Donald Trump has been talking a big game about running for president for a long time. Back in 1999, Trump floated the idea that he might just enter the next presidential race. His second ex-wife Marla Maples told The London Telegraph that if the real estate mogul did make a bid, that she would "feel it is my duty as an American citizen to tell the people what he is really like." Buzzfeed reported this week that after Maples threatened to speak out against her ex-husband, Trump allegedly threatened to withhold $1.5 million in alimony that he still owed her from their divorce settlement.
The Trump campaign did not immediately respond to Romper's request for comment.
Trump didn't end up running for President in 2000. Or 2004. Or 2008. Or 2012. Finally, he made good on presidential threat in the 2016 election. The reality star turned GOP nominee plowed through the primary competition and made it to the bitter end of the general election. In 19999, Maples told The Telegraph that "if he is really serious about being president and runs in the general election... I will not be silent." Seventeen years and one Republican nomination later, Maples has pretty much stayed mum about her ex-husband's campaign.
Besides a few expertly placed shady comments in her daughter Tiffany Trump's recent New York Times profile, such as telling The Times that she "had the blessing of raising her pretty much on my own" and that Tiffany would "like to get to know her father better and spend time with him like his other children did," Maples has remained far from Trump's campaign spotlight. Buzzfeed's discovery of Maples' London Telegraph article has many speculating that Trump allegedly threatening to withhold alimony all those years ago is what has her staying quiet this time around.
It wasn't just the alleged withholding of alimony that could have Maples refraining from getting involved in the 2016 election. After she publicly threatened to speak out against Trump in 1999, he immediately launched his own press campaign to neutralize Maples as a threat. “It’s too bad the venom that she’s got, and I thought I was very nice to her,” Trump told Fox News’ Neil Cavuto, according to Buzzfeed. “I’ve taken good care of her. But she’s got a lot of venom and it’s too bad. And it’s just not becoming of her, but I think she’ll probably be more responsible.”
Trump and his lawyer, Jay Goldberg, publicly painted Maples as the stereotypical woman scorned, hell-bent on getting her revenge. The two even went so far as to insult her intelligence and to call her a failure. Buzzfeed reports that Goldberg said Maples "didn't have the capacity to understand, participate, or take a role in the business world."
Trump and Maples went to court over his alleged withholding of the remainder of their divorce settlement. A manhattan judge sided with Maples by declining to consider Trump's claims that his ex-wife violated her prenuptial agreement. After losing in court, Goldberg told The New York Post that "it was never our intention to withhold the $1.5 million check. Our purpose was to send a message that she was playing close to the fire. That should slow her down."
This isn't the first time a story has come out about Trump allegedly using his wealth and power to convince others to do things his way. Previously Trump allegedly cut his sick great nephew off from critical medical care after a disagreement with the baby's father. Andrew Tesoro, the architect that designed the clubhouse for the Trump National Golf Club in Briarcliff Manor, NY, also previously came forward with a claim that Trump allegedly cheated him out of thousands of dollars.
While Trump has not issued a statement about the new alimony dispute allegations, it's definitely making waves and stirring the pot even more, just a few weeks out from the election.