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The real Melania: The 6 things we've learned about Melania Trump from her new biography.

Melania Trump has an air of mystery surrounding her. 

As the First Lady of the United States, she's one of the most famous yet polarising women in the world, but unlike past first ladies such as Michelle Obama and Laura Bush, Melania keeps a relatively low profile.

There's an obvious intrigue into Melania, 50, who rarely speaks at events or does sit-down interviews. Her elusiveness has even gone so far as to spur conspiracy theories (like 'fake Melania'). 

Donald Trump appears to forget Melania. Post continues below video.


Video via CNN.

For background, Donald Trump and Slovenian model Melania Knauss met in Manhattan in 1998 and married seven years later. It was her first marriage and his third.

In 2006, Melania gave birth to their son, Barron William Trump.

This week, an unauthorised biography was released, allegedly lifting the lid on what Melania is really like. The book, by Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post journalist Mary Jordan, has been described as complete "fiction" by the White House, but is based on more than 100 interviews with insiders and those (previously) close to the Trumps.

In The Art of Her Deal: The Untold Story of Melania Trump, Jordan paints Melania as much more influential than she is given credit for.

Here are the most interesting details we've learned from the book.

The fall out from the Access Hollywood tape.

Early in the book, Jordan described a tense interaction between Trump and his wife in late 2016, before the election and after the now-infamous Access Hollywood tape - which caught the future president bragging in 2005 about grabbing women's genitals - was leaked.

According to then-New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Trump was worried about facing Melania.

"'Everybody was saying, 'You should go upstairs and see Melania. Why don't you go upstairs now and see Melania?' And he was not rushing to go up there," Christie recalled, according to the book. "I said to him, 'It ain't going to get any easier. The longer you wait, it's not going to get any easier.'"

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Another source said Trump "seemed frightened to go face his wife".

When he did go see her, Melania was reportedly quietly furious and told Trump off: "You could have blown this for us."

According to the book, Trump's advisers believed it was important for Melania to respond to the tape and show her support for her husband publicly, but she refused.

"When Melania eventually joined the strategy session, she had a one-word reply: 'No.' She said she would decide on her own what to do," Jordan wrote. "And right now she was not going on television with her husband."

Renegotiating her prenup.



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Image: Getty.

 

Three sources claim in the book that Melania began to renegotiate her prenuptial agreement with Trump during the 2016 Presidential campaign, and that is the reason she and Barron did not immediately move to Washington D.C from New York City following his win.

According to the Post, which published extracts from the book before its release, Melania used the Access Hollywood tape and alleged Stormy Daniels affair "to amend her financial arrangement with Trump - what Melania referred to as 'taking care of Barron'."

"She wanted proof in writing that when it came to financial opportunities and inheritance, Barron would be treated as more of an equal to Trump’s oldest three children," Jordan wrote.

Melania's relationship with Ivanka.


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Image: Getty.


According to Jordan, Melania and Trump's daughter Ivanka have interesting nicknames for each other.

"Melania has been overheard referring to Ivanka as 'The Princess'," Jordan wrote. 

"Ivanka, when younger, called Melania 'The Portrait' because she spoke as often as one."

The book also claimed Ivanka tried to take advantage of Melania staying in New York initially following the election, suggesting they rename the First Lady's Office the First Family's Office.

"It's a strange marriage."

According to the book, the Trumps keep separate spaces, routines and beds. During interviews with former housekeepers, Jordan wrote they all noticed how little time the couple spent together.

"It's a strange marriage," former housekeeper at the Trump's Bedminster golf club, Victorina Morales, said.

"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," adding Melania seemed happiest when with Barron.

Melania myths.

Image: Getty. 

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While Trump is regularly accused of stretching the truth, or just... making up his own, Jordan alleges Melania is also a bit of a mythmaker.

For example, Jordan concluded Melania's claim to have graduated from university in Slovenia is either false or exaggerated.

The author also wrote there is little evidence Melania can speak five languages - French, Italian and German in addition to English and her mother tongue Slovenian (at another point, Jordan wrote about how Melania and Barron speak Slovenian almost exclusively in private, irritating Trump who does not understand what they are saying).

More influential than she is given credit for.

According to Jordan, Melania hates being perceived as weak and fragile.

Melania is credited with pushing her husband to pursue the presidency, and has reportedly been an influential advisor to him on certain issues, such as choosing Mike Pence as his running mate. She also encouraged Trump to back down from the "zero tolerance" policy that had separated many children from their parents at the Mexican border.

Jordan wrote the Trumps are much more alike than it appears.

Melania "would seize an opportunity and put great effort into it. Then she would move on and never look back," she wrote.

"As I reconstructed her journey, I learned that Melania has strengths her husband lacks, but she also shares many of the qualities that landed him in the Oval Office. In that sense Melania is like her husband," Jordan said.

"They are both independent, ambitious, image-conscious, unsentimental, and wary of those outside their inner circle. They are both fighters and survivors and prize loyalty over almost all else."

Feature image: Getty.

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