Why Ivana Trump's Death Has Conspiracy Theorists Buzzing

On July 14, Ivana Trump — the first wife of former United States President Donald Trump — was found unresponsive at the bottom of a staircase in her New York City apartment and pronounced dead at the scene, per CNN. Ivana Trump was the mother of three of the former president's five children: Donald Jr., Ivanka, and Eric. She was 73 years old.

"I am very saddened to inform all of those that loved her, of which there are many, that Ivana Trump has passed away at her home in New York City," Donald Trump wrote on his social media platform Truth Social. "She was a wonderful, beautiful, and amazing woman, who led a great and inspirational life. Her pride and joy were her three children, Donald Jr., Ivanka, and Eric. She was so proud of them, as we were all so proud of her. Rest In Peace, Ivana!"

As high-profile deaths so often do, Ivana Trump's death got the social media conspiracy theory mill churning, with some noting that her death came the day before her former husband and children were to take part in a deposition related to an investigation into the Trump family's business dealings.

Who was Ivana Trump?

Ivana Trump was born in Gottwaldov, Czechoslovakia, which according to Biography, the town is now known as Zlín, Czech Republic. There, she had a career as a skier and was even an alternate on the Czechoslovakian ski team at the 1972 Winter Olympics in Sapporo, Japan. Eventually, she came to North America and worked as a ski instructor in Canada, before starting to pursue a modeling career. This led her to New York City where she met Donald Trump in 1976 and married him the following year.

In the years that followed, Ivana became a fixture in the New York social scene and was also involved in some of her husband's projects, including Trump Tower in New York and Atlantic City's Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino where she was integral in some of the interior design work. She gave birth to the couple's three kids — Donald Jr., Ivanka, and Eric — but she and the future president separated in 1990 due to an affair he was having with his second wife, Marla Maples. The divorce was finalized in 1992.

After the divorce, Ivana wrote novels and started a fashion company. She appeared in several television and film projects, and remarried twice, though both marriages ended in divorce. 

The conspiracy theory

After Ivana Trump's death, the depositions for Donald Trump, Ivanka Trump, and Donald Trump Jr., which had been scheduled to take place on July 15, were postponed, according to ABC News. "In light of the passing of Ivana Trump yesterday, we received a request from counsel for Donald Trump and his children to adjourn all three depositions, which we have agreed to," the New York attorney general's office said in a statement. "This is a temporary delay and the depositions will be rescheduled as soon as possible. There is no other information about dates or otherwise to provide at this time." The office also extended its condolences to the family.

Despite the attorney general offices' mention that the delay was temporary and the depositions will take place at some unspecified point in the future, it hasn't stopped some social media users from floating the conspiracy theory that Ivana Trump's death was an intentional distraction to delay the depositions.

"I hate sounding like a conspiracy theorist but this seems kind of convenient that their mother died the day before they're supposed to give testimony," one Twitter user wrote, including a link to a New York Post article announcing Ivana Trump's death.

The investigation into the Trump family

The investigation being conducted by the New York attorney general's office — of which the postponed depositions are a part — is a civil investigation into the Trump Organization's business dealings. Specifically, the investigation is trying to determine how certain assets were valued when the organization was applying for loans or looking for tax breaks, per ABC News.

Attorneys for the Trumps argued that the subpoenas that are part of the investigation were issued for political reasons, according to CBS News. Each of the Trumps was scheduled to be questioned separately before their July 15 depositions were postponed in the aftermath of Ivana Trump's death, per CNBC. Eric Trump, who along with Donald Trump Jr., runs the Trump Organization, has already been questioned under oath in relation to the civil investigation.

In February 2022, a judge ruled that the Trumps were required to comply with the subpoenas and that state attorney general Letitia James had the right to continue the investigation. The Trumps appealed that ruling in May, but that appeal was denied, as CNBC reported.