More: If you had to pick one word to describe your life, what would it be?
Ivana Trump: Fulfilled and fulfilling. I have led such a fascinating life, even bigger and more wonderful than I ever imagined it could be.
More: Some might say you were an original member of “The First Wives Club.” Do you agree with that statement?
IT: Absolutely. Sadly, Princess Diana and I were just about the first divorced women to come under the global press’s microscope. But I have a feeling it’s a full and active club now.
More: People still think of you as Donald Trump’s ex-wife. What was it like to go through such a high-profile and messy divorce when you and Donald split up?
IT: Divorce for anyone is never easy. Especially when there are young children involved. It seemed that every detail and day was magnified, and I was both vilified and placed on a pedestal. Every day was a challenge, but I had amazing friends to help and support me, and my children were just wonderful and protected me at every turn. They were real heroes through it all, and the spotlight was bright on them, too. Even at their young age.
More: While this was all going on, you also had to deal with another loss, the death of your father.
IT: Yes. It was during this period that my father died. He was too young, just 63, and it devastated my mother and me. He smoked too much, worried too much and didn’t take care of himself the way he should have. I miss him very much, even now. I know for my mother his loss is a daily burden.
More: What’s so remarkable about you is you took your divorce experience with The Donald and penned a book called The Best Is Yet to Come. What did writing that book do for you and your self-esteem?
IT: It was a major turning point for me. First of all, it was a three-book deal, meaning I could make a very healthy living on my own. It meant that people wanted me and what I had to say to the world. It was also cathartic because I could be in touch with feelings that we sometimes try to keep hidden. It opened me up and allowed me to grow.
More: Being a well-known figure and mom to three children, how did you put on a brave face in the public eye when you discovered Donald was cheating on you with his now ex-wife Marla Maples?
IT: I had to think of my children, their safety, their futures and their well being. I grew a tougher hide, just like Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. I conducted myself with dignity, went out of my way to look fabulous and kept my normal routine of making life a very special place for me and my children.
More: How would you describe your relationship with Donald now?
IT: We’ve been divorced for almost 20 years, so it’s basically well and healthy. We have three children and soon to be four grandchildren. We’ve mellowed together, share the good times in our lives and push the past behind us, where it belongs.
More: Are you disappointed he is not making a bid for the White House?
IT: Who said he isn’t? For right now, this very minute he isn’t, but that doesn’t mean forever. You never know with Donald!
More: You have had four husbands. What has being married taught you?
IT: Just that life is one day at a time. Some of those times will be happy and fulfilling, some of them not. But life is life, so try to enjoy it. You only have one life.
More: Are you disappointed none of your marriages worked out?
IT: They did work out, for as long as they lasted.
More: Do you feel your age difference with Rossano Rubicondi [ex-husband number four] became a problem?
IT: Not at all. We were both young at heart. But my life is in the United States—New York City and Florida. He loves being in Europe and working there. So the distance and the time just became greater.
More: What’s your take on love?
IT: I like it—a lot!
More: Do you believe in soul mates?
IT: Not really. I believe that two people can meet and enrich each other’s lives. I’d say that about my parents. But I think it is harder and harder to commit to only one person in a lifetime.
More: In addition to having a personal life, you are an entrepreneur and have two thriving companies, Ivana Inc. and Ivana Haute Couture, which markets your line of cosmetics, accessories and fragrances.
IT: I’ve always worked and thoroughly enjoy it. It’s great being creative and great seeing a company grow.
More: Where did you develop your incredible business sense, given the fact that you were once a champion skier and successful model?
IT: Those two careers shaped my whole being with discipline, being daring and maintaining the importance of having a fabulous façade. All of this is important for a company.
More: You currently have two grandchildren and another two on the way. What do you like them to call you?
IT: I prefer Glam-ma! Goldie Hawn taught me that many years ago, and it is fun!
More: Has becoming a grandmother changed you, and if so, how?
IT: Children are easier the second time around. You can love them, spoil them, guide them and then give them back the next day.
More: Six-time Grammy winner Toni Braxton just announced she is posing for Playboy. Is that something you would ever consider doing?
IT: I think Toni Braxton is a whole lot younger than I am! And no, I never felt the need to show the world what fabulous shape I am in. Being a lifelong athlete really shapes and sharpens the body.
More: If you could get one do-over in your life, what would you want a second chance at, and why?
IT: Nothing! One should never live with regrets or with “what if.” I’ve loved the good times, and I have learned from the bad. All in all, it’s been a pretty fabulous life for me.
Click here to read Bree Williamson on Her Upcoming Second Life to Live.
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