Ivana Trump Gets Her Day in Court, but for the Donald, April Could Be the Cruelest Month

updated 12/24/1990 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 12/24/1990 AT 01:00 AM EST

In the engrossing epic that has been the breakup of Ivana and Donald Trump's 13-year marriage—with ink spilling, like black blood, across column upon column of newsprint—the actual divorce wouldn't merit more than a stanza: It was granted to Ivana, 41, after a 10-minute session on Dec. 11 in the Manhattan chambers of State Supreme Court Justice Phyllis Gangel-Jacob, who upheld Ivana's claim against Trump of "cruel and inhuman treatment," including his highly visible relationship with Marla Maples. "It is a sad day for everyone," said Ivana, thin and wan as she left court, "especially our children and families." The Donald issued a statement wishing her well.

Ivana's motion for divorce was only filed Nov. 2, and while the court's quick decision wasn't unusual (the divorce was uncontested), it reflected her wishes. "Ivana wanted the misery of 1990 behind her," says a close friend. "Donald's betrayal, the death of her father and now the divorce. She wanted all this misery confined to one year."

Ah, but misery observes no timetable. The Trumps won't reach a final financial settlement until after April 11, 1991, their next date in court. Ivana expects to maintain custody of Donald Jr., 12, Ivanka, 8, and Eric, 6. (Child support remains to be determined.) And she wants to break that famous, frequently updated prenuptial agreement. If she succeeds, she could win up to 40 percent of Donald's worth, whether it's $50 or $50 million. If she fails, she gets $10 million (not $25 million, as often reported), the house in Greenwich, Conn., one month annually at the Palm Beach estate Mar-A-Lago, and the Trump Tower triplex.

Some would argue she should take what she can get—now. "She's hitched her wagon to a dead horse," says noted divorce attorney Raoul Felder, pointing out that Donald's net worth has continued to dwindle from an estimated $4 billion plus. Armed with his own metaphors. Trump's lawyer Jay Goldberg says Ivana's case isn't strong enough to win in court. "She's trying to knock down a steel ball with a feather." Ivana's attorney, Michael Kennedy, won't comment, other than to confirm the divorce.

Meanwhile life goes on outside the court. Donald, 44, has been seen cavorting with model Rowanne Brewer, 23, a swimsuit model and former Star Search contestant, who inspires much love lost among her predecessors and their associates. "She more or less fits the bimbo image," says Marla Maples's publicist, Chuck Jones. "Her whole life seems to be just swimsuits." Ivana, says a close source, sees his girlfriends "as pathetic and embarrassing to her children."

For her part, Ivana has found an evening escort in Oscar de la Renta executive Boaz Mazor, who observes, "She is looking forward to life—to a beautiful life." As for her day job, president of the Plaza Hotel, a prime Trump property, the future is uncertain. "She has a contract," a friend says, "but she can be fired for spite." Who knows? The maxim about a house divided against itself could be as true for luxury hotels as it is for marriages.

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