In a scathing tell-all essay for Vanity Fair, journalist Lysandra Ohrstrom has described the eventual breakdown of her long and close friendship with US President Donald Trump’s eldest daughter Ivanka Trump, who she called “shamelessly vain” and status-obsessed.
Ohrstrom and Ivanka first met when they were in the seventh grade at Chapin — an elite all-girls school on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, which boasts of famous alumni including former first lady Jackie Kennedy Onassis. The two girls bonded during a school trip to Paris and were then inseparable, Ohrstrom recalls in her essay.
“We remained that way for more than a decade, more sisters than best friends,” she wrote. It was in 2009, shortly after she was the maid of honour at Ivanka’s wedding to Jared Kushner, that their relationship started to deteriorate because of their different stances on social issues.
“She had the Trump radar for status, money, and power, and her dad’s instinct to throw others under the bus to save herself,” Ohrstrom alleged, recalling an instance in high school when Ivanka encouraged her and a few of their classmates to flash their breasts out the window of their classroom — an incident that later led to their suspension. Ivanka, however, got away scot-free, Ohrstrom claimed.
Ohrstrom goes on to describe her friends disparaging reaction when she urged her to read the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel ‘Empire Falls’, which is about working-class characters in a small town in Maine. ““‘Ly, why would you tell me to read a book about fucking poor people?’ I remember Ivanka saying,” she wrote. “‘‘What part of you thinks I would be interested in this?’”
In 2016 when Trump was elected President, Ohrstrom said that she had had hoped Ivanka would “moderate her father’s most regressive, racist tendencies” when she was serving as his adviser at the White House. But she failed to do that, the journalist said.
She claimed that Ivanka once told her that her necklace, which spelt out her name in Arabic lettering, “screams ‘terrorist’”. Beneath her polished exterior, Ivanka would often betray her “rougher, more Trumpian edges”, Ohrstrom said. “Ivanka would regularly relay stories of teachers or observers who had commented that she had the most innate talent they had ever seen for whatever new pursuit she was taking up.”
Recalling her meetings with now-President Trump during her childhood, Ohrstrom said that he never remembered her name and often commented on her weight. Once while dining at the Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s club and resort in Florida, Ivanka chided her brother Donald Jr for swiping Ohrstrom’s grilled cheese sandwich when she was not looking. But her father simply said, “Don’t worry. She doesn’t need it. He’s doing her a favour.”
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