In this 1995 file photo, Donald and Ivana Trump were filming a Pizza Hut commercial. (Photo: Tom Rees)
Gannett Co., — the parent company of USA TODAY — and The New York Times Co. asked the New York Supreme Court Thursday to unseal the records of Donald Trump’s 1990 divorce from Ivana Trump.
The divorce was granted on the ground of “cruel and inhuman treatment” but Donald and Ivana Trump later reached a settlement. The case has percolated through the news over the years, including stories earlier in the presidential campaign season about whether the billionaire, who is now the Republican presidential nominee, sexually assaulted his then-wife.
Ivana has since said that she and Donald Trump remain close friends and she has endorsed his candidacy. She has also downplayed any reference to assault in the divorce proceedings.
Nevertheless, the news organizations argue that unsealing the records of the divorce would help “resolve an ongoing campaign controversy” over that allegation.
In addition, the news organizations contend, “marital fidelity” has become an issue in the presidential campaign, with Trump raising questions about the marriage of Hillary and Bill Clinton and her role in responding to claims of sexual misconduct by her husband.
The records of Trump’s divorce “have become directly relevant to the issues being debated in the hotly contested presidential campaign,” the news organizations argue. “It would be deeply incongruous to American democracy to bar the public from seeing the official court records pertaining directly to the credibility and character of a person they must soon decide whether to elect as their president.”
Lawyers for Donald Trump and Ivana Trump did not immediately respond to requests for comment.