Politics - News Analysis

Melania’s Former NYC Roommate Says She Was Never a ‘Supermodel’ and Her Career Was Failing Until She Met Trump

One of the talking points we hear most about Melania Trump is that she was a “supermodel” when she met and eventually married Donald Trump. Trump actually earlier this month brought it up in an interview with Roger Stone, so it’s obviously something Trump takes very seriously.

In fact, the former first lady reportedly received the coveted EB-1 visa, or the “Einstein” visa for “extraordinary ability.” Perhaps being a world renowned model would grant her that status, but was she indeed a supermodel?

It doesn’t appear so.

Melania studied design at the University of Ljubljana, before abandoning it for modeling. She didn’t even complete her first semester. In 1995 she was spotted in Milan by a model scout who also happened to be a friend of Trump’s. She moved to New York, sharing an apartment with a photographer named Matthew Atanian.

Atanian described her to Vanity Fair as disciplined in her pursuit of her career – although hardly to a degree that was extreme by the standards of 1990s models. “She wore ankle weights around the apartment” and strictly ate “five to seven vegetables and fruits every day”. But he also said she wasn’t a natural in front of the camera, that she came off as very stiff.

Her modeling career was floundering – due to that “stiffness,” Atanian said – when she met Trump, in 1998.

Their partnership seems to have given them both what they most wanted. She got, says Vanity Fair, “a luxurious home where she could indulge her hobbies – Pilates and reading fashion magazines . . . and a promise that she would never have to return to drab Eastern-European prospects”.

After being known on Trump’s side, Melania infamously posed nude (with strategic covering) for British GQ’s “Sex at 30,000 feet: Melania Knauss earns her air miles” cover story in the January 2000 issue.

“She’s popular, she’s brilliant, she’s a wonderful woman,” Trump told the magazine.

If you look for modeling photos of Melania, most of the shots are similar to these:

I mean, those aren’t high-fashion shots.

I wonder, was Cindy Crawford worried about this:


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