsible adults.”

Nowadays, Melania’s role at the White House focuses on issues related to children, with her bio on the official White House website reading: “Mrs. Trump focuses her time on the many issues affecting children. An unwavering characteristic of the First Lady is her aptitude for showing love and compassion in all that she does. Mrs. Trump spends much of her time meeting with children who are patients at hospitals and care centres.”

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