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Ivana Got Alimony. Donald Got Publicity.

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What Trump learned from his divorce is that there’s no such thing as bad press. Only that you can never have enough of it.

About the author: Molly Jong-Fast is a contributing writer at The Atlantic and the author of its newsletter Wait, What? She is also the host of The New Abnormal and a columnist for Vogue.

The funeral for the first wife of former President Donald Trump, Ivana, took place on a hot July day at St. Vincent Ferrer Roman Catholic Church on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, not far from the townhouse where she died at the age of 73. Her golden casket sat next to a large poster board of her 1992 Vanity Fair cover, which read Ivana Be a Star! The story, by Bob Colacello, chronicled the junketing and jet-setting that went along with Ivana’s effort to reinvent herself after her 1990 divorce from Donald.

Although, at the time of her death, Ivana had been out of the public eye for years, she had helped make Donald, as the editor who put her on that magazine cover told me.

“I do think Ivana was hugely important to Donald Trump’s rise—she domesticated the beast socially,” said Tina Brown (who left Vanity Fair to become editor of The New Yorker shortly afterward). “Before and after her, you never saw Trump at any top gathering or cultural opening. She brought him into circles he had ogled from outside and created a glamour aura.”

Ivana may have succeeded in gaining the couple access to more exclusive echelons of Manhattan society, but above all, their parting, not their pairing, was what transformed them into prominent characters in the 1990s’ new culture of tabloid-gossip-driven........

© The Atlantic

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