Ivanka Trump‘s former friend Lysandra Ohrstrom is writing a tell-all essay and speaking out about her childhood friendship with the First Daughter.
The pair grew up together and went to an elite private school on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.
“She loved to talk about herself and was shamelessly vain, but she was also fun, loyal, and let’s face it, pretty exciting,” she wrote. “In our late teens and early 20s, it felt like Ivanka and I were always on the same page or up for the same adventure, whether it was leaving Bungalow 8 early to watch a Lifetime movie, or horseback riding from a surf village in Costa Rica to a town in Nicaragua because we had never been there before.”
She also wrote about Donald Trump.
“He would barely acknowledge me except to ask if Ivanka was the prettiest or the most popular girl in our grade. Before I learned that the Trumps have no sense of humor about themselves, I remember answering honestly that she was probably in the top five. ‘Who’s prettier than Ivanka?’ I recall him asking once with genuine confusion, before correctly naming the two girls I’d had in mind. He described one as a young Cindy Crawford, while the other he said had a great figure,” she continued. “Though he never remembered my name, he seemed to have a photographic memory for changes in my body. I’ll never forget the time Ivanka and I were having lunch with her brothers at Mar-a-Lago one day, and while Mr. Trump was saying hi, Don Jr. swiped half a grilled cheese sandwich off my plate. Ivanka scolded him, but Mr. Trump chimed in, ‘Don’t worry. She doesn’t need it. He’s doing her a favor.’ Conversely, he’d usually congratulate me if I’d lost weight.”
She continued, “Although friends and family have warned that this article won’t be received the way I want, I think it’s past time that one of the many critics from Ivanka’s childhood comes forward—if only to ensure that she really will never recover from the decision to tie her fate to her father’s.”
“One time, we were driving to Manhattan from Bedminster, and I think we were having some sort of disagreement about affordable housing in Manhattan. I distinctly remember Ivanka saying something along the lines of, ‘Ly, I can’t talk about this stuff with you anymore because you’ve really turned into a Marxist,’” she continued. “Still, Ivanka asked me and one other friend to be in her wedding party in 2009, along with some relatives and Wendi Murdoch’s daughters as flower girls. The months between her engagement and wedding to Jared were a flurry of activity in which I was honored to participate. When I started a new job in a different field the day after their wedding, however, I expected my best friend to ask how it was going. After what could have been a few days or weeks, I remember sending her a text that said something like, ‘Hey, I started a new job the day after your wedding, and you haven’t asked me a single question about it.’ “I don’t remember her exact reply, but it was something along the lines of, ‘Ly, I’m too busy for this sh*t.’”
“Then in 2009, shortly after I was one of two maids of honor in Ivanka’s wedding, our friendship finally broke under the weight of our differences,” she continued. “It was easy to ignore the dozens of press inquiries that flooded my inbox when Donald Trump announced his candidacy because I didn’t think he had any chance of winning. Then, when Ivanka joined her dad’s administration, I was sure she would step in to moderate her father’s most regressive, racist tendencies—not out of any moral commitment, but because caging young children and ripping up global climate agreements was not a good look in the halls of Davos. The Ivanka I knew spent her career developing and embodying a more polished and intellectual offshoot of the Trump brand, which blended the language and look of white millennial feminism with the mythical narrative of the business acumen and entrepreneurial spirit she claimed to have inherited from her dad. Her objective was always a more refined brand of celebrity than the bombastic, nouveau riche variety her dad had perfected—the kind that allowed her to be graciously received by the B&T and Maidstone set, invite Blake Lively over for a girls’ dinner, and vacation on the yachts of tech billionaires, but also serve as an inspirational example of a “woman who works” to the middle-class housewives to whom she peddled her fashion brand.”
“Instead, I’ve watched as Ivanka has laid waste to the image she worked so hard to build. In private, I’ve had countless conversations with friends who also grew up with Ivanka about how appalled we are that she didn’t publicly oppose Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination, or any of her dad’s especially repugnant policies. But in public, we’ve stayed silent because that’s what we are taught to do.”
“Whether Ivanka is able to rehab her stained image or not, I hope she wasn’t able to drown out the applause of the city she once aspired to rule, cheering and celebrating her political downfall. I was with them, crying with relief, matched only by the regret and shame I feel for not holding my former friend to account sooner,” she added.
Read the entire essay at Vanity Fair.