The twosome’s paths first crossed in September 1998, two years after the Slovenia native moved to the U.S. to pursue a modeling career. Donald was introduced to Melania, who is 24 years his junior, at a New York Fashion Week party in Manhattan.
“He wanted my number, but he was with a date, so, of course I didn’t give it to him,” the businesswoman revealed of their first meeting during a January 2016 interview with Harper’s Bazaar. “I said, ‘I am not giving you my number; you give me yours, and I will call you.’”
Melania dialed her future husband a few days later and said she was “struck by his energy” and “amazing sense of vitality.” At the time, the real estate mogul was recently separated from ex-wife Marla Maples, with whom he shares daughter Tiffany Trump, born in 1993.
The pair began dating soon after they met and in April 2004, Donald popped the question at the Met Gala. “It was a great surprise. We are very happy together,” Melania told the New York Post at the time.
The lovebirds tied the knot the following January at the Apprentice alum’s Mar-a-Lago resort. Melania described the nuptials as “fantastic” during a May 2005 joint appearance with Donald on Larry King Live. When asked whether she’d been nervous on her wedding day, Melania told host Larry King: “Not at all. … We know what kind of relationship we have. I don’t think I should be scared of anything.”
Melania stood by her husband’s side throughout the many controversies he faced throughout his 2016 presidential campaign, his four years as Commander in Chief from 2017 to 2021 and further investigations into his conduct after he left the White House.
Despite her loyalty, the former first lady has said that she doesn’t always see eye to eye with the controversial politician.
“I don’t always agree [with] what he thinks, and I tell him that. I give him my honest opinion and honest advice,” she said while talking to reporters in Egypt during her October 2018 solo trip to Africa.
Melania emphasized that she had her “own voice and my own opinions and it’s very important for me that I express what I feel.”
Keep scrolling for a look at Donald and Melania’s relationship over the years: