Can’t Look Away: Ivana Sleeps With The Sharks—Scenes from Her Funeral

The Guardian

From: Why are the younger Trumps so awful? Did you hear the speeches at Ivana’s funeral?

By Arwa Mahdawi — 26 July 2022

It is hard to feel sorry for extremely awful, obscenely rich people – particularly in the middle of a cost of living crisis – but I found myself feeling weirdly sad for the Trumps this weekend, after reading about Ivana’s opulent but miserable send-off.

Donald Trump’s first wife, who was found dead at the bottom of her stairs this month, had a gold-hued coffin (of course), but the speeches were the real centrepiece. Her kids and a former nanny all gave eulogies that were bizarre and tragic in equal measure.

The Trump family outside Ivana’s funeral.

Let’s start with the eldest: Donald Jr. The warm memory of his mother that he chose to recount at her funeral? The time she disciplined him so hard she had to stop from exhaustion. Once, when they were kids, said Donald Jr, his sister Ivanka accidentally destroyed an expensive chandelier. Ivanka – it will shock you to hear – lied and said it was her brother’s fault; Ivana then pulled out a wooden spoon to teach Donald Jr a lesson.

He kept insisting that Ivanka was the responsible party, but, by the time he had finally convinced his mother of his innocence, she was “too tired to deal with Ivanka”. (To be fair, he didn’t say explicitly that she hit him with the spoon; maybe she just tickled him with it.)

Then there was the time when he acted up at a restaurant and his mother took him to the loo to show him “what eastern European discipline was really all about”. After she had finished her demonstration, she said: “And if you cry, we’re going to come back in here and do this again.”

He chose these anecdotes to share in his eulogy. Was it passive-aggressive? Did he genuinely think they were cute, funny stories?

Perhaps. Despite the wooden spoon, Donald Jr kept in close contact with his mother. During the tumult of his father’s presidency, Ivana called him, he said, to see if he needed to move back in with her. “That call was simultaneously the sweetest and most emasculating thing ever … she could do that with the best of them, and usually it was on purpose.” Ouch.

Ivanka’s eulogy, meanwhile? She talked about her mother telling her to wear shorter skirts. A bit odd, but not nearly as weird as the contribution from Dorothy Curry, a former nanny to Ivanka, Donald Jr and Eric. In a very dark speech, Curry talked about Ivana’s life becoming a “sinking swamp [of] parasites”.

Ivana’s funeral wasn’t the first piece of evidence that the Trumps may not have had the most well-adjusted family life. Who could forget the former president musing: “If Ivanka weren’t my daughter, perhaps I would be dating her”? Ivana’s memoir is also full of dysfunctional titbits – such as when Donald Sr left Donald Jr on the airport tarmac because he was five minutes late.

A former university classmate of Donald Jr also once claimed in a Facebook post that he witnessed Donald Sr slap his son in front of all of his friends because he wasn’t wearing a suit; the slap was reportedly so hard that Donald Jr fell to the floor. In 2000, during a dispute about his father’s will, Donald Sr cut off health insurance for his nephew’s desperately sick baby. What a loving family.

The family dysfunction is rivalled only by Ivanka’s in-laws, the Kushners. Her father-in-law, Charles Kushner, once paid a sex worker $10,000 to seduce his brother-in-law (who was cooperating with federal authorities in a legal case against Kushner) and recorded the encounter on a hidden camera, later showing it to his sister.

I am not saying all this because I want everyone to feel sorry for the Trump-Kushners, by the way. I just think it explains a lot. If these kids had had a few more hugs, the world might have been spared the worst of their shenanigans.

• Arwa Mahdawi is a Guardian columnist

New York Post headline:

PS. From the New York Post: 

Hillary Clinton’s name was notably cropped out of a blown-up photo of Ivana Trump’s Vanity Fair cover appearance that was displayed at the late socialite’s funeral, Post photos show.

The May 1992 edition of the magazine originally featured Trump on the cover with the headline, “Ivana Be a Star,” in bold letters. In the corner there was also a coverline for an inside story: “Hillary Clinton: Will she get to the White House with Bill or without him?”

But the cover that appeared near the altar on Wednesday was missing Clinton’s headline. Two other headlines on the cover were left in the edited version.”

2 thoughts on “Can’t Look Away: Ivana Sleeps With The Sharks—Scenes from Her Funeral”

  1. This disfunctional (a word my apple phone did not recognize!) family culture began at least with Donald Sr’s childhood when his father showed NO LOVE for his son – ever, and sent him away to military school at a young age,
    This from what was probably a PBS bio of his life. I can’t forgive him but I’ve been able to see how he would have become the way he is and passed it on to his family.
    Sad.

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