Let This Bit of Gossip Haunt Ivanka as She Claws Back to Manhattan Life

Ivanka in 2007.David Gard/AP

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.As her father clings to the remnants of a sad coup, Ivanka Trump and husband Jared Kushner are apparently over their West Wing life, with the soon-to-be-former first daughter reportedly busy laying the groundwork for a return to Manhattan’s ultrawealthy art scene. While some predict a difficult transition back into New York high society, as one PR executive recently told the New Republic, complete pariah life for them appears unlikely: “Recent history has taught me that’ll only happen if they go broke.”
But if their ghoulishness within the Trump administration won’t make a difference in their social standing, perhaps a reliable tell-all, chock full of ugly details revealed by a former best friend, will. That’s what we have from Lysandra Ohrstrom in Vanity Fair today, in an essay filled with gossipy anecdotes extending from their days together at the elite all-girls’ school Chapin to their partying when they were in their early 20s. There was the time young Ivanka trashed a necklace that had Arabic writing—“It just screams, ‘terrorist,’” she allegedly said. Then there was Ivanka’s literary criticism of Richard Russo’s Empire Falls. “Why would you tell me to read a book about fucking poor people?” Not much is surprising until you reach this:
One of the earliest memories I have of Ivanka from before we were friends is when she blamed a fart on a classmate. Some time later, she goaded me and a few other girls into flashing our breasts out the window of our classroom in what has since been labelled the “flashing the hot dog man” incident in Chapin lore. Ivanka had basically been the ringleader, but she pleaded her innocence to the headmistress and got off scot-free. The rest of us were suspended.
Ivanka concealing a fart? At once petty and telling (here we see young Ivanka throwing people under the bus to preserve her image), this new revelation offers, for me, a moment of true joy. I can’t think of a better one with which to follow her efforts to rebrand back to Manhattan.