She glides through the ballroom in a clinging, gold lame gown, turning heads and casting glacial smiles.
It’s an infamous clip from the U.S. satirical show, Saturday Night Live, and actress Scarlett Johansson is playing a pouty Ivanka Trump in a spoof advertisement for a fragrance:
‘Complicit. For the woman who could stop all this . . . but won’t.’ The breathy voiceover mockingly exalts the ‘First Daughter’s’ self-proclaimed status as ‘a feminist, an advocate, a champion for women’, but when Johansson’s Ivanka pauses to reapply lipstick in the mirror, she sees her father gurning back at her.
‘Complicit,’ the voiceover adds, is ‘also available in a cologne for Jared’ — that’s Ivanka’s husband Jared Kushner.
On the night it appeared, the New York studio audience hooted with contemptuous laughter — and today, nearly four years later, hostility towards ‘Javanka’, as the pair are nicknamed, has never been more intense.
For four years Ivanka and Jared, both 39, lorded it over the White House as presidential advisers, with no experience or specialist expertise but with limitless reserves of Trumpian self-confidence and raw ambition.
Now they will soon be out of a job — and out in the cold when it comes to their preferred social circles.
As her father refuses to concede defeat in the Presidential election, Ivanka Trump will soon be out of a job and out in the cold when it comes to their preferred social circles
The couple, who were once the toast of liberal Manhattan, have paid the price of tying their fortunes to the ‘Make America Great Again’ populism of Donald Trump.
There are signs that the Big Apple simply doesn’t want them back and they will have to find a new home, possibly in the social deserts of New Jersey or Florida.
Worse, Ivanka’s reputation may yet go down with the Trump ship, dragged into the fraud investigations engulfing her father and his recently leaked tax returns.
And yet the Trumps never say die — rumours continue to circulate that The Donald’s favourite child has White House ambitions.
What Javanka does next is now the focus of intense and gleeful speculation among their political foes . . . and former friends.
In October, anti-Trump Republicans provided a taste of what the couple can expect if they move back to their former base in New York (a large flat in Trump’s Park Avenue apartment building) by paying for two giant billboards in Manhattan’s Times Square splashed with their grinning faces alongside coronavirus death statistics and body bags.
And only this week comedy duo Jason Selvig and Davram Stiefler put up a series of ‘Not Wanted’ posters around Ivanka’s old haunts in Manhattan.
The posters, designed to resemble Wanted posters of the Wild West days, mocked the First Daughter with lines such as ‘Accent: fake posh’, and ‘Eyes: dead behind’, The posters also referred to Kushner as Slenderman, a sinister online creation who abducts and traumatises people, particularly children.
But perhaps most wounding of all was an article last month in which Ivanka’s former best friend of over a decade — and maid of honour at her wedding no less — twisted the knife even further.
For four years Ivanka and Jared, both 39, lorded it over the White House as presidential advisers, with no experience or specialist expertise but with limitless reserves of Trumpian self-confidence and raw ambition
Writing in Vanity Fair, Lysandra Ohrstrom broke her silence on Ivanka ‘if only to ensure that she really will never recover from the decision to tie her fate to her father’s’.
After meeting Ivanka at an expensive all-girls private school, Ms Ohrstrom said she gradually realised her ‘shamelessly vain’ and vacuous friend was also a money-driven snob.
She recalled Ivanka once berating her for suggesting she’d want to read a book about ‘f*****g poor people’.
Ivanka ‘had the Trump radar for status, money, and power, and her dad’s instinct to throw others under the bus to save herself’ — even down to blaming her own flatulence on a classmate and successfully pleading her innocence when she cajoled other girls into flashing their breasts out of a classroom window.
They were all suspended.
And while the impossibly groomed and composed Ivanka had perhaps hoped to achieve a more ‘refined’ sort of celebrity than her father’s, ‘I’ve watched as Ivanka has laid waste to the image she worked so hard to build,’ Ms Ohrstrom said.
Ivanka will be mortified to be ostracised by New York‘s Democrat-voting elite from whom she craves approval, according to her one-time friend.
Liberal America has watched with growing fury as the younger, supposedly cosmopolitan Trump pair appeared not to have restrained the irascible President’s darker impulses — something many had believed they would try to do — causing Javanka to become arguably more detested than The Donald himself.
There are signs that the Big Apple simply doesn’t want them back and they will have to find a new home, possibly in the social deserts of New Jersey or Florida. Pictured: A 'Not Wanted' poster seen in New York
Insiders say the couple are still mulling over their next move. No one believes they will stay in Washington DC, where they moved with their three young children and rented a $5 million home round the corner from Barack and Michelle Obama.
In October, they moved the kids out of their private Jewish school, reportedly after a rebellion by other parents appalled by the pair’s arrogant behaviour over coronavirus.
With the hostility from New York growing by the day, it recently emerged they were looking around across the Hudson River in New Jersey.
The workaday state may be the butt of every other New York joke, but it’s where the Kushner family are based — and where Mr Trump has a golf course.
The couple have submitted plans to expand their multi-million dollar ‘cottage’ in the gated grounds of the Trump National Golf Club.
What’s certain is that wherever they go, they will land with a resounding bump as it’s been quite a tumble from the top.
The blonde-maned socialite and her colourless automaton of a husband were a formidable force in a White House where the President — like any good mafia boss — trusted his family above anyone.
Jared was swiftly elevated to become the President’s most influential aide and Ivanka quickly outshone her less sophisticated and ambitious brothers, Donald Jr and Eric, who were shunted off to keep the family business ticking over.
As for the talk of ‘Ivanka 2024’, some say she’s not red-blooded enough for his hardcore supporters. Pictured: Ivanka with her father President Donald Trump at a campaign rally in Kenosha, Wisconsin
Ivanka, the daughter of Trump’s second wife, Czech model Ivana, was clearly positioning herself as a more moderate version of her father by championing causes such as working mothers and teaching schoolchildren computer coding.
So much so that she reportedly clashed with stepmother Melania, who clearly felt the thrusting First Daughter was challenging her for White House pre-eminence.
But liberals concluded that Javanka’s hoped-for moderating influence was a mirage when the Trump administration drove through its most controversial policies.
When the children of illegal immigrants were separated from their parents at the Mexican border, for example, Ivanka and Jared remained silent.
Meanwhile, Kushner soon had his finger in so many pies that colleagues sneeringly dubbed him the Secretary of Everything. Although he appears blandly benign, the real Kushner, claimed insiders, was a ruthless schemer who plotted with his wife to get rid of any who crossed them in the White House.
Democrats would love to see the pair banished into political history along with the rest of her family. However, given that more than 73 million Americans this year still voted Trump, that is unlikely.
As for the talk of ‘Ivanka 2024’, some say she’s not red-blooded enough for his hardcore supporters.
That said, her political views have conveniently shifted to the Right. In an interview published just a few days before the election, she identified herself as a ‘Trump-Republican’ who was ‘unapologetically’ anti-abortion and didn’t object to being called a populist.
Some believe that this political ambition may end up taking Javanka to the Sunshine State.
During the election, Ivanka hosted some half-dozen campaign events in Florida (which voted Trump) and sources close to the couple predict they will gravitate there at some point — possibly as she tries to become one of its senators.
However, insiders suggest the couple wouldn’t move into Trump’s garish pleasure palace Mar-a-Lago, as Melania plans to spend most of her time there. According to an ex-close friend, Melania calls Ivanka ‘The Princess’ — not as a compliment.
Ivanka could easily return to the Trump Organisation, the family property and marketing business. But that, too, faces a rocky future with almost $1 billion in debts and reports it lost the same amount in just a month during the pandemic.
Still, Jared and Ivanka are not exactly on the breadline. Despite technically working for the President for nothing and no longer running any outside businesses (as formally required), they have continued to earn millions each year.
Income declarations revealed that last year they earned at least $36 million (£27 million) and possibly as much as $157 million (£117 million)— mostly from property investments.
However, this doesn’t necessarily mean things are entirely rosy. According to the New York Times, which obtained President Trump’s tax returns (showing he has paid negligible income tax for years), Ivanka ‘appears’ to have received large consultancy fees that helped the family company reduce its tax bill.
However, she was a paid employee of the company at the time, so the payments could have broken tax rules.
The transactions are being scrutinised by New York officials in civil and criminal investigations, says the Times, although it believes Ivanka isn’t the focus of either inquiry.
For her part, Ivanka has dismissed the investigations.
But if she needs a quick injection of cash, there have been reports that the Trump family — particularly Ivanka — have been inundated with TV offers, mostly to appear in reality shows (in her case, these include Dancing With The Stars).
After the grandeur of their past four years it would be tacky, but Ivanka knows well that her father’s stint on The Apprentice gave him much of the voter recognition he needed to win the presidency in 2016.
In the Big Apple, there are already signs that Ivanka is trying to re-establish herself. Website Artnet reports that Ivanka is ‘planning a return to New York to resume her art-collecting lifestyle’.
However, an art world PR executive recently said she would ‘politely’ eject Ivanka if she walked into one of her parties.
But there is a small hardcore still willing to mix with Javanka, including Wendi Deng Murdoch (ex-wife of Rupert), Misha Nonoo (surprisingly, also a friend of the arch-Democrat Duchess of Sussex) and Nonoo’s husband, the oil heir Michael Hess. But they’re a dwindling band.
When Javanka went to Rome for Hess and Nonoo’s wedding a year ago (also attended by the Sussexes), other guests reportedly ‘scurried out of frame’ just to avoid being caught in photos with the pair.
But all may not be lost. People associated with far worse scandals, including Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell, all bear out the eternal truth of New York — there are no sins enough money can’t wash away.
And, if the rumours of her political ambitions are to be believed, Ivanka needs only look to her father to see that you certainly don’t need the approval of glamorous, celebrity friends to reach the top.