Ivanka’s Branding Whiplash: From Kim’s Birthday Bash to the Witness Stand

The date is set. The eldest Trump daughter will be forced to testify in her dad’s blockbuster fraud trial.

Evan Vucci/AP

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.

For the briefest of moments, it must have felt like the good old days for the former president’s eldest daughter.

But fresh from her star turn at Kim Kardashian’s celebrity-studded 43rd birthday party in Beverly Hills, Ivanka Trump will be back in the public eye very soon, in far less glamorous climes: The witness stand of a downtown Manhattan courtroom.

Seemingly desperate to distance herself from her dad, the eldest Trump daughter will nonetheless be forced to testify in his $250 million New York civil fraud case on November 3, after Judge Arthur Engoron on Friday rejected Ivanka’s bid to avoid testifying in open court, according to the Associated Press. Ivanka Trump’s lawyers had stated that she hasn’t been part of the Trump Organization since 2017 and currently resides in Florida, arguing that the New York court shouldn’t have jurisdiction over her.

Ivanka, along with Eric and Don Jr., will now be compelled to take the stand ahead of the main defendant himself, Donald Trump. The former president will appear on November 6, in the blockbuster trial that threatens to unravel his sprawling business empire.

Ivanka has wanted to move on from all this drama, explicitly announcing she won’t be joining her father’s 2024 campaign. In the “billionaire bunker,” she now calls home—a 300-acre gated community on an island near Miami called Indian Creek Village—Ivanka’s friends have reportedly been supportive of her bid to write a new chapter. According to the New York Times, “Ms. Trump now generally minds her own business and people close to her think it is time she is allowed to move on with her new life.”

Still, the Kardashian invite must have felt like a genuine turning point, as she was welcomed back into a cloistered elite circle that also included Jeff Bezos’s partner Lauren Sanchez. “So blessed to have hit the jackpot of friends!” Kardashian gushed on an Instagram gallery post featuring Ivanka. But even in this bubble, there were pesky reminders of her father’s alleged mob behavior. According to the Times, one photographer yelled at Ivanka on the way to Kim’s party, asking if she was “afraid to testify” at the trial. She didn’t answer.

No one, in my estimation, has chronicled Ivanka Trump’s intricate theatrics more adeptly than my colleague Inae Oh. She has highlighted Ivanka’s hypocrisy concerning women; how the media often helps to launder Ivanka’s image; and pointed out her “piss poor” relationship with the truth, especially when supporting her father’s Big Lie. Inae even compiled a list of events that form “one of the most enduring storylines of the Trump era,” revolving around Ivanka’s efforts to improve her public image, even as her father’s administration descended into chaos: “Things are going off the rails, but never fear—Ivanka is diligently working behind the scenes to be the least problematic member of the administration, details of which conveniently find their way to the media.”

We’ll closely follow Ivanka’s high-wire act on the stand and provide updates.

MOTHER JONES NEEDS YOUR HELP

Straight to the point: Donations have been concerningly slow for our hugely important First $500,000 fundraising campaign. We urgently need your help, and a lot of help, over the next few weeks so we can pay for the one-of-a-kind journalism you get from us.

Learn more in “Less Dreading, More Doing,” where we lay out this wild moment and how we can keep charging hard for you. And please help if you can: $5, $50, or $500—every gift from every person truly matters right now.

payment methods

MOTHER JONES NEEDS YOUR HELP

Straight to the point: Donations have been concerningly slow for our hugely important First $500,000 fundraising campaign. We urgently need your help, and a lot of help, over the next few weeks so we can pay for the one-of-a-kind journalism you get from us.

Learn more in “Less Dreading, More Doing,” where we lay out this wild moment and how we can keep charging hard for you. And please help if you can: $5, $50, or $500—every gift from every person truly matters right now.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate