PracticePeople In PracticeThe corridors of power …

The corridors of power ...

It always amuses me to see Donald Trump back in the news. The man should be just another fallen 1980s icon, yet he goes on and on. Now, 'The Donald' is back with a new wife on his arm.

The third Mrs Trump is Melania Knauss, a Slovenian-born model. She is 34. He, surprisingly enough, is only 58. I had assumed he was pushing 70.

My opinion of Trump soared a few years ago when a former Times colleague, Adam Jones, interviewed him in New York. Trump launched into a lecture about why he dislikes shaking hands with strangers who come up to him in restaurants – who is to say whether they have washed their hands? But he made an exception of Jones, saying: ‘You seem like a clean young man.’

Trump’s casino rival, Sol Kerzner, has followed a similar pattern in the marital stakes.

It is predictable that men like Trump end up with a couple of failed marriages behind them. Wealth and power helps them take their pick of trophy wives, but the romance usually wears off after a couple of years. With egos this big, unquestioning adoration is the only acceptable attribute in a wife.

With many corporate titans, the pattern tends to be one of a long marriage followed by divorce in their 50s and a new union with a, generally much younger, partner. Poor old Jack Welch of General Electric fits this category. So does Niall FitzGerald, the former Unilever boss. His divorce became public a couple of years ago via a Stock Exchange announcement concerning a share allocation that was part of the settlement.

Many senior directors remain in stable marriages throughout their careers. The fact that they are never at home might have something to do with it.

Jon Ashworth is business features editor at The Times.

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