There is only one person in the world Melania Trump can truly count on for support...and it's not Donald
Although the two were neighbors in NYC, never did the two make a public appearance together, except once in 2005.
While Melania trump has maintained a stoic silence in the wake of the Donald Trump-Stormy Daniels scandal, her spokesperson Stephanie Grisham branded the allegations as a “laundry list of salacious and flat-out false reporting” as a response to claims made by Vice's publication Motherboard. The report suggested that a sordid affair took place between the President and the adult film star in 2006 — months after Melania Trump had given birth to their son Barron.
Grisham's statement came out after Melania had canceled plans to join Donald Trump at the World Economic Forum's annual meeting in Davos on January 26, 2018.
Her decision to not travel to Davos was announced on the couple’s 13th wedding anniversary, the day before the President flew to Switzerland.
Although the reasons cited for her sudden cancellation were 'scheduling and logistical issues', rumors were rife about how the First Lady was making a conscious effort to stay away from her husband for the time being.
In a report carried out by Daily Mail, it was speculated that Melania spent numerous nights at a Washington DC hotel after the alleged affair details broke out.
In retrospect, any woman would have taken the same step to keep herself at bay from the fire of the alleged rumor-based fables that can rattle any marriage or woman, in Melania's place.
And if you're the First Lady of the world's most powerful country, the stakes are even higher.
Melania, 47, is known to keep away from public eye pertaining to private matters and in lieu of her husband's affair's allegations, it seems legitimate that Melania chose to keep away from the spotlight and from snapping shutterbugs and reporters, desperate to get a statement from her. But there exists one person who has been described as Melania's closest confidante — her elder sister who is identified as Ines Knauss, whom nobody knows much of.
Melania's closest confidante
In a poll conducted by Express.co.uk, 82 percent of Britons weren't even aware that Melania had a sister.
So who is this illusory sister of Melania Trump that has left most people wondering in puzzlement?
In a report published by The New York Post, Palm Beach philanthropist Audrey Gruss revealed that the sisters 'are very close.'
The philanthropist had met Ines, who still uses her maiden name, 11 years ago at the Valentino Fashion Luncheon fundraiser for the Boys' Club of New York at Mar-a-Lago estate in 2005. The founder of Hope for Depression Research Foundation described Knauss "as a lovely person, and extremely creative."
Despite being the sister of Melania and having a famous brother-in-law, very little is known about Ines, 49, and not much can be said about what she does. Even media reports show a single picture of the mysterious woman in question in Palm Beach’s society pages.
Sister named Ines Knauss. Malanis's sister. pic.twitter.com/klQKhb6CtR— TEAH CARTEL (@TeahCartel) 15 January 2018
The sisters, who were born Melanija and Ines Knavs to Viktor Knavs, a car salesman, and Amalija Ulčnik, grew up in the small Slovenian town of Sevnica, according to a Guardian report. They reportedly also have a half-brother, Denis Cigelnjak, who had revealed in an interview with GQ last year that he'd never met Viktor, his step-father or the half-sisters themselves.
Paris-based photographer Ale de Basseville who had shot nudes of Melania for a French men’s magazine divulged to The New York Post that both sisters had moved to Milan in the early 90s, where Melania worked as a model and Ines was trying to make leeway into fashion design.
"She really wanted to be in fashion but didn't know how to break in," Basseville stated. "Ines wasn't like the other girls you would meet there, who behave like queens. She was really polite and very mellow," he added.
However Ines is known to be extremely protective of her younger sister and has played her part well when information from her past life began floating around in Slovenian news reports last June, allegedly given by Melania's Slovenian exes and others, who were seeking limelight from the time spent with the former model at the time of the presidential campaign.
Embodying the spirit of a protective elder sister, Ines came out of her shell and through a Facebook post stated, “We all have good memories & lies are not good karma.”
“Ines is a very dedicated sister,” acknowledged Milan-based fashion designer Luisa Beccaria, who had met Ines a few times in New York and Palm Beach.
When Beccaria visited the Trumps in New York after the birth of their son Barron in 2006, she marveled at the strong family-support network.
“I realized that Melania was very close to her family when I saw them all there supporting her after Barron’s birth,” Beccaria told The Post. “Melania had all the professional help she needed at that point, but it was her sister she trusted,” she revealed further. Beccaria, who was present with the Trumps in New York when Melania was giving birth to Barron in 2006, was in awe after witnessing how close Melania was to her family.
Who is Ines Knauss?
Ines, who looks strikingly similar to her younger former model sister shares quite a few of the stunning features that the First Lady is known for—tall, slim with a narrow waistline and high cheekbones. The only difference? Ines has mahogany-hued eyes while her sister Melania has blue.
In fact, Ines has never made an appearance with her famous sister, despite being neighbors in Manhattan, New York.
The only public mention of Ines from the First Lady came at the 2016 Republican National Convention in June, when Melania had mentioned Ines and described her as "an incredible woman and a friend" in her speech.
According to People Magazine, Ines was the maid of honor at First Lady Melania Trump’s wedding in 2005.
Ines currently lives in a Trump-owned Park Avenue apartment in the same Upper East Side building that Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner previously lived in, before moving to Washington—only four blocks away from Trump Tower, where Melania and Barron lived in a triplex penthouse.
Not much is known about what Ines does for a living and whatever sparse information is available, has been acquired only through her Facebook page that gives out few clues and glimpses about her private life.
Although one specific tweet from Melania revealed that she could probably be an artist— Melania had posted a simple pencil drawing sketch on her Twitter account in 2014 that appeared to have been drawn by Ines with the caption: “Art of gossip courtesy of artist Ines Knauss”.
Ines's page is sparsely populated with most posts telling of her famous sister's accolades and accomplishments over the years.
Although Melania has since moved to Washington after Trump became President, Melania did not immediately shift bag and baggage to the White House until the end of Barron's fifth grade school year in June 2017.
Aside from Barron's schooling, another speculated reason for Melania's delay in moving from New York to Washington was Ines herself — apparently Melania found herself alone in an unfamiliar public role and found support in her sister, who lived only four blocks away.
In an interview with The Wall Post Journal, spokeswoman for the First Lady defended Melania by stating: “It is no secret that Mrs Trump lived in New York City the first few months of the administration so that her son could finish school. The trips mentioned in this story are examples of Mrs Trump juggling dual roles—putting her son first while also fulfilling some of her duties as First Lady.”
Relying on public records revelation, The Wall Street Journal report established that Melania had taken 21 flights over the course of three months to and from New York City, Florida, and Washington, prior to her shift to the White House; costing American taxpayers more than $675,000 in expenses. The first lady's office has previously refused to further discuss Ines with media outlets.
In the middle of all the political brouhaha and White House protocols, it isn't rocket science to understand that Melania, a small-town Slovenian girl who wanted to make it big in the fashion industry, is now finding herself increasingly lonely and alone. Her sudden ascent in American politics alongside her husband, and the bouquets and brickbats that were thrown her way en route, has maybe relegated her to a space where she finds herself looking towards New York more often where her true self feels safe.
Being fiercely protective about her private life, Melania, perhaps, is only looking for comfort and consolation, and her only confidante in the whole world is only 225 miles away... away from the harsh glare of the snapping cameras and shouting reporters, in a posh apartment in Park Avenue.
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