The Donald and Ivana are Splitsville, Pricetag Still in Question
NEW YORK (AP) _ Donald Trump is back in the singles game. Now the question is, how much is his freedom going to cost the virtuoso dealmaker?
A tearful Ivana Trump left court a single woman Tuesday after a judge, citing Trump’s ″cruel and inhuman treatment″ of his wife, dissolved their 13-year marriage.
That makes Trump, dubbed The Donald by Ivana during happier times, one of the most eligible bachelors around.
But with his financial empire crumbling, it’s unclear how much that freedom will cost him - and how eligible he’ll be after paying off.
″There are two parts to any marriage: One, are we married? And two, do I owe you any money? Today we’ve cleared the way for the real issue: division of property,″ said Jay Goldberg, Trump’s lawyer.
The alleged other woman, Marla Maples, kept a low profile.
″Marla is out of town on business. She won’t be having any comment,″ said her spokesman, Chuck Jones.
Michael Kennedy, Mrs. Trump’s lawyer, said Ivana had nothing to say after the uncontested divorce was approved, but Donald issued a brief statement of good will.
″I wish Ivana the best. I have no doubt that she will do very well in the years to come,″ he said.
Whether Ivana, 41, will do well with proceeds of a marital agreement updated in 1987 or with a larger piece of the Trump pie remains to be seen. The marital pact calls for Ivana to receive $10 million and the couple’s Connecticut estate, worth an estimated $12 million, lawyers have said.
Child support, division of property and the validity of any marital agreements will be decided at trial, unless they are settled out of court.
Mrs. Trump, in court papers filed earlier this year, said she was seeking $2.5 billion of Trump’s estimated $5 billion fortune - a figure financial experts say has dwindled drastically in recent months.
The trial is expected to start April 11, Goldberg said.
Trump’s penchant for publicity backfired somewhat as his marital troubles were splashed across newspapers, radio and television with reports of his alleged affair with Miss Maples, a model who wants to become an actress.
A New York Post front-page headline quoted Miss Maples, 26, as saying of her relationship with Trump: ″Best Sex I’ve Ever Had.″ A picture of a smirking Donald ran next to the headline.
Further tales of their trysting, some liaisons allegedly carried out virtually under Ivana’s nose at Trump Tower, kept tongues wagging coast to coast until Donald’s financial woes edged news about the breakup aside.
Mrs. Trump argued in court papers that the couple’s updated agreement, signed in 1987, was drawn up while her husband was already committing adultery and intended to leave her. Trump, 45, maintains the agreement remains valid.
It was not clear what effect the divorce would have on Mrs. Trump’s position as head of the Plaza Hotel. Trump, speaking later at the Plaza, said he had not decided whether to keep his ex-wife as an employee.
Trump, who has come under pressure from creditors at his Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City and had to refinance millions in debt to stay afloat, was zapped by the judge in the divorce decree.
Judge Phyllis Gangel-Jacob Gangel-Jacob said, ″Mr. Trump’s cruel and inhuman treatment ... made it unsafe or improper to continue to be married.″
The Trumps have three children, ages 12, 8 and 6, who have been staying with Mrs. Trump since the couple separated last winter.