DONALD and Ivana Trump split 26 years ago, but their ugly divorce could be about to return to the spotlight.
The high profile ex-couple is currently fighting attempts to have records of their 1990 divorce unsealed, arguing that the billionaire businessman’s presidential bid is no basis for accessing court filings related to their marriage breakdown, Politico first reported.
Last month, the New York Times and newspaper chain Gannett (which owns USA Today) requested that the courts unseal the divorce records, which by state law are sealed.
The Republican candidate and his first wife Ivana, who he married in 1977, filed separate legal briefs on Tuesday urging a Manhattan judge to reject the motion from the two media companies.
“In seeking to invade the Trumps’ 26-year-old confidential matrimonial files, The [New York] Times and Gannett, as shown in Mr Trump’s filing in opposition to their motion, rely on entirely unprecedented and erroneous arguments that are contrary to the protections afforded by the [state] Legislature over 150 years ago,” New York-based lawyer Marc Kasowitz wrote in Trump’s response to the motion.
Ivana, who is the mother of Trump’s eldest three children, also requested for her family’s records to remain private.
“I do not want the details of our divorce (most of which have already been reported extensively) to be opened up and displayed to the general public for their misinterpretation and amusement,” she wrote in a personal affidavit.
“Donald and I currently share a warm relationship and our family should not be forced to relive this part of our past because he is running for president.”
Her lawyer Ira Garr said that the contents of the divorce file would not persuade voters to move for or against the GOP candidate.
He told theNY Daily Newsthe unsealing request was “a fishing expedition and really inappropriate”.
According to Politico, New York law keeps divorce records sealed, but a judge can release them if “special circumstances” justify the disclosure.
Ivana Trump divorced the real estate mogul on the grounds of “cruel and inhuman treatment” before ultimately reaching a settlement later on.
Both media outlets argued that Trump’s treatment of women, finances and personal credibility are of public interest and are also an issue in the US presidential election.
“[The Trumps’ divorce records] have become directly relevant to the issues being debated in the hotly contested presidential campaign,” the two media companies said in their August filing, The Hill reported.
“It would be deeply incongruous to American democracy to bar the public from seeing the official court records pertaining directly to the credibility and character of a person they must soon decide whether to elect as their president.”
Ivana has since gone on to support her ex-husband’s presidential bid, declaring last July after he announced his candidacy, “I think he would make an incredible president.”
The matter will reportedly be decided in coming weeks.
Meanwhile, Trump has agreed to release records from a recent medical examination with television doctor Mehmet Oz. During a taping of The Dr. Oz Show on Wednesday, he revealed his current weight was 267 pounds (121kg), NY Times reports.
Details of his latest check-up are expected to be aired on the show on Thursday in the US.
Donald Trump talks to Dr Oz about his health ahead of the upcoming US election. Courtesy: Doctor Oz/Youtube