The photo was the cover for the the February 2002 edition of the New York magazine and was meant to re-enact the famous Victory over Japan day kiss between a sailor and a nurse in 1945. In the image, the future First Lady, wearing a thigh length white coat and knee high shiny boots with stiletto heels, can be seen embracing and passionately kissing a surprised New York firefighter. At the time of the photo shoot, FLOTUS was an aspiring model called Melania Knauss, who was dating Donald Trump, a New York property developer.
She was hired to pose on the cover of the publication’s Valentine’s Day Singles issues, which was dedicated to New York’s firefighters.
The first responders had become “rock stars” as a result of their heroics in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the Twin Towers.
An article in the New York explained: “Recently, the journalist Matt Haber learned something that we at New York had forgotten.
“The female model we’d hired was a pretty young Slovenian named Melania Knauss, who had been dating a New York real-estate developer on and off for several years, and married him a couple of years after that.
“We did not, at the time, expect to be working with the future First Lady of the United States. But we were.”
Daniel T. Keane, the fireman in the shoot recalled how he and Melania re-created Alfred Eisenstaedt’s famous end-of-WWII photograph.
He told the journalist Matt Haber that they had to do “a couple hundred” takes, with Melania giving him a big kiss each time.
Mr Keane, who is now a FDNY battalion chief, said: “The person who was doing my hair and makeup, they said, ‘Do you know who that is?’
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“And again, I don’t know any models, I really wasn’t into the scene.
“And they said, ‘That’s Melania Knauss… That’s Donald Trump’s girlfriend.’ And I said, ‘Oh, OK.’”
Three years later Melania Knauss would appear on the cover of the New York magazine as Mrs. Donald Trump.
This come as bitter social media trolls cruelly savaged the First Lady for a tweet she posted to thank Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the India people for their warm welcome during her visit last week to the country with her husband.
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FLOTUS tweeted: ““Thank you @narendramodi for welcoming me and @POTUS to your beautiful country.
“We were delighted to receive such a warm welcome from you and the people of India!”
However, critics were quick to take to the social media airwaves to lambast and berate the President’s wife.
One tweeted: “You were so delighted that you didn’t eat the specially prepared vegetarian menues which were lovingly prepared for you.
“Strange way to show your delight!”
A second blasted: “Is there such a thing as a @twitter stutterer?
“How many times is DESPERATE @MELANIATRUMP going to send out SAME TWEET, in FAILED ATTEMPT to DISTRACT FROM THIS (BTW, not even phoney ‘thoughts and prayers’ from her re: #coronavirus)…
A screen shot of a news headline attacking the US President for making Vice-President Pence coronavirus Czar was attached to the tweet.
But the First Lady also had her admirers, who were quick to jump to her defence and praise her for all the work she was doing on behalf of her country.
One commented: “We love you first lady and president Trump. Your contributions in India-US ties will be always remembered.”
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