Ivana was the last to know.

New York City apparently oozes over with people -- Trump allies, Trump foes, the press -- who have been watching the 12-year marriage of Donald and Ivana go slowly down the tubes.

"It was a story that anyone could have broken," says Liz Smith, who finally did, in her Sunday column in the New York Daily News.

"Everyone knew this a year ago," says E. Graydon Carter, editor of Spy magazine. "He was always rumored to be with other women."

"You want to hear the joke running around?" asks Michael Musto of the Village Voice, who heard it over and over at Malcolm Forbes's party Monday night for his new magazine, Egg: "Donald finally bounced a Czech."

Since Sunday, the New York gossip columnists have taken over the front pages of the tabloids. And the Trumps -- ever the public couple -- have had their promotion agents leak derogatory stories, gearing up for the fight over the Trump possessions.

"This divorce will be in a class by itself," says Smith. "They've gotten so much publicity. They were always opening up another casino or buying Mar-a-Lago or Kashoggi's yacht... . Everybody's fascinated by rich people's troubles. That's what the masses live for. Why not?"

James Revson, the social chronicler for New York Newsday, when asked to rate the story on a scale of one to 10 in terms of New York City gossip: "This is an 11."

"Nobody in the press printed this story, although everyone knew it," says Smith. "And I think they didn't print the story out of regard for Mrs. Trump. Well, maybe they were worried about a libel suit, but I think it's incredible that nobody went to her and told her that Donald was fooling around. It's classic. Right out of the movies... .

"But then, when Ivana started talking to a lawyer, and crying, and having a nervous breakdown, and they were talking about money, I felt free to write it."

When Ivana gave her looks a rehab this summer, the gossip mills got going again. "A lot of people thought, at first, it was Catherine Oxenberg that she was trying to copy," says Carter, "but it's obviously this woman Marla Maples. There's an extra layer of pathos to this, that she tried so hard to keep Donald, and she'd still lose in the end."

Designer Carolyne Roehm -- along with other Trump friends -- is not taking sides. "It happens," she says. "I've been through a divorce myself, and I wouldn't want to be in her shoes for anything."

"She's a lovely lady," says Ivana's frequent luncheon pal Jerry Zipkin, reached in Beverly Hills, "and otherwise I have no comment."

"You don't have to take sides," says Roehm. "You stand by them, and be their friends. It's very sad."

"It's like Godzilla versus King Kong. Who do you root for in a situation like this?" says Spy's Carter, who is not a friend of either Trump, and has sympathy only for their three children. "Only a person like Donald Trump in a divorce case," he says, "could make you root for Ivana."

The rumors continue. There's a list of names going around of women who have supposedly been involved with Trump. Oxenberg. Maples. Robin Givens. Roehm. Georgette Mosbacher.

"I've never believed he's been with Carolyne Roehm or been with Georgette Mosbacher," says Smith. "Those rumors are absurd."

"I've been hearing those rumors for two or three years," says Roehm -- who's the wife of billionaire takeover man Henry Kravis. "I just laughed my head off. It's ridiculous. I'm married to the greatest man in the world."


"My guess is that they will settle this out of court," says Smith. "And she'll get a lot more than the prenuptial agreement {of $20 million}. She's worked 18- and 20-hour days throughout their marriage. There's a lot on her side. And she's suffered a devastating blow."

"It's not even 10 percent," says Revson of the $20 million. "You could do better investing in your local supermarket. It's one and a half percent of $1.7 billion" -- a low estimate of Donald's worth.


"They don't get more young and eligible," says Revson, "than Donald Trump."

"What's incredible is that the Trumps stayed married for 12 years," says Smith. "I do think he's ready to be a single man. He's only 43 years old. He's been married since 1977. He wasn't single long enough. And he will love all this new publicity he's going to get... . You just watch. It will be a different one every night."

Over at Spy -- long cruelly obsessed with both Donald and Ivana -- they're planning an insert for the March issue. Some stickers. Spy used to refer to Trump as "the short-fingered vulgarian." The stickers will change that. "You'll be able to go back to past issues of Spy and cover that over," says Carter, "with a new description: 'The Seventies Style Swinging Single Donald Trump.' "


"He used to call Forbes magazine every year and complain that he was worth twice what they printed," says Carter. "For the first time now, he'll start dissembling his own wealth instead of bragging about it."


"He'll be the next Jerry Zipkin," says Carter, "with platinum-gold hair."