Billion Dollar Lady

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April 2005

People who have spent time with them say there is an ease and comfort between Donald and Melania that makes them a delight to each other and whoever is in their company. They joke and take care of one another, sometimes in unspoken gestures. She need only touch his arm to convey a meaningful message. “We trust each other and look out for each other,” Melania says, “Just like a husband and wife should.”

Donald has said he counts on and consults Melania in many of his business decisions. She says he supports her in all of her various endeavors, from photo shoots to charitable activities, including chairing the Valentino fashion show in Palm Beach for the Boys Club of New York, the dinner to benefit Martha Graham Dance at Tavern on the Green, and her work on behalf of the Police Athletic League “We are equal in our relationship” she explains, “A woman behind the man, and a man behind the woman. I don’t know how other people see us, but we know what we have together.”

Donald knows it, too, “It is the best relationship” he says. “We are compatible on so many levels that the relationship does not require an effort from either of us. This is a wonderful situation to be in, because I so often hear people talking about ‘working on their relationships’, and right away it makes me think there is something wrong. I work all day. If I have to work on a relationship what’s the point? We love and care about each other That’s it in a nutshell, and it is a great place to be.”

They also seem to be best friends. Friendship, too, is a quality that seems to come naturally to Melania, her friend Norma Foerderer, Donalds longtime assistant, describes Melania as gracious, warm and charming. “She has the innate ability to connect with people and can relate to people of all different cultures, backgrounds and age groups,” Foerderer says. “I am significantly older and yet Melania transcends that, and we interact as friends of the same age would, and have a lot of fun together.”

Sitting at her dining table, Melania says that despite the grandeur and opulence of their Manhattan home, they seldom entertain there, “When would we entertain? We’ve done a few parties, but when you have two hours for yourself at home, that is such a gift.”

She says they would like to have a family “when it happens”. Whether it will be a big family or not is more
than she cares to predict. “First, I just want to have one baby,” she says sensibly, leaving us with another lovely image to ponder.