Donald Trump is the President of the United States and his third wife, Melania Trump, is his First Lady. The business mogul-turned-politician and former model have been married for more than a decade. Their first child together, Barron Trump, is 11-years-old.
The Trumps met nearly two decades ago, in 1998 in New York City. While Mr. Trump was currently involved at the time, they began seeing each other shortly thereafter. Mr. and Mrs. Trump have been together, for the most part, ever since.
While Mr. Trump has always been in the spotlight — and, as a result, so have his relationships — their union gained an even greater level of media scrutiny when he announced his intention to run for president in June 2015. From that point, divorce rumors have persisted, despite being denied.
Here is what you need to know:
1. Donald & Melania Met in 1998 During New York Fashion Week
Donald was on a date with girlfriend and Norwegian heiress Celina Midelfart when he first laid eyes on the woman who would become his First Lady. The two were introduced by Paolo Zampolli — who owned the modeling agency that discovered Melania Knauss — at the Kit Kat Club. Melania had been in New York since 1996, working as a model; Donald Trump was, at the time, in the middle of a divorce from his second wife, Marla Maples.
According to GQ, Donald is said to have sent Celina to the bathroom and asked Melania Trump for her phone number, but Melania declined, as he was already on a date that evening. She did, however, accept his phone number and called him a few weeks later for a date.
“Unimpressed with merely catching the eye of the famous billionaire, Melania was studying the situation as if testing a coin with her teeth. ‘If I give him my number, I’m just one of the women he calls,’ she remembers. Melania was curious to see if he’d proffer a business number. ‘I wanted to see what his intention is,’ she explains. ‘It tells you a lot from the man what kind of number he gives you. He gave me all of his numbers.'”
2. The Trumps Have Broken up More Than Once
Cosmopolitan reports that Donald and Melania broke up later in 1998, owing to Donald’s propensity to infidelity. Having cheated on both of his wives, apparently Donald inspired some misgivings in Melania.
“She had some trust issues with him at the beginning,” says Matthew Atanian, a photographer who had been Melania’s roommate at Zeckendorf Towers in Union Square when she first moved to New York. “She was telling me that she wouldn’t have it, he was back to his old ways. She kept her apartment to have her own space because of this.”
Donald and Melania were said to have reunited within the next six months.
The pair reportedly split again in January 2000; this time it was Donald doing the dumping. According to the New York Post, neither Donald nor Melania was happy with the separation. The outlet quoted a source saying she was “devastated,” while Trump himself said it “was the hardest thing I’ve ever done.”
3. Donald Proposed in 2004
Donald Trump turned girlfriend Melania Knauss into fiancee on April 26, 2004. He popped the question at the Costume Institute Gala, at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.
The New York Post reports that Trump offered a 12-karat engagement ring, worth $2 million, when he asked. The New York Times said the bauble was worth $1.5 million, but the important fact is that Trump only paid half of that total; diamond sellers Graff offered the discount to have their name attached to the proposal.
“Only a fool would say, ‘No thank you, I want to pay a million dollars more for a diamond.'”
The two were married on January 22, 2005, at The Episcopal Church of Bethesda-by-the-Sea in Palm Beach, Florida. Their reception followed at Trump’s now-famous Mar-a-Lago estate.
4. The Trumps Have 1 Son Together, Barron
“He came home, and I told him he’d be a daddy. And his reaction was … at first he needed to take it in. It was a real surprise. And then he was very happy,” she said.
In the same piece, she predicted he might not be the most hands-on of fathers.
“I don’t expect him to walk down Fifth Avenue with a stroller,” Mrs. Trump added.
On March 20, 2006, Melania gave birth to Barron William Trump, Donald’s fifth child.
5. Divorce Rumors Have Surrounded the Couple in Recent Months
Rumors have surrounded the Trumps long before Donald Trump was elected president. Some speculate that the intense public scrutiny of their relationship is wearing on the First Lady.
Divorce rumors reared their ugly head following the release of Trump’s infamous exchange with Billy Bush, the former host of Access Hollywood. The Independent reports that they’re rumored to sleep in separate beds. Another rumor said Melania had divorce papers drawn up and she was prepared to sign them if Trump didn’t win the 2016 Presidential Election. Melania maintaining their home at Trump Tower in New York after Donald moved into the White House threw another log onto the fire.
For their part, the Trumps have either flat-out denied or completely ignored the rumors about their marriage.