Who Is Vanessa Trump? Donald Jr.'s Ex Used to Be a Model

Vanessa Donald Trump Jr.
Photo: Bennett Raglin/Getty Images

Vanessa Trump made national headlines on Thursday when she filed for divorce from President Donald Trump’s son, Donald Jr., after 12 years of marriage.

In a joint statement issued the same day, the couple somewhat explained the reason for the split. “After 12 years of marriage, we have decided to go our separate ways. We will always have tremendous respect for each other and our families,” they explained. “We have five beautiful children together and they remain our top priority. We ask for your privacy during this time.”

According to Page Six, Vanessa filed for an uncontested proceeding, meaning they’re not likely to fight over custody of their children or their assets. But the conversation changed on Friday when the outlet reported that Vanessa hired a criminal defense attorney to represent her in the divorce.

Vanessa Trump
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So who exactly is Vanessa Trump? The mom of five, born Vanessa Haydon, was a model who once dated Leonardo DiCaprio before she met her future husband. Here are five things to know about Donald Jr.’s ex.

1. She had a modeling career.

Vanessa Haydon was signed with Wilhelmina Models and had done both runway and commercial modeling before she met Donald Jr.

Vanessa Trump

2. She dated Leonardo DiCaprio.

Leo reportedly briefly dated Vanessa in 1998. The two were linked after they were seen “nuzzling” at a premiere party, according to New York magazine.

Vanessa Trump

3. She was raised in N.Y.C.

Haydon grew up in a townhouse on the Upper West Side, not too far from Trump Tower.

4. She was introduced to Don Jr. by his dad.

President Donald Trump was the first one to set the two up. He introduced them at a fashion show in 2003, where Vanessa said they had a “brief” and “awkward” conversation. “I’m at this fashion show,” she told The New York Times. “Donald Trump comes up to me with his son: ‘Hi, I’m Donald Trump. I wanted to introduce you to my son Donald Trump Jr.’”

They were introduced two more times before they hit it off; initially, they didn’t remember each other from their earlier meetings. Vanessa said she then blurted out, Wait, you’re “the one with the retarded dad!”

Vanessa Donald Trump Jr.
Gregorio Binuya/Getty Images

5. They got married at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in 2005.

They’ve since had five children together: 10-year-old Kai Madison, 9-year-old Donald Trump III, 6-year-old Tristan Milos, 5-year-old Spencer Frederick, and 3-year-old Chloe Sophia.

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