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Interview with Ivana Trump

Aired June 15, 2010 - 16:49:00   ET



MAX FOSTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): She had what many might call the modern fairy tale -- small town girl meets the real estate tycoon and becomes the socialite of the city. But Ivana Trump has proven that she's more than just a pretty sidekick. The Czech born beauty first met "The Donald" whilst modeling and working in New York. They wed in 1977 and soon became leading figures in New York society, collaborating on projects such as the Taj Casino and Trump Towers. The couple had three children over the course of their marriage, but divorced in 1992.

Since then, Ivana has tried her hand at everything from hosting her own television show to an advice column. She's also coming out with a string of beauty products. And she's written a number of books.

From business mogul's wife to business mogul herself, Ivana Trump is your Connector of the Day.


FOSTER: And Becky recently spoke to your Connector of the Day.

She began by asking Ivana Trump if she gets her business savvy-ness from her former husband.


IVANA TRUMP: You either have it or you don't. You cannot go to the business school and find that. I don't care what school you take, the best, if you don't have it, you don't have it. You have to have the common sense. You know, deal with it. You cannot be greedy. You know, a lot of people are going down the drain, you know, and a lot of my friends, which lost millions, some of them billions.

BECKY ANDERSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We spoke to Donald as the Connector of the Day a couple of months ago. And we were talking about the economic climate. His forecast was that things were going to be tough for a bit, but he saw it as a buying opportunity, particularly for property at this point.

What do you think of the economic climate at this point?

TRUMP: Well, I'll tell you something, I think it's a fantastic time. You know, if you -- if you -- if you have money. For example, if I make money, I put it in real estate. I always did very well. Location, location, location. So about -- about, what, about three months ago, Florida, it's really in bad shape. So I went and I bought the -- the apartment in the best building in Murano in South Beach in Miami.

Generally, I think America is America. America has been through suffering like other countries, but America will come up. I have no doubt. It's just going to bounce. You know, you have ups and downs. America will be up in two years. I believe that.

ANDERSON: Listen to some of the viewers' questions.

Melissa says: "What's the most important lesson that you've learned over the course of your life?"

TRUMP: That money doesn't fall from the trees. You have to work for it. Of course, my family, you know, and -- and friends, to have that -- them around and support system.

ANDERSON: Roberto Rodriguez wrote to us and he said: "Do you consider the pinnacle of your career to have been your involvement with the Taj Mahal Casino and the Trump Tower projects? If not, what would you consider the pinnacle of your career to be?"

TRUMP: I did it like I've done it, been there. I was running the -- three casinos in Atlantic City for 10 years, going on helicopter at 7:00 in the morning from New York, you know, getting up there really before anyone that was going to the office. 6:00, back home, children, homework. Then I had to go to political, rubber -- chicken rubber dinners and stuff like that.

Some of it was -- some of it was not fun. No, look, running the whole Taj and casinos and stuff like that, because I've been there and done that.

ANDERSON: Nicholas (ph) has written to us. He says: "During your marriage to Donald Trump, did you feel pressured to downplay your abilities in order to avoid upstaging him?"

TRUMP: You know, Donald, of course, wanted to be a star. But, on the one hand, he was a little bit too greedy to not let me do what I had to do. So he just had to put up with it. And at the end of the day, there was like -- you know, I did what I had to do. I was really successful and that was that.

ANDERSON: Do you think that you're a better businesswoman than he is a businessman?

TRUMP: Well, not -- there are two things. Donald is visionary. He goes and he signs -- he finds a site, he goes -- he goes and he goes to a financing, he goes to the bank, dah, dah, dah. And then I am manager. He would throw it at me and it would take me three years to -- to build it, to operate it, to make a management team. And when it was -- when management was running like a Swiss watch, you know, he would throw me to something else.

ANDERSON: Ana has written to us. She says: "What's your relationship like with Mr. Trump these days?"

TRUMP: Once it was cleared up, there was absolutely no problem. We're talking two times every weekend. He bounces the idea off of me and if I have something, I call him. And -- and the kids adore him. They're all working for him. So everything is just nice and smooth.

ANDERSON: Braden -- and I've got to preface this with saying that so many people have written in with this sort of question. And I've got to ask it. He says: "What's with Donald's hair? Do you like it?"

TRUMP: Well, you know, it -- this is something which is very personal. I know Donald likes his hair the way it is. I don't know how he manages to do that.

But this is -- this is probably everybody, you know, talk about him, they say what is he building with the hair?

Now, I -- I was cutting his hair for years and years. He doesn't really like the -- the barbers or anything. What he's done now, I honestly don't know.


FOSTER: Now you know.

Tomorrow's Connectors of the Day are Jennifer Lopez and Mark Antony, celebrity singers with successful marriage. And you can take part. Send us in your questions. Head to