As Melania Trump officially unveiled her Christmas decorations for the White House Sunday night, a new biography of the most mysterious and publicly wary of American first ladies is set to reveal more personal details of her life in the White House.
Most notably, “Free, Melania: The Unauthorized Biography,” confirms what has been reported for several years, according to a CNN report of the new book. It is that Melania and Donald Trump maintain separate bedrooms in the White House residence.
Within the 30,000-square-feet of the executive residence, Melania Trump, 49, has managed to “carve out her own space,” CNN’s correspondent Kate Bennett reported.
“It is true the first couple doesn’t share a bedroom, according to several sources, and the first lady prefers her own large, private space in a suite of rooms on a separate floor,” Bennett said.
The possibilty that the first couple maintain separate bedrooms and “separate lives” was first reported in the first few months of Donald Trump’s presidency. That’s when Melania Trump was still living in Trump Tower in New York City because she wanted to let their son Barron finish out the academic year at his private school there.
There were numerous reports at the time that the Slovenian-born former model wasn’t happy that her husband, 73, had won the presidential election and that she resented being trapped in his highly public and political life. The “#FreeMelania” social media hashtag was based on assumptions about her unhappiness.
“Melania does not keep hidden from everyone around her how miserable she is,” a family source told Us Weekly in March 2017.
A year later, another report by Ronan Farrow for the New Yorker suggested that the couple have maintained separate bedrooms throughout their nearly 15-year marriage.
The New Yorker report mostly focused on Trump’s alleged nine-month affair, starting in June 2006, with former Playboy Playmate Karen McDougal. It also dealt with how the company that owns the National Enquirer paid McDougal $150,000 for exclusive rights to her story in order to “kill it.” That is, to bury allegations that Trump was a serial cheater.
But the story also shared some personal details about the future president and his third wife. McDougal described how she met Trump at the Playboy Mansion in 2006 when he was taping an episode of “The Apprentice.” At the time, Donald and Melania Trump had been married for more than a year and Melania had recently given birth to their son Barron.
McDougal also said that Trump introduced her to members of his family and took her on a private tour of his penthouse in Trump Tower. She said he showed her the separate bedroom of his wife. In pointing out Melania Trump’s bedroom, the future president allegedly said his wife “liked her space to read or be alone.”
More than 13 years later, Melania Trump has settled into the White House and into her role as first lady — whether or not it was a job she initially sought.
Melania Trump has launched her “Be Best” initiative to promote children’s well-being and combat cyber-bullying, hosted state dinners and White House Easter egg rolls and is often seen by her husband’s side, showing that she is a willing participant in his controversial administration.
She also reportedly works for months on designing a theme for the annual Christmas decorations for the White House. Last year, Twitter users poked fun at her decorations that relied on heavy splashes of red, comparing them to the color theme of the dystopian and horror stories depicted in “The Handmaid’s Tale” and “The Shining.”
This year’s display lots of twinkling white lights and white flowers. “The Spirit of America” is shining in the @WhiteHouse,” Melania Trump tweeted from the official @FLOTUS account. “I am delighted to share this beautiful exhibit of patriotism for all to see, and excited for everyone to experience the beauty of the #Christmas season!”
“The Spirit of America” is shining in the @WhiteHouse! I am delighted to share this beautiful exhibit of patriotism for all to see, and excited for everyone to experience the beauty of the #Christmas season! pic.twitter.com/qGxxl9qBrd
— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) December 2, 2019
CNN’s Bennett said Melania Trump has presented “flares of independence” that suggest “she doesn’t need freeing of any kind.”
“Despite being married to a reality star husband who can hardly bear to walk by a pack of reporters without saying something — or let a morning go by without a tweet — Melania Trump has fought against the stereotype that she is aloof, detached, even ‘trapped’ in the White House, as the hashtag #FreeMelania, which spawned memes, suggested,” Bennett wrote.
As for the new biography, which hits bookstores Tuesday, Bennett said it also shows how Melania Trump is “way more powerful and influential with her husband” than people might assume, with a say in some White House personnel decisions.
Melania Trump also had some early “drama” with Ivanka Trump over the White House senior advisor getting herself involved in some of the activities that are usually relegated to a first lady, according to the book.
Finally, the book also describes how Melania Trump was initially open to the idea of the Trump family getting a dog to join them in the White House.
“Despite being famously not-a-fan of pets, Trump would have acquiesced had Melania Trump’s plan to get a pet for their son come to fruition,” Bennett said, citing the book.
Melania Trump went so far as to investigate breeds and look into how to properly care for a dog in the White House, “but they ultimately decided against the move,” Bennett reported.