With speculation she is “counting down” the minutes to divorce Donald Trump, new details have emerged about Melania’s plans.
Like her husband’s newly opened Office of the Former President, the former First Lady is establishing her own post-White House office in Palm Beach, Florida, CNN reports.
She intends to “maintain ‘Be Best’”, one source told the broadcaster, referring to her broad, loosely defined platform around children’s wellbeing.
The initiative addressed issues including cyber-bullying and the impact of the opioid crisis on children.
In a video message saying goodbye to her initiative earlier this month, Ms Trump thanked “everyone who has supported Be Best over the past few years”.
“The goal of Be Best has been simple — teach youth about the importance of their wellbeing, both mentally and physically,” she said.
“This also includes understanding online safety and the dangers of opioid and drug abuse.”
CNN notes that during her time in the White House, Ms Trump would often go weeks without holding a Be Best-themed public event.
Her East Wing policy office was understaffed and often sat vacant as well. Her new office will be run by three of her former White House staffers.
It comes after Mr Trump’s niece, Mary Trump, claimed Ms Trump was “counting down the minutes” until she could divorce him and that he doesn’t “understand affection or intimacy”.
As Mr Trump’s presidential term came to an end, many speculated on the future of his third marriage. While he held on to power, fighting tooth and nail for weeks and claiming that election fraud was behind Joe Biden’s stunning and history election victory, the 50-year-old former model was focused on orchestrating a swift exit from Washington DC.
“Melania is ‘checked out’,” one White House source told CNN, in the wake of the deadly January 6 siege on the US Capitol.
“She just isn’t in a place mentally or emotionally anymore where she wants to get involved.”
“I think she was a reluctant first lady and she did it for her husband,” society publicist R Couri Hay, an acquaintance of Ms Trump’s in New York, told The New York Times.
After she leaves Washington, he said, “I think that you will find that she will be even less visible, and less available.
“Quite frankly,” he said, “I think America should just let her go.”
The rumours were stoked in recent days after an expressionless Ms Trump walked away from her husband, leaving him to wave at the cameras by himself, as the couple stepped off Air Force One in Florida last Thursday.
It wasn’t the first time footage had aired of Ms Trump pulling away from the 74-year-old – over the years a number of clips have gone viral, sparking a flurry of speculation about their relationship.
Trump’s former aide and The Apprentice star Omarosa Manigault Newman – whose explosive book Unhinged offers a behind-the-scenes look into the Trump administration and their marriage – has also claimed the 16-year marriage was in its dying days.
“It’s a very strange marriage. I’m very cautious to comment on the dynamics of a marriage because you never know what goes on behind close doors,” she told British breakfast television show Lorraine last October.
Former aide and friend of the first lady Stephanie Winston Wolkoff has also spoken of the bizarre nature of the Trumps’ marriage, alleging in November the pair – who have one son together, 14-year-old Barron – had separate bedrooms in the White House and “a transactional marriage”.
“Donald got arm candy, the Vogue cover legitimised Melania which legitimised Donald as well, and Melania got two dynamic decades,” she told BBC’s Newsnight.
“She was a young model, she was striving, she didn’t have the success yet. She met Donald, she married, she had a son, she became an American citizen and 10 years after that, she is the first lady of the United States.
“So I do believe it was a magic moment and I also believe it was a made-for-TV moment.”