She’s around. If not at this moment, then in general. For months, the former first lady has been living in one of Mar-a-Lago’s many bedrooms, secluded and almost entirely out of the public eye. But as the big twin storylines of 2024 — whether Donald Trump will return to the White House, and whether he’ll be convicted of crimes and face possible prison time — have ramped up, Melania Trump has been more notable for where and when she has not appeared.
She did not appear by her husband’s side at the New York courthouse when the former president pleaded not guilty to 34 charges relating to hush money paid to the adult-film actress Stormy Daniels — not that anyone really expected her to do so. But she wasn’t seen at the Miami courthouse, either, when her husband pleaded not guilty to 37 chargesrelated to his handling of classified documents. She was not spotted at the D.C. courthouse when he pleaded not guilty to four charges related to alleged attempts to overturn the 2020 presidential election. She did not turn up at the Georgia courthouse when he pleaded not guilty to 13 charges.
Melania has also been absent from Donald Trump’s presidential campaign appearances — the state fair visits and raucous rallies — since attending his kickoff last November at Mar-a-Lago.
The disappearing act extends beyond the trail and the trials. Outside the walls of the Trumps’ estate here in Florida, Melania hasn’t really been seen at all, per our informal survey of local hangouts for rich people with free time.
Not at any of the high-end shops on Worth Avenue, located just two miles up the road in Palm Beach: “She used to come in, but no one has seen her in years,” said a Salvatore Ferragamo salesperson, echoing what employees in more than a dozen stores told us. “It’s a quiet, safe oasis here,” the Ferragamo worker said. “It’s why you see celebrities around. But for some reason not her.”…
Melania’s absence has delighted Trump critics who see it as a possible sign that Trump has lost the backing of his most loyal supporter in his bid for reelection/exoneration. If his wife were in fact over it, then perhaps the loyalty of his other longtime fans might be liable to fade.
Someone running against Trump is, at least, trying to draw attention to Melania’s absence. In September, “Missing Melania” fliers popped up in Iowa, and an airplane flew over a college-football game, dragging a banner that read: “Where’s Melania?”
It’s not much of a mystery: She’s spent some time at Trump Tower in New York, which she is said to prefer over the club in Bedminster, N.J. She’s been paid to attend a number of events, including, according to the New York Times, collecting $500,000 from the Log Cabin Republicans and a conservative elections organization called Fix California. She has made some halfhearted attempts at a second act — including her collection of Apollo-11-themed NFTs (the minting and selling of which may have violated NASA policies), and a scholarship program for foster children aging out of the system.
For the most part, though, she’s here, at Mar-a-Lago. If she’s missing, it’s only in the sense that she is not as present as she could be, if she wanted….
I think she hangs until after her husband loses his second chance to get his old government job back….
THEN gets her divorce and money settlement….