Melania Trump’s Biography At Least Reveals That She’s Great Roommate

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Melania Trump may be ultimately unknowable but one thing that becomes clear in Mary Jordan’s new book, The Art of Her Deal, is that she’s a great roommate. The book, which Simon & Schuster released Tuesday, had several interesting revelations about the first lady that have made their own headlines in the last few days, from how competitive she and the first daughter are to leveraging her absence in the East Wing to renegotiate her prenup. But perhaps the book’s biggest, most consistent takeaway is that Melania Trump really is the ideal person to share a living space with. (Stephanie Grisham, the first lady’s chief of staff, has accused the book of having “false information and sources.”)

Like, take her modeling years, which Jordan spends a couple chapters on. In the years before she met Donald Trump, Melania was a model aging out of the profession. She began in her early 20s in Milan, where Riccardo Gay repped her at his agency. She never skyrocketed to big time as she may have hoped to, but she steadily worked. As Gay told Jordan, “She was a beautiful, professional lady” and a “commercial model.” Sergio Salerni, a video archivist for Milan Fashion Week, said that, “Melania to me is—a nice, beautiful lady, but if you ask me, ‘Do you remember her in one show?’ I say, ‘No, I don’t remember her.’” PierCarlo Borgogelli of RVR in Milan said, “She was not a big model. Yes, she did some catalogs. But for agents, you want to say, ‘I can make you a supermodel,’ not, ‘I can make you the wife of a rich man.’ It’s better in the industry to be known as ‘I can make you Cindy Crawford’ rather than the wife of [former Italian prime minister Silvio] Berlusconi or Trump.”

Jordan found that while Melania was in the Milan she didn’t party much, even though it was easy to do at the time. Just worked, worked, worked, which is dependable and great if you were to be, for example, rooming with her. Melania made it to Paris eventually where her actual roommate, Victoria Silvstedt, a model from Sweden, confirmed she was a good roommate. “She was always very quiet,” Silvstedt said.

The trend continued throughout her life: her first New York apartment, which she shared with fashion photographer Matthew Atanian, was small and cramped but it wasn’t a problem because Melania was quiet and “never brought anyone home.” A booker who worked for the agent who brought her to the U.S. added that 26-year-old Melania was nice but “distant.” “She wasn’t friends with anyone, and you have to understand how unusual that is,” the woman added. She minded her business! She didn’t depend on you for anything! Good! Roommate!

Was she bringing more friends around by the time she moved into the most famous house in America? Nope! The few people she invited to the dinner the night before the inauguration (compared to Trump and his children’s list) were those who worked for her. Even her sister, Ines, was not there. No one hanging around the East Wing, no unnecessary chatter. Just an easy-breezy person to live with.

Even one of the clearest examples of an apparently frosty relationship between Melania and her stepdaughter Ivanka just lends credence to the idea that she really doesn’t bother anyone. When she was younger, the first daughter reportedly used to call Melania “The Portrait,” meaning the worst thing she could say about her stepmom is that she’s quiet.

The biggest revelation from the book—that Melania was allegedly able to renegotiate her prenup by remaining in New York while Trump began his presidency in D.C.—hinges on the fact that he wanted her to move back in with him. Perhaps in her, the president has found the ultimate roommate. Consider, in Jordan’s words, “no matter which of his properties he is visiting, Trump sleeps in a separate bedroom that has been decorated to his taste—he favors darker colored walls and rugs, while Melania likes whites and light colors.” A former housekeeper of the Bedminster property, Victorina Morales, observed how the Trumps lived together, saying through a translator, “It’s a strange marriage. I never saw them like a normal family, sitting together at a table, eating together, talking. Never, never, never. They spend time in the same place, but they don’t interact.”

Much of the reporting, both with on-the-record and on-background quotes, describes a savvy woman who knows how to speak up when she needs to. But Trump himself insists that theirs is a successful union because she does not seek to cross or top him. “At this moment, she’s really only interested in what’s good for me,” he said shortly before they were married in 2006. “And I say that with the greatest respect. She’s really far more interested in me than she is in herself.”


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