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Ivana's New Trump Card : The Donald's History, but His Ex Is Conquering Other Worlds, Including Price Club

April 26, 1992|IRENE LACHER | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Perhaps so, but Ivana's enduring virtuoso attention to appearance probably would have made the founding feminists cringe. Today, the legendary hair is perfect. It's as pouffy and sleekly vertical as it was on the cover of Vogue almost two years ago. The nails are the color of burnt cinnamon, and her left hand bears a 10-carat diamond chunk from her boyfriend of the past year, Italian businessman Riccardo Mazzucchelli (she says she's not ready for marriage). The black-and-white check dress is a Valentino. She is posing in a suite at the Beverly Hills Hotel, pondering her own transformation into fabulous role model, although she stops short of calling herself a feminist.

"I don't know what I am," she says in a husky accent. "What I know is that my upbringing was always the man was the head of the family. It's a European tradition. We always look up to the man. But this is old times. Now what I believe is that I'm definitely equal. I'm not going to let mandomineer me, and if any man is around like that, I don't stay around. Who needs it?"

Like Ivana, the heroine of "For Love Alone" is a Czechoslovakian skier, an up-from-the-bootstraps kind of gal. Katrinka marries her American tycoon, Adam Graham, manages the Praha Hotel (much like Ivana managed the Plaza) and triumphs over marital betrayal to find a better man and other goodies.

Despite the clear parallels, Ivana, who is facing possible legal action from her ex, insists that the book is not about her marriage. "There is no way he can prove that he's Adam because he's not Adam and I make sure that he's not Adam," she says. "And even I think I have constitutional rights of speech in America. I did not abuse them."

Nonetheless, Donald won a legal round 10 days ago when a New York appeals court restored a gag order that a judge had deleted from their 1990 divorce decree. The ruling bars Ivana from discussing their 13-year marriage, and the court noted that a 1987 post-nuptial agreement prohibited her from publishing anything "whether fictionalized or not, concerning her marriage . . . " without Donald's written permission.

His lawyer, Jay Goldberg, has said Trump may sue to retrieve the $10-million settlement Trump paid Ivana in part for her silence. (Ivana also won custody of the Trumps' three children--Donald Jr., 13, Ivanka, 10, and Eric, 8, and she'll net $4 million more when she moves out of their 50-room triplex in New York's Trump Tower.)

Lisa Calandra, Ivana's spokeswoman, says the ruling won't affect the book tour.

Ivana insists that the book is fiction, and she says she crafted it during long hours with Camille Marchetta, a Los Angeles-based writer whose credits include "Dynasty" and "Dallas." Marchetta's name appears nowhere on the cover, although Ivana thanks her, after the dedication, "for helping me to tell Katrinka's story."

Ivana's refusal to call Marchetta her ghostwriter has touched off another brush fire in the press. Although Marchetta was the one who actually put words to paper, Ivana insists that Marchetta is more accurately termed a "collaborator." She says they spent long hours in New York and Europe discussing character development, Czechoslovakia and the high life before Marchetta would write. For months, she says, the drafts went back and forth between the two.

"It's a big difference between ghostwriter and collaborator," Ivana says. "Ghostwriter is a person which you meet for 20 minutes and then the book is done and they put a name on it and that's the end of it."

Marchetta declined to discuss the book.

For all the hoopla, the latest turn in l'affaire du Trump is, in a sense, business as usual. What's usual is all the hoopla.

"The worst thing I could say about Ivana is she was infected by Donald with this craving-for-publicity virus," says Smith. "I think both of them suffer when they don't see themselves in print."

And while Ivana says publicity is valuable for promoting Ivana Inc., the seller had better beware.

Says Graydon Carter: "It's very sad. I assume that there was that kind of hubbub around Zsa Zsa Gabor when she was younger. And Ivana Trump may wind up being on Merv Griffin's arm at the end of all of this."

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