One of Ivana Trump’s best friends has always worried that Ivana might slip on what she called the “treacherous” beautiful staircase of her opulent Manhattan home.
“I was always so overwhelmed by those stairs,” Ivana’s close friend Nikki Haskell, who first met her in 1976, told The Post. “I hated those stairs. They were so treacherous. We were afraid she would fall. Her townhouse had four floors and although there was an elevator, she never used it. It’s a nice staircase but I wouldn’t want one. It’s so steep and deep. Friends were like, ‘Why don’t you stay with Ivana when you’re in New York?’ But you couldn’t pay me to hang out there and walk up and down those stairs.
Trump, 73, who had difficulty walking and was in no better health, was found at the bottom of the stairs this week after falling or going into cardiac arrest, authorities said. The city medical examiner’s office ruled her death accidental.
Ivana often posed in her luxurious, multimillion-dollar townhouse on East 64th Street with the staircase in the background. Gossip columnist Rob Shuter told News Nation on Friday night that he had visited the apartment – and also called the staircase “treacherous”.
“(The apartment) hasn’t been as remodeled and updated as you might think,” Shuter said. “These stairs have always been dangerous. The carpet on these stairs was a bit worn as well.
Haskell, who had dinner with Trump not too long ago, said that in recent years Donald’s normally outgoing and social first wife had become “reclusive”.
“The last two years she has become very reclusive… She had a big townhouse and she was really afraid of contracting the virus, more than anyone I know. She didn’t want to go anywhere, she didn’t want to travel… She took it very, very seriously. She was afraid of getting sick.
But Trump is said to be on the verge of joining the world, according to Haskell, and preparing to leave New York for Saint-Tropez where she has a home.
“She finally decided, ‘Okay, I’ll go…’ She stayed in New York the whole time. She never left at all, and she was alone and I’m sure that’ was a lot tougher than I could even imagine.
Haskell said Ivana’s family and friends were concerned about her stubborn insistence on living alone in the massive townhouse.
“I begged her to sell it and move to the Pierre,” Haskell said. “But she said, ‘No, I’m never going to leave here. “”
Trump had a cleaning lady who came every day and a secretary who came three days a week. “Otherwise, she was all alone in this huge place.” She usually got up at 5:30 or 6 a.m. every day and Haskell said she hoped the fact that Ivana was found with a cup of coffee nearby means she hadn’t fallen down the night before but the day of his death.
Ivana was married to Austrian Alfred Winklmayr years before she married Donald, and married twice more after her divorce from Trump – marrying Italian businessman Riccardo Mazzucchelli and later the Italian actor Rossano Rubicondi, 49.
Until her death from melanoma-related complications in October, Ivana spent most of her time with Rubicondi.
The two were divorced but Rubicondi came in every day and they often had lunch or dinner at Ivana’s favorite spots like Nello’s and Cipriani’s, Haskell said.
“I didn’t care about him,” Haskell said. “But it was none of my business. They had a connection. I think that’s why we remained friends for so long. I didn’t judge her or question her decisions and she didn’t. Done with me either.
Haskell said she was concerned about Ivana in the months following Rubicondi’s death.
“I asked her if she was depressed. She said, ‘No, I’m sad.’ »
Her reported mobility issues stem from her past as a champion skier in Czechoslovakia, as well as a fall she had at the Avra restaurant a few years ago when she tripped over the strap of the someone’s purse and fell, Haskell said.
“I think she was extremely depressed about Rossano’s death,” Haskell added.
But Haskell said despite Ivana’s nearly 15-year relationship with Rubicondi, he wasn’t her most important relationship.
“Donald was the love of her life,” Haskell said. “I think she was always in love with Donald. They were very close and she had a lot of respect for him.
In recent years, Ivana was closest to her son, Eric, as he stayed in New York when the rest of the Trumps went to Washington in 2017.
“But she remained close to all of her family,” Haskell said. “His mother is 96 and lives with Ivanka and Jared in Florida.”
Haskell said a funeral service for Ivana is scheduled for July 20 at St. Vincent’s Church at 869 Lexington Ave.
A steady stream of well-wishers and mourners turned out outside the Ivana Townhouse on Saturday.
Carol Dyner, 86, a retired social worker stopped to leave a bouquet of red carnations.
“Every day I walked by and she had her dog and she talked to me and she was wonderful,” Dyner told the Post. “I said, ‘Hello honey.’ I stroked Tiger, you know, and I always said, ‘Never forget what you did.’ You raised the kids all by yourself, you ran his empire, gorgeous, not a hint of scandal to your subject. We don’t forget. We know. She said, ‘Thank you.’ She was wonderful. She died too young.
Dyner added that she remembers seeing Rubicondi, coming despite their divorce.
“In October the young man passed away,” Dyner said. “I saw her taking him everywhere. She took care of him until the end.
June, 63, a dentist who didn’t want her last name used, came with her golden retriever, Apollo. She knelt down with her dog and said a prayer. She said “it was shocking” when she heard the news of Ivana’s death.
“I knew her indirectly,” she added. “Everyone followed her on the news. She was a force. I saw all the newspapers and the scandal but she was really gracious, she never got over it. She was classy.
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Post expires at 11:38pm on Thursday July 21st, 2022