Tensions flared between Donald Trump‘s first and third wives — Ivana and Melania, respectively — on Monday after Ivana insisted in a new television interview that she would always be the president’s “first lady.”
But in her new book, Raising Trump, out Tuesday, Ivana says she has “no problems … at all” with her ex’s current wife.
“Why should I? She didn’t break up my marriage,” writes Ivana, whose 14-year union with Trump came to a dramatic end after his highly publicized affair with second wife Marla Maples.
“Her son, Barron, 11, often plays with my grandchildren. Donald is happy with her and our interactions have been cordial,” Ivana added of Melania.
That said, Ivana also wrote that she doesn’t envy Melania’s position as first lady: “Frankly, I wouldn’t want to be in Melania’s Louboutins right now.”
It’s a sentiment Ivana echoed in her wide-ranging Good Morning America interview. Hours after the interview aired on Monday, Melania’a communications director, Stephanie Grisham, slammed Ivana in a statement to PEOPLE, calling her book and interview comments “attention-seeking and self-serving noise.” Ivana has not responded to the remarks.
This isn’t the first time the two women have clashed. Ivana says she and Melania hit a “minor speed bump” in the fall of 2015, a few months after Trump launched his 2016 presidential bid.
Ivana recalls hosting a lunch for 40 female friends in New York and asking them, “Who is voting for Donald,” which prompted a conversation about a Trump presidency.
“And all I said was that Melania is a quiet, private woman, and that she might not enjoy being in public so much,” Ivana writes. “The next thing I knew, the Daily News was running an article quoting an ‘insider’ who claimed I said, ‘[Melania] can’t talk, she can’t give a speech, she doesn’t go to events, she doesn’t seem to want to be involved.’ ”
Ivana — who shares three children with Trump: Ivanka, Eric and Donald Jr. — says her daughter called her that day to tell her Melania was upset about the article.
Ivana recalls texting Melania to extend an olive branch.
“You have never done anything wrong to me and I never have to you,” she texted. “You are in the family and I would never do anything against the family. Love, Ivana.”
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“That smoothed things over,” Ivana said. “I hope she knows I’m rooting for her, just as I’m rooting for Donald.”
She added that she thought Melania would “surprise a lot of people and be a wonderful first lady.”
“She surprised me already when she announced she was taking over Michelle Obama’s organic garden. Somehow, I can’t picture her in jeans and work gloves, holding a shovel.”
Though Ivana insists she wouldn’t trade places with Melania, the one thing she does miss about her life with Trump is spending time at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.
While she says she’s welcome there and does visit for some holidays, “the problem (for me anyway) is that it’s Donald and Melania’s house.”
“It’s a bit weird to hang out at my ex’s mansion with his third wife, their son and her parents,” she writes.