Donald Trump, who is 52 at the time, has been dating the Norwegian heiress Celina Midelfart for several months while finalizing his divorce from second wife Marla Maples. He goes with Midelfart to a Fashion Week party – where he meets then-28-year-old Melania Knauss. Donald sends Celina to the bathroom so he can talk to Melania, according to a 2016 profile in GQ.
“I went crazy,” Donald tells Larry King in 2005 of how he reacted when he saw Melania. “I said, ‘Forget about her. Who’s the one on the left?’ And it was Melania.”
What happened during their first meeting is one of Melania’s favorite stories to tell. “He wanted my number, but he was with a date, so of course I didn’t give it to him,” she says in an interview with Harper’s Bazaar. “I said, ‘I am not giving you my number; you give me yours, and I will call you.’ I wanted to see what kind of number he would give me – if it was a business number, what is this? I’m not doing business with you.”
Donald gives Melania all of his phone numbers: “the office, Mar-a-Lago, home in New York, everything.” For their first date, he takes her to a celebrity hotspot (and Leonardo DiCaprio hangout) called Moomba. “I remember that night like it was two months ago,” Melania tells Harper’s Bazaar. Donald is her first New York boyfriend.
“She ran into Donald just at the right time. She was just about out of money, at the end of her rope and about to move back to Eastern Europe,” a friend later tells the New York Post.
Melania breaks up with Donald, a notorious womanizer who cheated on both his former wives. Melania’s former roommate Matthew Atanian tells GQ that Melania “had some trust issues with him at the beginning.” The couple reconciles within six months.
Donald’s divorce from his second wife Marla Maples is finalized.