Their story has it all – A split, a religious conversion and a ‘business deal’ romance. The highs and lows of Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, America’s ‘de facto first couple’

Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner are the all American power couple – but their power has courted controversy as advisers in The White House. Photo: AP

They’ll be celebrating 11 years of marriage at the end of October and while their relationship is the envy of the rich and powerful around the world, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner have had more than their fair share of bumps along the way.

From a split over reported religious differences to their marriage being called the “best business transaction” in the Big Apple, Jvanka’s (yup, they had a nickname when they first started dating) union is filled with unusual anecdotes that, despite the question marks, has managed to endure and earned them the title of “de facto first couple”.

Here’s a look at their ups and downs over the years …

The other first couple: Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump and husband Jared Kushner both hold influential positions in the White House. Photo: Reuters

The meet
Back in 2007 friends decided to set them up, but not in the loved-up kind of way. Ivanka and Jared are both from mega-wealthy real estate families and the meeting was a networking opportunity. Ivanka said their pals thought it would be “purely transactional” and the couple now apparently refer to their first meeting as “the best deal we ever made” (or she did, in a 2017 Vogue interview, anyway).

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Via Instagram / @ivankatrump

The not-so-secret romance
The couple tried to hide their romance, arriving at parties separately and avoiding each other at joint events. But their PDA was on another level and eventually Iva (the name Jared calls her) publicly kissed him.

Via Instagram / @ivankatrump

The split
Just a year into their relationship, cracks began to emerge. Ivanka was Catholic and Jared is Orthodox Jewish. Rumour has it Jared’s parents were not excited about the relationship, particularly because of the religious differences. Ivanka eventually chose to convert but had to undergo a strict process where she agreed to raise their children as Orthodox Jewish.

The couple hold influential positions as senior advisers to the president. Photo: AFP

The conversion
Ivanka rarely speaks about the conversion process, saying it’s a personal thing. Their household keeps kosher and she said they are “pretty observant”. Despite religion being an initial rift, Ivanka now says that Judaism has been a way to create family connectivity.

Via Instagram / @ivankatrump

Dad Donald’s ‘short’ wedding speech
While Jared’s father spoke about the Holocaust in his speech, referencing his families history, Donald Trump’s speech to his daughter was less than impressive. “Be happy and enjoy your life,” was the sum total of his parting words to the couple.

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Via Instagram / @ivankatrump

So, does The Don approve?
Speculation about the US president’s relationship was his son-in-law has always been tentative. When asked if his daughter should go into business with her husband, Trump did not approve. Although Jared is now firmly embedded in the family, acting as senior counsel to Trump in the White House, there have been reports of Trump regretting listening to some of his advice, particularly around criminal justice reform.

Ivanka and Jared have remained right behind the president. Photo: AFP/Getty Images

Balance, what balance?
He’s called her the CEO of their household. She admires his ambition, applauding him when he works late. They have three kids together. So, what keeps them together? Well, Ivanka says that because they’re both so busy, being married to someone who supports her, cares and has her best interests at heart has resulted in a solid foundation.

Via Instagram / @ivankatrump

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

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