First lady Melania Trump has stayed silent amid headlines about her husband’s alleged affairs.Spring break couldn’t have come at a better time for Melania Trump.
With fresh details spilling into the headlines daily about how Donald Trump allegedly cheated on her early in their marriage, the former model escaped the intense glare by spending the past week at the family’s estate in Palm Beach, Florida, with their 12-year-old son, Barron.
But even then, there was no perfect refuge from the swirl of attention surrounding recent legal activity related to the president’s past conduct with women.
On Mrs Trump’s first full day away, when the president also was at their Mar-a-Lago estate, Trump had dinner not with her but with lawyer Michael Cohen, who paid porn actress Stormy Daniels $US130,000 in 2016 to keep her from going public with her story of a 2006 tryst with Trump.
The Trumps did eat dinner together on Thursday night after the president returned to Florida, with boxing promoter Don King stopping by to chat.
The first lady is facing mounting pressure to exit her 13-year union with Trump.
Trump himself recently joked about the possibility of his wife leaving him. She was seated at the head table at a Washington dinner last month where the president, in a speech that traditionally pokes at friends and adversaries, addressed the heavy staff churn at the White House.
“Now the question everyone keeps asking is, ‘Who’s going to be the next to leave? Steve Miller or Melania?”‘ he said, referring to policy adviser Stephen Miller. “That is terrible, honey, but you love me, right?”
A Marist-McClatchy Poll in February found the public divided on the issue. Forty-three per cent said the first lady should stay married, 34 per cent said she should leave her husband and 23 per cent weren’t sure what she should do.
Through it all, Mrs Trump has kept a steely silence on claims by Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal that they had sexual relationships with Trump that began in 2006 just after the future first lady gave birth.
She is silent now on her husband’s dealings with other women but has traversed this awkward terrain before.
“People think and talk about me like, ‘Oh Melania, Oh poor Melania’,” she told CNN in a 2016 interview. “Don’t feel sorry for me. I can handle everything.”
She gave that interview after Trump was heard on a decade-old audiotape describing how he had grabbed women by their genitals and kissed them without permission. Trump at the time also faced accusations of sexual misconduct from more than a dozen women. He has called the women’s charges false, and said he was engaging in “locker-room talk” on the tape.
Friends say the first lady, who married Trump while his divorce from his second wife was being finalised, can handle what’s coming at her.
“The first lady is very strong. She’s, unfortunately, used to attacks of fake news,” said Paolo Zampolli, her friend and former modelling agent.