Trump's Unofficial Biographer Wayne Barrett: "The Way He Has Treated His Wives is Just Deplorable"

July 05, 2016


Wayne Barrett

investigative reporter who wrote for The Village Voice for 37 years. His 1991 biography of Donald Trump was just republished as an ebook with the title of Trump: The Greatest Show on Earth: The Deals, the Downfall, the Reinvention.

Throughout the 2016 campaign, Donald Trump has repeatedly faced charges of sexism, from implying Fox News journalist Megyn Kelly was asking tough questions because she was menstruating, to saying women should be "punished" for having abortions. We speak with investigative journalist Wayne Barrett, who has tracked Donald Trump for years, about Trump’s relationships with his three wives. "His divorce with Ivana was so incredibly ugly," Barrett says.


This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: Wayne Barrett, we wanted to ask you about Donald Trump’s wives. He’s married three people: Ivana Trump, Marla Maples and Melania Trump. They factor in significantly in his campaign. Ivana Trump actually accused him of raping her. Can you talk about the significance, especially as he moves into attacking Bill Clinton, not because of Bill Clinton’s behavior with his wife per se, but with other women?

WAYNE BARRETT: It’s a real irony, you know, that he has the balls to do this. You know, I watch the children in these shows, and they’re given remarkable deference by television journalists. I mean, they treat them as if their Heidi Cruz’s kids. You know, they don’t ask them, "Oh, do you love your papa?" That seems to be the only question that they can ask them. And he appears to be a good father. But if you’re a good father—OK, you’re going to go through a divorce. A lot of good fathers and mothers have gone through divorces. They don’t leak "Best Sex I Ever Had" stories to be plastered all over the tabloids, while their 13-year-old son is going to school.

AMY GOODMAN: Explain what you mean.

WAYNE BARRETT: Yeah, I mean, that’s—you know, Donald milked the divorce, the break-up with—part of his schtick, one of the reasons white males love him so much in this campaign is they think he’s a stud. Right? I mean, Marla Maples was a beauty, classic American beauty. You know? So, the whole thing that he fed during that divorce, which was—

AMY GOODMAN: His divorce with Ivana.

WAYNE BARRETT: With Ivana, yes—was just so incredibly ugly, and it was damaging to the children. And then he got into a fight with Ivana over who gets what in the end. And, like, he wanted Eric’s computer. They fought over Eric’s computer.


WAYNE BARRETT: Yes. I mean, and so, his treatment of Ivana, the mother of his first three children, was just deplorable. And then Marla already has the child before they get married, right? And so, when he breaks up with her, she signs a confidentiality agreement. So, you know, the two of them, their lips are sealed. But when she thought he was running for president in 2011, she was doing an interview in Britain, in London, and she said, "If he runs for president, I’m going to have to tell the world what he’s really like." And the lawyers, Trump’s lawyers, go immediately into court. And then they actually stood out, after they got some sort of an order from the court, and she’s completely silenced—and we’ll never hear from her again—you know, they actually stood in front of the courthouse and said she had proven that she was a bimbo. That’s what they said. So, I mean, the way in which he has treated his wives is just—it’s really deplorable.

I wrote in the book that Donald took the Fifth Amendment a hundred times during the course of the divorce proceedings in his deposition, questioned by Ivana’s lawyers about other women. And the Division of Gaming Enforcement down in New Jersey reviewed my book. And they actually got his deposition, which I didn’t have. I had an estimate that came from a very knowledgeable source. And so, I said a hundred, and they corrected me and said, "No, he only took the Fifth Amendment 97 times." Keep that in mind when you hear from Donald Trump about the deposition that Bill Clinton did about Paula Jones, yeah, which was the basis of the impeachment. And so here’s Donald, apparently not committing perjury, but refusing to answer 97 questions about other women, which I think says an awful lot about his marital life.


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