— -- Donald Trump's first wife, Ivana Trump, said today that she is "the best of friends" with her ex-husband, responding to a report in the Daily Beast on Monday that cited her 1989 divorce case deposition in which the former Mrs. Trump claimed Trump allegedly raped her once.
A statement today from Ivana Trump appeared to refute the allegations in the deposition, which were revealed in a 1993 book, "The Lost Tycoon: The Many Lives of Donald J. Trump."
"I have recently read some comments attributed to me from nearly 30 years ago at a time of very high tension during my divorce from Donald," she said in the statement today. "The story is totally without merit. Donald and I are the best of friends and together have raised 3 children that we love and are very proud of."
Ivana Trump had already walked back the rape allegation in 1993 as the book was about to be published.
“During a deposition given by me in connection with my matrimonial case, I stated that my husband had raped me,” Ivana Trump said in a statement at the time, as the Daily Beast reported. "[O]n one occasion during 1989, Mr. Trump and I had marital relations in which he behaved very differently toward me than he had during our marriage. As a woman, I felt violated, as the love and tenderness, which he normally exhibited towards me, was absent. I referred to this as a 'rape,' but I do not want my words to be interpreted in a literal or criminal sense."
A Trump campaign spokesman responded Monday night to the Daily Beast article, saying, "This is an event that has been widely reported on in the past, it is old news and it never happened. It is a standard lawyer technique, which was used to exploit more money from Mr. Trump especially since he had an ironclad prenuptial agreement. It is just a way for the badly failing and money losing Daily Beast, which has been reporting inaccurately on Mr. Trump for years, to get some publicity for itself."
Trump's special counsel, Michael Cohen, also fired back Monday denying the charge, telling the Daily Beast there was case law that stated clearly "you cannot rape a spouse."
In a follow-up statement, the Trump campaign distanced itself from Cohen’s remarks saying, "Mr. Trump didn't know of his [Cohen's] comments, but disagrees with them."
"Nobody speaks for Mr. Trump but Mr. Trump," a Trump campaign spokesperson said Monday night.
Cohen later clarified the statement he made to the Daily Beast. "As an attorney, husband and father there are many injustices that offend me but nothing more than charges of rape or racism. They hit me at my core," Cohen said. "Rarely am I surprised by the press, but the gall of this particular reporter to make such a reprehensible and false allegation against Mr. Trump truly stunned me. In my moment of shock and anger, I made an inarticulate comment -- which I do not believe -- and which I apologize for entirely."
Ivana has three children with Trump: Donald Jr., Ivanka and Eric -- all of whom work with their father as part of the Trump Organization.
In a statement released this morning, Ivana said she has "nothing but fondness for Donald and wish him the best of luck on his campaign. Incidentally, I think he would make an incredible president."