Today We Learned Melania Trump Has A Secret Half-Brother

Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

GQ Magazine revealed for the first time in a wide-ranging profile published Wednesday that Melania Trump, the GOP presidential frontrunner’s wife, has a half-brother that she may or may not have known about.

Reporter Julia Ioffe detailed the well-worn narrative of Trump’s modeling career, which took her from her native Slovenia to Manhattan, where she met Donald Trump. But the piece goes on to report what was apparently a well-kept family secret about Melania Trump’s half-brother, Denis Cigelnjak.

Cigelnjak, who is now 50 and still lives in Slovenia, told GQ he no recollection of ever meeting his father, Viktor Knavs. GQ obtained court documents that showed before Knavs married Trump’s mother, he had offered to marry Cigelnjak’s mother—but later changed his mind and demanded she get an abortion because he claimed the child wasn’t his. Knavs was ordered to pay child support after a court established he was Cigelnjak’s biological father, according to the documents.

Trump initially denied Cigelnjak’s account to GQ, but after she was shown the documents said that she hadn’t understood the question.

“I’ve known about this for years,” Trump told the magazine, adding, “My father is a private individual. Please respect his privacy.”

The article also noted the similarities between Donald Trump and Viktor Knavs, who is five years older than the real estate mogul. Aside from having similar appearances, both are “viciously litigious when it comes to the women in his life” and enjoy “the finer things in life,” according to GQ.

“They’re both hardworking,” she told GQ. “They’re both very smart and very capable. They grew up in totally different environments, but they have the same values, they have the same tradition. I myself am similar to my husband. Do you understand what I mean? So is my dad; he is a family man, he has tradition, he was hardworking. So is my husband.”

The piece also attempted to probe Trump’s views on politics. While Trump stood beside her husband as he announced his candidacy last summer, she didn’t appear much onstage at his campaign rallies until this year. Trump told GQ that she only travels to campaign events when she feels comfortable leaving her son, Barron, at home. As for the advice she gives her husband, Trump said that “nobody will ever know” her exact words of wisdom.

Read the full piece here.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sara Jerde is a newswriter based in New York. Her bylines have appeared in The Star-Ledger, The Chronicle of Higher Education and The Columbus Dispatch. She graduated from Ohio University. Send emails to sara@talkingpointsmemo.com and follow her @SaraJerde.
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