As an impending Trump divorce makes the headlines in 2018, it's easy to see it will be less dramatic than the first one that swept up tabloids in the 1990s. Don Jr. and Vanessa may be splitting up, but don't expect headlines like, "Trump v. Trump: Billion Dollar Blow Up" or "Best Sex I Ever Had." Only one Trump divorce can gather that kind of coverage. Why Trump and Ivana got divorced was once the talk of the country, and the president and his first wife's public split can't be topped when it comes to notoriety.
There may be many reasons for their ultimate split, but the main one seems to be Trump's second wife, Marla Maples. She's the one behind the "Best Sex I Ever Had" headline. Evidently that's what she had told friends about her time with Trump.
Ivana wrote in a book that was released last year that she knew her marriage was over when she first met Maples, on a day in December 1989 — some three years before the divorce was final.
"This young blonde woman approached me out of the blue and said 'I'm Marla, and I love your husband. Do you?'" wrote Ivana in her book, Raising Trump. "I said 'Get lost. I love my husband.' It was unladylike but I was in shock."
But that was not the last she heard from Maples. After the divorce, Trump went on to marry her and have another child, Tiffany. They later divorced.
According to an interview Trump gave in 1994, it wasn't so much the affair that precipitated the divorce, but rather getting caught. He told ABC's Primetime Live that he was happy with how things were going. "Well it's interesting, because it's possible that you know, maybe it would still be going on. I'm not sure," Trump said of how he felt before the divorce.
"My life was so great in so many ways. The business was so great... a beautiful girlfriend, a beautiful wife, a beautiful everything. Life was just a bowl of cherries," Trump added.
There could have been other reasons that played into it, too. One of the most reported reasons is that he didn't like her breast implants. "When Mr Trump divorced the first of his three wives, Ivana, he let the New York tabloids know that one reason for the separation was that her breast implants felt all wrong," The Economist reported during the 2016 presidential election. Trump never commented on the claim.
The marriage legally lasted from 1977 until 1992 — Trump's longest at 15 years. Maples was married to Trump for six years. Trump and Melania are currently going on 13 years together.
The timing of the Ivana-Trump divorce was such that the youngest two children, Eric and Ivanka, did not remember much of the fighting. But Don Jr. was just old enough to see the tabloids on the way to school — he reportedly stopped talking to his father for a year. He told New York magazine:
Listen, it’s tough to be a 12-year-old. You’re not quite a man, but you think you are. You think you know everything. Being driven into school every day and you see the front page and it’s divorce! THE BEST SEX I EVER HAD! And you don’t even know what that means.
Now that Don Jr. is contemplating his own divorce, this experience may explain why he and his wife Vanessa are going a different route. The two have been amicable in public, and they continue to interact on social media regarding the kids. That's a lot different than the tabloid battles of the '90s.