Thanks to Twitter, The Apprentice, and his often headline-making comments, it's no surprise that much of the U.S. public feels as though they know Donald Trump on a personal level. But what about the woman behind his podium? Melania Trump, the President-elect's third wife, is more than just a pretty face in the Trump posse. In fact, there's actually a lot you probably don't know about her, from her secret half-brother to how she met Mr. Trump in the first place.
So because Michelle Obama is saying her farewell to the White House (we'll miss you, girl!), we've decided to do a deep dive into the Slovenia-born, millionaire wife who went from model all the way to first lady. Umm, talk about a resumé!
She Wasn't a "Typical Slovenian Girl"
Melania, who was born in 1970 as Melanija Knavs in a former part of Yugoslavia which later became Slovenia, had pretty high ambitions as a young girl. She began modeling at only five years old, and was discovered by famous photographer Stane Jerko when she was 17. A year later, she signed a modeling contract in Milan and was hopping from the Italian fashion capital to Paris for photo shoots. During that time, she switched her last name from Knavs to Knauss to sound more German, the New York Post reported.
Her ex-boyfriend, Jure Zorcic, told ABC News in 2016 that she wasn't a "typical Slovenian girl," and that he "was impressed by her beauty from the very first moment."
By 1996, she was well on her way to meeting her future husband when she decided to move to New York.
She Became An American Fashion Model For Many Publications
When Melania made the jump from Milan to New York, she began booking big gigs at Allure, Self, Vanity Fair, ELLE, and even appeared on the cover of Vogue. Her nude photoshoot with British GQ in 2000 came back to haunt her during her husband's presidential campaign, as anti-Trump ads featuring the scantily-clad future First Lady urged voters to cast their ballots for Ted Cruz instead. As you can imagine, Donald was not pleased...
At First, She Refused to Give Donald Trump Her Number
Melania met her now-husband of 10 years at a party — while he was on a date with another woman, People reported. "He came to the party with a date!" she revealed. "I had heard he was a ladies' man, and so I said, 'I'm not one of the ladies.' Later, she noted, he sent his date to the ladies' room so that he could get Melania's number. That phone call proved to be the ticket to holy matrimony, and the two tied the knot in 2005.
She Wore a Pretty, Erm, Unforgettable Dress to Her Wedding
The model, who looks happy as can be in the below wedding photo TBH, sported a detailed number by Christian Dior on her big day. According to Vogue, her white satin gown was "made from 300 feet of material and embroidered with 1,500 crystal rhinestones and pearls." Its estimated cost is about $100,000, and it's "thought to be one of the most expensive wedding dresses ever made." Melania was instructed to eat a good meal before she walked down the aisle to keep up her strength because of the sheer weight of the dress. Wowza!
Because you can count on the President-elect to do everything big, their extravagant wedding at his Florida estate included one of the most expensive cakes in history (second to William and Kate's!). The seven-tiered confection was five feet tall, 200 pounds, and covered with 3,000 white icing roses. The guests were also served personal chocolate cakes filled with chocolate truffle.
She Has a Secret Half-Brother
A reporter at GQ made a major discovery while researching Melania Trump for a profile of the incoming first lady. She found that Melania's father, Victor Knavs, had secretly fathered a son before getting hitched to the first lady's mom. When confronted with this information, Melania claimed the reports were untrue. Later, she retracted that claim saying she had known about her half-brother "for years."
She Calls Her Son Barron "Little Donald"
It looks like we have a Donald Trump in the making — 10-year-old Barron Trump is apparently just like his father. According to The Week, he "loves wearing a suit and tie and playing golf with his dad. He is also said to share his father's love of bossing people around."
"He is a very strong-minded, very special, smart boy," Melania told Parenting. "He is independent and opinionated and knows exactly what he wants. Sometimes I call him 'Little Donald.' He is a mixture of us in looks, but his personality is why I call him Little Donald.
She'll Be a Historic First Lady
Melania will be the first foreign-born first lady since Louisa Adams, John Quincy Adam's wife. She's also the most "linguistically gifted" first ladies ever, as she speaks fluently in FOUR different languages.
Although she's also the first of the Presidents' wives to have posed nude for a magazine, she has some traditional qualities as well. Back in 1999 when Donald was considering running for president she told the New York Times, "I would be very traditional. Like Betty Ford or Jackie Kennedy. I would support him."