Marla Maples is set to step into the spotlight once again as a cast member on Season 22 of Dancing with the Stars, and – despite recent years out of the public eye – the actress is more than used to the attention.
The pair, who split after six years of marriage in 1999, have a daughter, Tiffany Trump, 22 – and a soap opera-like romantic history. Here’s six things to know about Maples and her time as Mrs. Trump.
1. In addition to film roles, Maples has recorded music and starred on Broadway.
Maples, a Georgia native, has mostly kept out of the spotlight after years of tabloid attention, but still worked steadily in Hollywood.
Appearing in films like Black and White throughout her marriage in the ’90s, Maples also starred on Broadway in the 1992 Tony-winning production of The Will Rogers Follies. In 2011, she returned to the stage in an off-Broadway production of Love, Loss and What I Wore.
In 2013, Maples released a new-age album called The Endless, which featured the likes of Deepak Chopra and the 14th Dalai Lama.
2. She studies Kabbalah.
She told Vanity Fair in 2005 that her study of Kabbalah helped her get over her painful, very public divorce from Trump.
“[Kabbalah] helped me learn to take responsibility for my own choices and no longer be the victim,” she told the magazine.
Last year, she posted a photo of herself in her backyard watching a Kabbalah lesson.
3. She still loves Trump.
Back in 2013, Maples opened up about her feelings toward the billionaire, telling Oprah: Where Are They Now?, “I still love Donald.”
That affection extends to his now-grown children as well: “I love Eric and Ivanka and Donnie so much. I had the chance to know them when they were young and now to see how well they’re doing just touches my heart. We watch The Apprentice and I cry when I see the kids on it. I’m crazy, I’m that emotional person.”
Asked recently about Trump’s presidential run, which Tiffany backs, Maples told Inside Edition, “He’s the father of my beautiful daughter and I support her in everything.”
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4. Maples’ and Trump’s relationship began while he was still married.
If Trump wins the presidency, it’s third wife Melania who will take on first lady duties. And while the pair’s marriage may come with a 24-year age gap, its beginnings were still less auspicious than Trump’s relationship with Maples.
Trump was married to first wife Ivana from 1977 92, and wed Maples, now 52, the next year – their relationship reportedly began years before, however.
The pair were rumored to have begun an affair as early as 1987 (Maples said they first met in 1985), and, in 1989, Trump entertained both while on a vacation to Aspen, leading to an infamous ski slope confrontation between the women and ultimately his pricy divorce.
5. Daughter Tiffany was born two months before their wedding.
When Maples and Trump were married at New York City’s famous Plaza hotel in front of 1,100 guests in December 1993, daughter Tiffany was just over two months old.
Despite an infant at home, the pair spared no expense for the wedding. Maples, then 29, wore a white Carolina Herrera dress for her trip down the aisle, and topped off her look with a borrowed $2 million tiara, the New York Daily News reported at the time. She and Trump would go on to divorce six years later in 1999.
6. Maples raised Tiffany as a single parent.
Not a fan of the changes in her new life as a society wife (“You become a caricature of yourself,” she told New York Magazine ), Maples moved to the West coast following her divorce.
“My mom and I have always been very close since she did raise me as like a single mom,” Tiffany told OWN’s Oprah: Where Are They Now? in 2013. “My friends and everyone I know are like, ‘Wow, you guys really have a really good relationship.’ She’s with me a lot of the time, so people find that kind of shocking.”
While Trump wasn’t always physically around during Tiffany’s youth, The Trumps author Gwenda Blair told Inside Edition he “paid for her education,” and her relocation to the University of Pennsylvania for college a few years ago has drawn them closer.