From playdates with Michael Jackson to getting hounded by the paparazzi – Inside the very unconventional childhoods of Donald Trump’s children.

Photos: Ivanka Trump/Facebook


Donald Trump’s ex-wife, Ivana Trump, said in her book Raising Trump that despite having nannies, “it wasn’t easy to raise three kids as a full-time working mother”. The Czech-American model, who is reportedly worth US$100 million, helped Donald run The Trump Organization in the 80s.

These anecdotes from her book about her children – Donald Jr., Eric and Ivanka – when they were younger show that theirs was certainly an unconventional upbringing …

An old family photo of the Trumps posing together. Photo: Donald Trump Jr./Facebook

Michael Jackson came over for play dates
Ivana also admitted that she “avoided play dates like the plague” while they were living at Trump Tower in New York. “The triplex was just too huge and lavish,” she said. And given her recollection of the kids breaking into her humidity and temperature controlled fur vault to use her designer mink, sable and chinchilla coats in games, it’s no wonder.

Michael Jackson with the Trump children at the Trump Hotel located in Mar-a-Lago. Photo: @Fibonacci222/Twitter

But only one visitor could come over any time – and he happened to be a global superstar. “The only person who had an open invitation to come to the triplex for play dates whenever he wanted was Michael Jackson,” she said. Ivana added that she never believed allegations of child sexual abuse against Jackson – who lived in Trump Tower at the time.

Ivana Trump shared a family photo of Eric Trump’s sixth birthday party. Photo: @MVYRD/Twitter

Birthday parties were OTT
Owning hotels had its perks. Ivana shared that when they owned New York’s iconic The Plaza Hotel, catering would set up a dozen tables in meeting rooms and decorate them with balloons and confetti for birthdays. The cakes, she said, were several tiers tall.

Ivanka Trump posted this old photo of herself and her dad at one of the many lavish birthday parties the Trump children had. Photo: @IvankaTrump/Twitter

It’s no wonder the standard was so high – Donald’s biographer Michael D’Antonio has detailed how, when the former US president was younger, he would throw cake at birthday parties.

Donald and Melania Trump give out treats during a Halloween event at the White House in 2017. Photo: EPA-EFE

The kids went out with a security team
When the Trumps became famous, going trick or treating on Halloween with their nannies supervising wasn’t good enough. Ivana said that they were so worried, they would get their security team to follow them, incognito.

Ivana Trump and her children. Photo: Time/ Courtesy of Ivana Trump

Ivana has admitted that being wealthy influenced the way they took care of their children. “My version of helicopter parenting was to bring the kids to work with me in the Trump chopper,” she joked.

Ivana Trump with Ivanka and Eric in 1993. Photo: AP

They were hounded by paparazzi at school
Ivanka detailed in her own book The Trump Card that at the time of her father’s affair with Tiffany Trump’s mother Marla Maples, she was hounded by paparazzi at the school gates, with reporters even asking the then nine-year-old Ivanka about Donald’s performance in bed.

Even at a young age, the Trump children were surrounded by paparazzi. Photo: @tiffanytrump/Instagram

However, Eric insisted in a group interview in 2016 that while Donald “always had thousands of cameras on him”, they were raised as normal kids – “or at least as normal as you could be raised under the circumstances”.

An old photo of the Trumps out for a family meal. Photo: @NYDailyNews/Twitter

There was a formal dress code
Old childhood friends have claimed that Donald – who was himself shipped off to military school as a teenager – was for the most part absent from supporting Donald Jr. and Eric at their boarding school events, according the The Guardian.

Even during a father-son day out at a baseball game, Donald Trump still donned formal wear. Photo: Donald Trump Jr./Facebook

A college friend of Donald Jr. recalled that on the rare occasion the real estate entrepreneur did take his son out to a baseball game, he would make him wear a suit, according to Complex.

Note: This story was originally published on SCMP and has been republished on this website.