“He [Robert Trump] was dignified, he was quiet, he listened, he was good to work with. He had zero sense of entitlement. Robert was very comfortable being Donald Trump’s brother and not being like him.”
Those were the words Jack O’Donnell, a former executive for the Trump Organization, used to describe President Donald Trump’s younger brother, who passed away on Saturday, August 15, in New York. To announce his brother’s passing, the president released a statement saying, “It is with heavy heart I share that my wonderful brother, Robert, peacefully passed away tonight. He was not just my brother, he was my best friend. He will be greatly missed, but we will meet again. His memory will live on in my heart forever. Robert, I love you. Rest in peace” (via The New York Times).
While the president thrives in the spotlight, Robert Trump preferred to stay in the background, but his life became tabloid fodder when his then-wife, Blaine Trump, filed for divorce in 2008 over the revelation that Robert was cheating on her with his secretary Ann Marie Pallan, whom he later married (via NY Post).
Here’s what you might not know about Robert Trump’s ex-wife, Blaine, the woman he once described by saying, “I literally saw her across the room at a fund-raiser and made a beeline to find out who she was” (via People).
Blaine Trump didn't have a typical childhood
The New York Times described Martha Lindley Blaine Beard Trump as a typical Southern girl who grew up in South Carolina, Florida, and Alabama. She spent her teenage years in Japan, thanks to her dad who worked for IBM and had been relocated during the late 1960s. By her own admission, Blaine stuck out because of her looks. “[I would] hear people say, ‘Look at her eyes. They’re round. Look at the color of that hair,'” she told People.
“I used to pray I would wake up two inches shorter. And once I had my hair dyed black so I would fit in. I walked in the door, and my mother started crying.” Blaine would go on to study at the University of Tokyo, drop out to marry Peter Retchin, have a son in 1978, and then get divorced before she went on to meet Robert Trump and marry him in 1984 (via Heavy). Robert ultimately adopted her son Christopher. The couple had no children together.
Blaine Trump is a New York socialite who kept a low profile with Robert
For the 25 years that they were married, Blaine and Robert Trump were fixtures on the New York social scene. Trump and her husband seemed happy to keep a low profile. “I try to keep that world separate and private. ‘I sign everything ‘Miss Blaine’ or ‘Blaine Beard,’ my maiden name. I once signed a receipt ‘Blaine Trump’ and the man wanted me to send my husband to visit his bathroom fixture showroom,” she said.
She was and is heavily involved in philanthropy, though, and according to People, fundraised for the American Ballet Theatre, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, and God’s Love We Deliver, an organization that delivers meals “to those who are too sick to shop or cook for themselves,” according to its website. Blaine calls her work with God’s Love one of her greatest achievements, telling Ocean Home in 2018, “I’m proud of the fact that, in a small way, I’ve helped thousands of people live with dignity, love and hope. We delivered our 21 millionth meal a few months ago, which blows me away! It also amazes me that we can feed an individual for 6 months for the cost of one day in the hospital! Food is medicine and keeping people healthy through nutrition is a win, win! When I began working at Gods Love, we were sending out 25 to 50 meals a day, and now we send out seven to eight thousand meals a day.”
Robert and Blaine Trump's divorce played out in gossip headlines
Robert and Blaine Trump might have liked their privacy, but their divorce played out big in gossip headlines. The couple were said to have been unable to reach a settlement over Robert’s $200 million fortune that would be satisfactory to both of them, and they ended up in divorce court as a result (via NY Post). The fault, Blaine’s friend told the NYPost, lay with Robert, because: “Robert offered her a settlement and then, for reasons unknown, yanked it off the table. So now she’s forced to go to court to get her fair share of the marital assets. They were married for over two decades. She helped build his business, and now he’s balking at giving her anything.” In 2007, New York Magazine quoted New York Social Diary’s David Patrick Columbia, who said that Blaine was better socially connected than Robert. “And she’ll be well fixed, so she’ll be able to keep her apartment and her dinner parties,” he said.
The pair’s divorce was finalized in 2010, and Blaine Trump moved on. According to Heavy, she is now in a relationship with entrepreneur Steve Simon.
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