Donald Trump seems to be a big fan of the old phrase “if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” He continued plunging ahead with new business ventures even after the failure of everything from casinos to Trump University. And he claims he’ll run for president again after losing to Joe Biden in 2020.
But the biggest evidence that Trump is willing to “try, try again” is his love life. He is currently on his third wife, Melania Trump, who continues to receive a lot of media focus. And both Donald and the world are still reeling from the tragic and unexpected death of his first wife, Ivana Trump.
Because of these factors, it’s easy to overlook Donald’s second wife: Marla Maples. However, the truth about what happened behind the scenes in their marriage is stranger than anything you might have imagined. Keep reading to learn all about it!
Coming from very different backgrounds
Donald Trump and Marla Maples may be proof that opposites attract. That’s because the two come from very different backgrounds!
By now, everyone knows Trump’s story. Born the son of a New York millionaire real estate developer, Donald Trump grew wealthy in a large and prosperous city. The same could not be said for Marla Maples.
She was born in 1963 (18 years after Trump) in the tiny town of Cohutta, Georgia. Last time we checked, that town only has a population of 700. But in an interview with Maximum Ink, Maples disclosed how “Life was simple in many ways but very full of adventure and friendships. I recall climbing trees, wading through streams, chasing cattle through the pastures and being bucked off a few old paint horses. It was a very healthy and earthy lifestyle. Sports, family, and church were the center of my life in Georgia.”
In 1985, Maples moved to New York, eventually meeting and marrying Donald Trump. For better or for worse, the center of her life had completely changed.
Conflicted feelings about Marla’s pregnancy
Much has been made over the years of Tiffany Trump, the only child that Donald Trump and Marla Maples had together. Unlike Donald’s children with Ivana Trump, Tiffany never seemed to have the same kind of spotlight or opportunities the other kids had.
One reason for this may be that Donald Trump himself was conflicted about Tiffany. According to Factba.se, he elaborated on these conflicting feelings in an interview with Howard Stern. “You know I have another daughter, with Marla, named Tiffany? She’s just a beautiful great kid also. But it’s very separate. When you have separate wives, it’s sort of … separate,” Trump began. “Honestly, I’m glad it happened. I have a great little daughter, Tiffany. But, you know at the time it was like, ‘Excuse me, what happened?’ And then I said, ‘Well, what are we going to do about this?’ She [Maples] said, ‘Are you serious? It’s the most beautiful day of our lives.’ I said, ‘Oh, great.’”
In the interview, Trump insisted that Tiffany was “beautiful” and “great.” But growing up, he would have little way of knowing that for the simple reason that he was never there.
Donald Trump: business mogul, absent parent
When their children are young, many parents struggle to achieve the elusive “work/life balance.” They have to work hard to provide for their kids. But when parents work too hard, they don’t really get to see their children grow up.
This is something Donald Trump and Marla Maples understand all too well. When Tiffany was born in 1993, Trump was dealing with impending bankruptcy in the face of three failing casinos. Due to this, he wasn’t around much to help raise Tiffany.
Marla Maples later discussed this with Us Weekly. “The truth was, the challenge was being able to balance being a working mom and being there for a child full time. Her daddy loves her, of course, but … I was the parent,” she confessed. “I was the parent that was there in the flesh [and] with her all the time. It was amazing. I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. I learned the most and it brought me the greatest joy.”
And even Donald Trump agrees with this assessment of Marla being the primary parent to Tiffany. As the Washington Post reports, Trump wrote in his book Trump: The Art of the Comeback that “Marla was content when it was just her, Tiffany, and me. I, on the other hand, realized that business needed to be taken care of constantly.”
A prenup and very convenient divorce timing
One of the more awkward parts of Donald Trump and Marla Maple’s marriage was negotiating a prenup. According to Vanity Fair, Trump claimed to be worth $1.17 billion at the time of their marriage. Because of this, Marla thought it was fair if she had a prenup for $25 million.
She eventually settled for a $1 million prenup if the two separated within five years along with another $1 million to go towards a home for herself. According to Marla, the idea was that the prenup wouldn’t ever be necessary. “We basically came to an agreement that for the first few years we would agree on something and then tear it up. So, that way, I feel that we have what he needs right now for his business. And then, in five years, I have what I need for a true marriage.”
With tragicomic timing, the two ended up separating after almost four years together. At the time, rumors and headlines flew that they split because Maples was having an affair with Trump’s ex-bodyguard Spencer Wagner. This claim was never confirmed, and Wagner’s own account of the events went back and forth.
We may never know if the affair with Wagner was real. But after the divorce, we learned more about how Donald Trump and Marla Maples really felt about each other.
How each of them really feels about the divorce
For his part, Donald Trump seemed all-too-happy to divorce Maples. Soon after the divorce, he interviewed with Howard Stern and was generally polite when speaking about Marla. Later in the year, Factba.se reports that Trump returned to Howard Stern to disclose how he truly felt about the divorce. After Stern joked that “You got rid of her just at the right time,” Trump responded by saying “Just in time … let’s say that I’m very happy.”
Marla Maples also seemed happy to escape the marriage, and she was a bit more blunt in an interview with the Daily Telegraph. As the New York Post reports, soon after the divorce, she told the London-based publication that she and Trump’s marriage was “built on an illusion” and that she was disappointed in him as a husband.
“I’m so happy to be away from Donald and I’m just trying to move as far away as I can,” she said. “I finally found the courage to walk away and stay away. After I became a mother, I was less willing to put up with his behavior.”
Sadly, Marla Maples would never be able to be quite so blunt about her marriage to Trump again. Part of her prenup and divorce settlement was a confidentiality agreement that put a hard limit on what she could disclose to the public. So far, this has kept her from releasing not one but two tell-all books about her marriage that would tell her side of the story.
Honestly, based on what she has said so far, we can hardly imagine the hot gossip she isn’t allowed to share about her marriage to Donald Trump!