"It was awful. They wouldn't leave my family alone," says Maples, now 52. "I wanted to fix everything. I like to fix things for people and suddenly here's all these stories out. I couldn't keep up."
But when he headlines didn't dissipate after a month, "my father called and said, 'Honey, it's not getting any better. I think you’re going to have to come back and deal with it.'"
Salacious headlines became a way of life for Maples, as she and Trump continued on in an on-again off-again relationship until 1993, when she welcomed their daughter Tiffany.
"She came a little sooner than I had anticipated, and all I could say is 'Thank you,' " Maples says of the pregnancy she calls "the greatest unplanned surprise of all."
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Reflecting on the past, Maples says she wishes she hadn't gotten caught up in the press coverage.
"If I had to do it over again, I would just live my life and not worry so much about what other people thought," she says. "I wish I had had more fun. Even during the crazy times, I wish I’d laughed more."
But there's one person whose opinion Maples does worry about: Trump's first wife, Ivana.
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"That makes me sad because I wish her nothing but love," Maples says. "I love her kids, and if she's holding any kind of resentment toward me, I really hope, for her sake, that she can forgive me."