Once a glam diva, now First Lady

snkvk29iMelania Trump, wife of Donald Trump, the President-elect is a quiet person, away from the din and bustle of politics and spotlight. She was a former model and said to be an excellent candid human being.

Mrs Trump was born Melania Knavs in the town of Sevnica, around an hour outside the Slovenian capital, to Amalija, who worked developing patterns at a children’s clothing factory, and Viktor, the chauffeur for a nearby town’s mayor.

The family grew up in Communist Yugoslavia, but were more worldly than most – holidaying in France, Italy and Germany, and devouring European fashion magazines.

A studious, quiet girl she got her break as a model in Slovenia, before moving to New York to follow her dream in 1996. But she was not a party girl.

“She was reserved,” said Edit Molnar, a former model who was the then-Miss Knauss’s friend. She had Germanicised her name from Knavs for modelling work.

“The first party she ever came to with me was the one she met Donald at.”

That was a party hosted by Paolo Zampolli, a model agent, at the Kit Kat Club during New York Fashion Week in 1998. She was 28; he was 52, and separated from his second wife, Marla Maples.

It was love at first sight for Mr Trump, but when he tried to get her number she refused, asking that he give her his instead.

“I am not a girl who will just give away the number to anybody,” she later told The New York Times.

“I’m not starstruck,” she said in another interview. “We had a great connection, we had great chemistry, but I was not starstruck. And maybe he noticed that.”

He soon won her over, though.

She became a permanent US resident in 2001, and a citizen in 2006 – she married Mr Trump in 2005, at a wedding attended by Bill and Hillary Clinton and Simon Cowell.

Mrs Trump’s parents now live in Trump Tower, and her son reportedly speaks Slovenian fluently. Her father Viktor is just five years younger than Mr Trump and frequently likened to the billionaire – a comparison which does not disturb Mrs Trump.

She is effusively praised by her husband as an excellent mother to their ten year old son, Barron, and portrayed as an elegant businesswoman destined to be the perfect first lady.

But the Slovenian model, 46, is known to be happier on the sidelines. She shies away from the spotlight, preferring to remain behind the scenes – especially since her previous foray into politics, introducing her husband at the Republican National Convention, was ridiculed when it turned out her speech was plagiarised from Michelle Obama.

When her brash husband recently announced in a joint interview on Good Morning America that she would do “two or three speeches” before the election, she appeared to gasp – before recovering her composure – saying her priority was her son, but of course she would do whatever was necessary to help him.

Reluctant to be in the spotlight but devoted to her husband, Melania does not involve in any public debate even though she was dragged by many .

She would certainly break the mold, being the first third wife to occupy the White House, the first non-native speaker of English, and the first fluent in five languages – Slovenian, German, French, Serbian and English.

Contrary to popular belief she would not be the first foreign born – that was Louisa Adams, the English wife of sixth president John Quincy, who served from 1825 to 1829.

Nor would she be the first model – both Betty Ford and Pat Nixon worked as models, with Mrs Nixon using those skills to become the first first lady to appear publicly in trousers, and model them for a national magazine.

Mrs Trump would, however, certainly be the first first lady to have posed naked – the now famous 2000 GQ photo shoot has been widely reproduced, with the then-girlfriend of Mr Trump reclining naked on a fur blanket inside his private jet, and posing in a bra and thong with a gun.

“We have incredible sex at least once a day,” she told “shock jock” Howard Stern that year. “Sometimes even more.”

Mr Trump boasted about how “hot” she looked in “a very small thong”.

Yet despite having a past that would make Barbara Bush blush, Mrs Trump vows to be a traditional first lady.
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