- Donald Trump met Melania when he was 52 while she was 28 at a party during New York's Fashion Week in September 1998
- He came to the party with another woman but reportedly talked to Melania while his date was in the bathroom
- After seeing Melania for the first time, Trump said he went crazy and asked for her number but she asked for his number instead
- In April 2004, after dating for more than five years, Trump proposed to her and she said yes
- The wedding took place on January 22, 2005, in Palm Beach, Florida and they welcomed their son a year later
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While President Donald Trump had been a household name for years most Americans were introduced to the now first couple during the 2016 election cycle.
However, the Trumps' story began almost two decades earlier when Trump showed up to a New York Fashion Week in 1998 party hosted by former model agency top dog Paolo Zampolli.
Zampolli then decided to introduce him to the then 28-year-old supermodel Melania Knauss who was 24 years younger than him.
A father of four at the time, the brash real-estate mogul and tabloid fixture was in the midst of divorcing his second wife, Marla Maples.
Trump was first married to Ivana Trump, who he divorced in 1990.
Trump, who had been dating the Norwegian Celina Midelfart for several months, would occasionally send her to the bathroom so he could chat with Knauss, according to a GQ profile.
Melania was charmed but hardly starstruck. When the business mogul asked for her number, she requested his, and Trump happily supplied every conceivable number:
"The office, Mar-a-Lago, home in New York, everything," Melina recalled during a previous interview further adding he was crazy about her the entire time.
She finally called after keeping Trump waiting for a week, and with a first date at the Greenwich Village nightclub Moomba, the flame was lit.
Melania said she felt an immediate connection.
"It was great chemistry and energy. We had a great time. We started to talk and something was there right away," she said on CNN in 2005.
The lovebirds broke up multiple times within the first year-plus of meeting one another.
As the romance blossomed, Melania developed an understanding of what it meant to be dating a public figure with a seemingly insatiable craving for the spotlight.
The then model reportedly struggled with trust issues in the beginning, one of her former roommates in New York told GQ in 2016.
She is, however, said to have bolstered Trump's playboy image after she told radio host Howard Stern in 1999 that they had sex multiple times per day.
Trump is said to have at one point called Stern while she was allegedly in bed next to him.
Another time, while participating in a panel discussion at the University of Pennsylvania, he sought her out by bellowing, "Where's my supermodel?"
These experiences may have given the normally retiring Melania cold feet.
When Trump first flirted with the idea of running for president, as a Reform Party candidate in 2000, he did so without Melania by his side.
But the two patched things up soon enough, and in 2001, their future together looking rosy, Melania obtained her Green Card and moved into her boyfriend's penthouse in Trump Tower.
Trump proposes to Melania
In April 2004, after dating Melania on and off for more than five years, Trump proposed to her with a 15-karat, $1.5 million (KSh 163,272,000) diamond ring and she said yes.
He praised her willingness to sign a prenup and acknowledged her personal support amid his successful revival as a TV personality.
"We are together five years, and these five years for whatever reasons have been my most successful," he told tabloid columnist Cindy Adams.
"I have to imagine she had something to do with that," he added.
Their January 22, 2005, wedding in Palm Beach featured the bride in a $100,000 (KSh 10, 884, 800) Christian Dior dress affixed with some 1,500 crystals.
The party then adjourned to the nearby Trump vacation home of Mar-a-Lago.
Billy Joel serenaded a star-studded guest list that included Barbara Walters, Regis Philbin, Matt Lauer and future Trump nemeses, Bill and Hillary Clinton.
Friend to Donald's other children
After marrying in 2005, the two welcomed their son Barron in 2006.
Trump, now pushing 60, did not seem to alter his lifestyle of pursuing deals, starring on TV and calling his radio show buddies.
At one occasion he gloated to an audience that he never had to change diapers.
The arrangement worked out just fine for Melania, who viewed herself as a traditional caregiver and doted on her boy.
She reportedly also fit in just fine with the other, grown Trump children, though she was only about eight years older than Donald Jr. and 11 and half years older than Ivanka.
"I do not see myself as their mother. I am their friend, and I'm here when they need me," she later told Harper.
Melania, who has modelled naked for GQ magazine, said she took on the name Trump because she is a traditional girl who believes wives should adopt their husband's names.
"I always heard you had to work on a good relationship but I don't work on mine. My father and mother were married for 63 years," Donald told Larry King.
"My father didn't work at it...I work hard all day, I do not want to go home and work on my relationship," he added.
The couple's marriage has drawn significant interest since Trump took office in 2016.
Still, those hoping for some sort of dramatic split have been disappointed as the first couple has seemingly recovered from separation allegations.
Melania appeared on ABC News in October 2018 to dismiss rumours of their unhappiness
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