Explosive court papers containing embarrassing details about Ivana Trump’s divorce from Donald have been abruptly concealed after a Daily News inquiry — all without a judge’s order. The dusty documents stored in a box in the clerk’s office of Manhattan Supreme Court contain allegations that Trump “verbally abused and demeaned” his ex-wife. Ivana alleged that he “lied” and that his treatment of her was “cruel and inhuman.”
In the end, it was “unsafe or improper for them to be married,” the papers charge.
That’s the information The News was able to get. But over 100 pages of documents in the case filed in 1990 — including key portions of a sworn deposition from Ivana — are missing. The News requested the Clerk of Supreme Court, Milton Tingling, provide an inventory of what papers were missing from the file. “My inquiry so far has suggested that this file … was a matrimonial case and should have been sealed. How and why you and reportedly others have had access to it is now in question and has now been referred to the Inspector General’s office,” Tingling said.
The documents are no longer publicly available. They are now part of the trove of paperwork relating to the Ivana-Donald divorce that The New York Times and Gannet newspaper chain have sued to unseal.
The papers revolve around Ivana’s challenge, in 1990, of her prenuptial and post-nuptial agreements with the now-presidential candidate.
Ivana charged Trump had undervalued his estate by half in their 1987 pact and thus their divorce settlement should be ruled invalid. Trump’s estate at that time was worth $2.1 billion, according to court papers. By 1990, Ivana claimed it was worth nearly $5 billion.
In making her case, Ivana alleged Donald had used numerous dirty tricks against her to keep money in his pockets.
Ivana described her shock when she realized Trump, whom she married in 1977, had slipped in a clause in their pre-nup declaring that any gifts Donald gave to her during their marriage, like “furs and cars,” would be returned in the event of their divorce, papers show.
“I remember the part about the gifts. I had been very hurt. I had been confused by it. … I didn’t understand the whole concept, why I’m returning the gifts which are going to be acquired by my husband and given to me during our marriage,” Ivana said in a deposition.
Donald blamed that clause on his notorious hard-charging lawyer, Roy Cohn, and the gifts clause was deleted from the pre-nup. A $100,000 payment for Ivana was added to the agreement, documents show.
The divorce was finalized in 1992.
The deposition, however, also features Trump’s attorney, Sanford Lotwin, grilling Ivana about her English abilities at the time she entered into the pre-nup.
“Do you have a recollection of any book that you’ve read between ’77 and today, that have been printed in the English language?” Lotwin asked, a nod to Trump’s own xenophobic views as the Republican presidential nominee.
Ivana also recalled in the deposition asking Donald to amend their pre-nup in the event of his death.
“My husband told me he can’t do that because he would have to pay a gift tax, which I never checked, but obviously it was a lie,” she said.
He also allegedly nickel and dimed her on child support for their three kids — Donald Jr., Ivanka and Eric, all of whom are regulars on the campaign trail and spoke favorably of their dad at this summer’s Republican convention — as they went through their divorce, she said.
“It came to the point that my husband would just say: This is it, Ivana, what you get. And I would get very, very upset. … My husband said: This is it and you’re not going to get a dime more,” she said.
They eventually agreed on $300,000 per year on child support.
One item not included in Ivana’s deposition is the explosive allegation — included in the book “Lost Tycoon” by Harry Hurt — that Trump had allegedly raped her while they were married.
Ivana subsequently renounced the accusation she’d made under oath, saying she felt “violated,” but did not mean for her words to be interpreted “in a literal or criminal sense.”
It’s unclear if that deposition of Ivana is the same deposition running over 600 pages obtained by The News that has pages missing.
The court file is also missing a copy of Ivana’s Appellate Court papers, although Trump’s paperwork are there. Employees in the clerk’s office said at least one box of the Donald-Ivana case is missing, and it’s uncertain if it was lost in a fire on the Williamsburg waterfront in January that resulted in the destruction of hundreds of thousands of records.
Tingling told The News an inventory was currently underway, but had not yet concluded.
“I don’t seal files. It’s been pulled,” he said of the documents.
The County Clerk does not have the power to seal court files. By law, only a Supreme Court justice can do that. When journalists have objected in the past, Tingling has invited them to sue.
James Rossetti, the chief deputy clerk at Manhattan Supreme Court for 28 years, said the records system was ripe for abuse.
“There was a honor system. It was that way forever,” he said of one of the busiest courthouses in the country. “If I gave you a file with 10 documents and you returned nine, I wouldn’t know that. There was no way to know that. The files are too voluminous.”
The Trump campaign did not respond to a request for comment.
Ivana Trump’s lawyer said she would not comment on the documents.
“Her position is that her private life should remain private,” said Ira Garr