What You Never Knew About Ivanka Trump

The world knows Ivanka Trump as a socialite and businesswoman who became the nation's first daughter in 2017, serving an unofficial role as close confidante to former U.S. President Donald J. Trump. Eldest daughter and second-eldest child of Donald Trump and the late Ivana Trump, she's lived a privileged and lavish life in the public eye surrounded by fancy cars, private jets, head honchos, socialites, and celebrities.

Although largely defined by her family's name – and whether you love or loathe her father – Ivanka is her own person. By the age of 40, she already lived an eventful life, having held a number of other roles, including model, fashion mogul, television personality, author, wife, and mother (per Business Insider).

While you certainly know that Ivanka Trump exudes confidence and charisma in her public life, there's likely plenty you don't know about the former first daughter — including her real name.

Ivanka Trump's first name is not actually Ivanka

Former First Daughter Ivanka Trump was born on October 30, 1981, to real estate tycoon, reality TV star, and former U.S. President Donald Trump and the late Ivana Trump, who emigrated to Canada from Czechoslovakia in the early '70s (via Britannica). While the public has long known Ivanka as the name of Donald's oldest daughter, it turns out she was actually named Ivana after her mother – just as her older brother, Donald Trump Jr., was given the same name as his famous father. "Ivanka," it turns out, was her nickname.

In 2010, Ivanka was asked on Twitter how her name came about, leading her to reveal the surprising truth. "My actual name is Ivana. In Czech, Ivanka is the baby name for Ivana, like Bobby is to Robert," she tweeted. According to Britannica, her full legal name is Ivana Marie Trump, the same as her mother's.

She never forgave her former stepmother for contributing to her parents' divorce

At only 9 years old, Ivanka Trump had to deal with her private family drama becoming public when the media learned that her father, Donald Trump, had cheated on her mother, Ivana Trump, with actress Marla Maples. In an interview with GQ, Ivanka spoke about the difficult experience that no child should go through. "I would go to school and have hordes of photographers standing outside my classrooms when I'd be leaving, asking me, 'So is it true that Marla said that your father was the best sex she'd ever had?'" She explained that the experience toughened her up and taught her not to trust easily.

Her father would go on to marry Maples, and, in time, she and the actress developed a good relationship. However, Ivanka admitted to the magazine that resentments lingered. "The situation with Marla was very tricky. I mean, I will never totally forgive her," she said. "I would feel like ... if I fully embraced Marla, I'd almost feel like I'd be being disloyal to my mother. So I can never let that go. I'll always know what the situation was."

Ivanka Trump had her rebellious moments

The world generally knows Ivanka Trump as the New York socialite and daughter of Donald Trump who grew up to become a serious businesswoman and later serve as his wing-woman in the White House. And, while Ivanka was (and is) an ambitious and focused hard worker determined to follow in her father's footsteps, she did have her rebellious moments as a teen.

"I think my mom threatened to put me up for adoption a few times," she said of her teenage antics in a 2007 interview with Marie Claire. For example, she "dyed [her] hair purple" when she was 13, as she revealed in a 1998 interview with Spin Magazine.

When she was 15, her parents sent her to a boarding school in Connecticut. "I was all of a sudden in the prison of boarding-school life, and all my friends in New York were having fun," she remembered when talking with Marie Claire. During this time, her mother even refused to pay her phone bill (and these were the days when any long-distance calls cost a fortune).

Ivanka was more than just the face behind her brand

As a former model with her family's name, it was perhaps inevitable that Ivanka Trump would launch a self-titled apparel and accessories brand. Initially, the line began in 2007 solely as a fine jewelry company, per The New Yorker. Before launching, she told Marie Claire, "It's exciting for me, particularly because it would be the first thing I've done under my own name. I obviously have a great love and appreciation of jewelry ... But it doesn't matter how much I love jewelry; I wouldn't do it if it weren't going to be successful."

And successful it did become. Vogue noted in a 2015 interview with the brand's namesake that Nordstrom was the line's largest retailer. According to Pete Nordstrom, president of merchandising for the iconic department store, "The style sensibility is there. It's relevant, it's modern, but reasonably priced." Nordstrom described Trump's approach as hands-on. "She said, 'I'm serious about this; I'm not just a name, licensing a product without any involvement.' She wasn't asking for anything; there was no sense of entitlement," he described.

She shut down her eponymous brand in 2018

Despite the initial success of Ivanka Trump's lifestyle brand — Vogue noted the brand's fourth-quarter sales of 2014 were up in every category — her involvement in her father's 2016 presidential campaign and eventual presidency led to controversy and trouble for her brand.

By February 2017, Nordstrom dropped the label from its stores, per The New York Times. The retailer released a statement saying the decision was based not on politics but sales performance. The decision came on the heels of the #GrabYourWallet campaign, which encouraged consumers to boycott the brand and all products with ties to Donald Trump, the family, and campaign donors. Around this time, there was much buzz about whether Ivanka would continue with her fashion empire since it presented a conflict of interest with her ties to her father's political work (via The Wall Street Journal).

One year later, Ivanka, forced to restrict her involvement in the brand due to conflicts of interest, decided to shut it down for good.

The former first daughter would call her dad from a closet at school

Notably close with both of her famous, larger-than-life parents, Ivanka Trump certainly did not have a traditional upbringing. While her father was constantly working, he still "always made [his children] his top priority," Trump told CNN's Gloria Borger.

She even revealed how, during her days at an exclusive private school in New York City, she'd hide in a janitor's closet and call her father, whom she always would reach. "I was probably 10 years old and I'd call collect to the Trump Organization," Trump recollected. No matter who was in his office, her father would put his daughter on speakerphone. "It was colleagues, it was titans of industry, it was heads of countries. He'd always tell everyone in the room how great a daughter I was and say cute things and ask me about a test I took," she said. 

While The Donald may not exactly be known for his words of wisdom, it was he who gave her the "most consistent piece of advice" of all: "You'll never be able to compete at the highest level if you don't deeply love what it is that you do'" (via CNN).

Ivanka Trump was a model, but the career wasn't her 'endgame'

Ivanka Trump has a multifaceted history in the fashion business as both the former head of her former fashion, accessories, and lifestyle brand and as a teen model. She walked the runway for Betsey Johnson, Versace, Tommy Hilfiger, Vivienne Westwood, and Betsey Johnson and has appeared in magazines, including Elle, Glamour, and Seventeen, where she graced the front cover in 1997. Of Trump's future in modeling, one industry source reportedly told Spin in 1998, "I think she'll be a big model because right now is a big time for celebrities and personalities, and the Trump name is bigger than ever."

According to Express, she allegedly "[demanded] $10,000 to appear in fashion shows." However, she told "Inside Edition" that it wasn't about the money. "I model because I love to model and it's something that I enjoy doing," the then-teen explained. However, she apparently changed her mind, telling Marie Claire in 2007, "Modeling was not an endgame for me. I didn't particularly enjoy the act of it. It's as ruthless an industry as real estate" and one she "used ... as an excuse to travel ... as a way to break up the monotony."

In her 2009 book, "The Trump Card," the former model was quoted as saying the models she worked with for a Tommy Hilfiger campaign were "entitled, unsupervised, undereducated, pampered teenagers whose every success came as the direct result of someone else's disappointment" (via Express).

Ivanka Trump once ran an online community for women

Before Ivanka Trump became a trusted advisor to father Donald Trump, she launched IvankaTrump.com, an online platform and community to "change the dialogue around what it looks like to be a millennial woman who works," she told Women's Health in 2016. "Nobody says, 'a working man.' It's an assumption that men work. Whereas, with women, even though so many of us are working, there is almost a stigma attached to that combination of words," she added. In celebrating working women of all kinds, Ivanka referred to, among others, stay-at-home moms, freelancers, and those working in corporate America.

Once Ivanka became fully invested in her father's presidency, she was forced to let go of the platform she created. As of this writing, her website features a thank you note to her followers and customers: "It has been an honor to build this incredible community. ... We built a brand, by women for women, committed to inspiring women to redefine success on their own terms, and in pursuit of their individual passions and priorities."

In 2017, Ivanka published her second book, this one with the same name as her Women Who Work brand. Despite being a New York Times Bestseller, "Women Who Work" received mixed reviews

Her political views have shifted over the years

While Donald Trump certainly made his political views clear when running for president in 2016, his oldest daughter did not. While evident that Ivanka Trump fully supported her father's bid for the presidency, she hesitated to share her own political views. In a radio interview with GBH News, Ivanka evaded a question on abortion, saying, "I don't talk about my politics. I don't feel like it's my role, and not the candidate's." She continued, saying, "I'm the daughter ... I don't think my politics are relevant to the discussion."

At the time, Ivanka was widely rumored to be pro-choice, due to her feminist-leaning views toward working women. In 2016, Ivanka told CNN she was an independent, though she was later revealed to be a Democrat (via The Hill). In fact, despite campaigning for her father, she was not able to vote for him because she missed the deadline to change her voter registration to Republication. By 2018, however, she officially became a Republican, telling The New York Times, "I am a proud Trump Republican."

For someone who once declared to the Republican National Convention, "I do not consider myself categorically Republican," Ivanka has since taken a hard line in her political stance (via Real Clear Politics): "I respect all sides of a very personal and sensitive discussion, but I am also a mother of three children, and parenthood affected me in a profound way in terms of how I think about these things," she said. "I am pro-life, and unapologetically so."

She and Jared Kushner once broke up over religion

While we know that Ivanka Trump and husband Jared Kushner have a lot in common when it comes to their families, their ambition, and their passion for real estate, as Vogue noted, one area where the two did not always align is religion.

Though Trump converted to Judaism upon marrying Kushner — she is Modern Orthodox just like her husband and his family — there was a point in their relationship where they broke up over the issue, per The New Yorker. Kushner's parents were set on him settling down with a Jewish partner, and when they voiced their less-than-thrilled opinion of his marrying someone outside the religion, he didn't defend her. In 2008, they broke up, only to reunite three months later when mutual friend Wendi Deng invited the two to spend the weekend on her yacht — without telling one that the other was invited.

Trump later won over Kushner's parents with her newfound knowledge of Judaism and decision to convert, noted The New Yorker. These days, the pair, along with their children, observe the laws of the Sabbath by unplugging between sundown on Fridays and Saturdays.

Chelsea Clinton is among Ivanka Trump's famous former friends

As the daughter of polarizing real estate tycoon-turned-president Donald Trump, Ivanka Trump has been known to have friends in high places.

One such (former) friend is Chelsea Clinton, who, as the daughter of political powerhouse couple Bill and Hillary Clinton, has lived life in the public eye as a result of her famous parents. The two former first daughters have been pictured together over the years, with Chelsea even sharing kind words about Ivanka to Vogue in 2015: "She's always aware of everyone around her and ensuring that everyone is enjoying the moment. ... There's nothing skin-deep about Ivanka, and I think that's a real tribute to her because certainly anyone as gorgeous as she is could have probably gone quite far being skin-deep."

Nevertheless, their friendship became strained after The Donald's 2016 presidential campaign and subsequent time in the White House. In one interview with "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert," Chelsea revealed she hadn't spoken to Ivanka "in a long time." And, in another interview with Andy Cohen for "Watch What Happens Live," she made her feelings even clearer, telling the host she has "no interest" in being friends with Ivanka.

According to the South China Morning Post, Chelsea isn't Ivanka's only famous friend to distance themselves from her — others allegedly include Emmy Rossum and Anna Wintour. And then there's her former friend, Lysandra Ohrstrom, who wrote an unflattering tell-all about Ivanka for Vanity Fair.

Some of her famous friends have stood by her

While some of Ivanka Trump's famous friends have reportedly sought their distance from her, it seems there are still a few who've remained in her corner. Fellow hotel heiress Paris Hilton is said to have known Ivanka for many years, as they apparently run in the same social circles. In one old photo shared by the South China Morning Post, Ivanka and Paris are spotted dancing together at a club in St. Tropez. 

Paris' known pal of many years, Kim Kardashian, is said to have only grown closer to Ivanka since her father was in the White House (via W Magazine). With the second-eldest Kardashian sister pursuing a law degree and working on releasing non-violent criminals from prison, she had worked with then-President Donald Trump to advance her criminal justice reform efforts.

Then there's Wendi Deng, the entrepreneur, investor, and art collector ex-wife of media mogul Rupert Murdoch, responsible for setting Ivanka up with husband Jared Kushner and for bringing them back together after their brief 2008 split. Per the South China Morning Post, Hugh Jackman is also known to be a longtime friend of Ivanka; she was even seen at the actor's 50th birthday party.

Ivanka dated a couple of unlikely suitors before Jared Kushner

In 2015, Ivanka Trump told Vogue it was "hard to think about life before Jared. What did I do with all of that free time?" However, that's not to say she didn't have previous relationships. In actuality, Ivanka had several long-term boyfriends — and she was reportedly linked to a couple of stars you probably wouldn't expect. One was Lance Armstrong. According to People, a source alleged that the pair went out on a few dates in 2006, but nothing ever materialized between the cycling champion and the heiress. Trump later told People, "I have tremendous respect for Lance and all he has accomplished. That said, we are just friends."

That same year, People also claimed that there seemed to be something brewing between Trump and "That '70s Show" star Topher Grace, when they were spotted at her 25th birthday party at Pure Nightclub in Las Vegas. The pair allegedly "danced and cuddled" and "shared a quick kiss" before leaving the club together holding hands.

In 2018, the actor was asked by The Daily Beast about his rumored romance with the then-president's daughter. While he did confirm it was true, he said, "This was a decade ago. I met her here in New York and we went on a couple of dates."

She once told an interviewer she's attracted to 'dorks'

We've long become accustomed to seeing Ivanka Trump standing beside her equally wealthy and successful husband, Jared Kushner. The two certainly have a lot in common, both coming from well-to-do families and both possessing a deep sense of drive and ambition.

While it's now difficult to picture Ivanka before partnering up with Jared, it seems as if her future husband was just her type, as Donald Trump's famous daughter revealed to GQ in 2007. "I like very strong guys. Successful guys," she said in the interview, before adding, "Honestly, I have a tendency to date dorks. Which means that a lot of times, I date guys that no one else would deem to be a hunk."

While Ivanka's husband does have a dashing display of dimples, he could very easily be categorized as, well, dorky. Hey, she's definitely a woman who knows what she wants.