Ivana Trump backs off rape allegations: 'Donald and I are the best of friends'

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Donald Trump's Attorney: You Cannot Rape Your Spouse

A day after The Daily Beast published a story resurfacing Ivana Trump's rape allegations against Donald Trump from their highly publicized divorce in 1989, the ex-wife of the Republican presidential candidate has issued a statement defending her ex-husband.

"I have recently read some comments attributed to me from nearly 30 years ago at a time of very high tension during my divorce from Donald," Ivana said Tuesday in a statement to CNN. "The story is totally without merit. Donald and I are the best of friends and together have raised three children that we love and are very proud of. I have nothing but fondness for Donald and wish him the best of luck on his campaign. Incidentally, I think he would make an incredible president."

See photos of the pair's relationship:

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Donald Trump and ex-wife Ivana
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Ivana Trump backs off rape allegations: 'Donald and I are the best of friends'
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 4: Billionaire Donald Trump and his wife Ivana arrive 04 December 1989 at a social engagement in New York. (Photo credit should read SWERZEY/AFP/Getty Images)
Real estate developer Donald Trump waves to reporters with his wife, Ivana, as they board their luxury yacht The Trump Princess in New York City on Monday, July 4, 1988. Trump paid the Sultan of Brunei $30 million for the nearly 300-foot yacht. (AP Photo/Marty Lederhandler)
Donald Trump, left, and his ex-wife, Ivana Trump stand together at a reception prior to the Hotel Industry Annual Candlelight Gala held at New York's Plaza Hotel, Tues., April 9, 1991. Trump announced plans earlier in the day to convert most of the Plaza Hotel into luxury condominiums, a move that could cost Ivana her job running the hotel. (AP Photo/Luis Ribeiro)
Ivana Trump, ex-wife of real estate developer Donald Trump, is shown with her children Ivanka, left, and Eric as Ricardo Mazuchelli looks on in October 1993. (AP Photo)
Donald Trump and his ex-wife Ivana Trump are seen together watching the men's singles finals match between Patrick Rafter and Greg Rusedski at the U.S. Open in New York Sunday, Sept. 7, 1997. (AP Photo/Rusty Kennedy)
Real estate developer Donald Trump and his wife, Ivana, pose aboard their new luxury yacht The Trump Princess docked at the 30th Street pier on the East River in New York City, Monday, July 4, 1988. (AP Photo/Marty Lederhandler)
Donald Trump and his wife, Ivana, pose outside the Federal Courthouse after she was sworn in as a United States citizen, May 1988. (AP Photo)
PALM BEACH, FL - NOVEMBER 12: Ivana Trump attends the wedding ceremony of Donald Trump Jr. and Vanessa Haydon at the Mar-a-Lago Club November 12, 2005 in Palm Beach, Florida. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Getty Images)
Ivana Trump reacts to Mario Buatta's rubber chicken during a celebrity cook-in to benefit the March of Dimes in New York, Nov. 21, 1989. The cook-in featuring celebrities such as interior designer Buatta and Mike Tyson, was held at the Plaza Hotel, which is owned by Trump's husband, Donald. (AP Photo/Mario Suriani)
Ivana Trump, former wife of Donald Trump, arrives for the "Red Cross Gala" Friday, Aug. 1, 2008, in Monaco. (AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau)
BRIARCLIFF MANOR, NY - SEPTEMBER 15:  (L-R) Donald Trump, Ivana Trump, Eric Trump and Lara Yunaska attend The Eric Trump 8th Annual Golf Tournament at Trump National Golf Club Westchester on September 15, 2014 in Briarcliff Manor, New York. (Photo by Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images)
**FILE**Ivana Trump, Czech-born former fashion model and former wife of multimillionaire Donald Trump, arrives at a charity event Aug. 4, 2006, in Monaco. Trump's ex-wife, who is attending the Paris haute couture shows this week with her partner, Rossano Rubicondi, told AP Television News on Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2007, that she recently advised her ex-husband and TV ci-host Rosie O'Donnell to make peace in her advice column for the National Enquirer and Globe tabloids. (AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau)
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Ivana's explicit deposition from the divorce case was initially revealed in the 1993 book Lost Tycoon: The Many Lives of Donald J. Trump by Harry Hurt III. She recounted a violent argument about a botched scalp reduction that her husband had undergone. In the course of events, Trump allegedly tore out clumps of her hair and then proceeded to tear off her clothes and "rape" her.

The Daily Beast resurfaced the old rape story this week to make the point that Donald Trump's use of the word "rapist" during his presidential campaign -- to describe Mexican immigrants -- was an "unfortunate turn of phrase" in light of his own history.

READ MORE: Donald Trump's Lawyers Threaten Daily Beast With Lawsuit Over Ex-Wife's Alleged Sexual Assault Claims

The Daily Beast's story has also drawn the ire of Donald Trump's lawyer Michael Cohen, who, when reached for comment, responded to Ivana's decades-old rape allegations by insisting that one cannot rape one's spouse.

"Of course, understand that by the very definition, you can't rape your spouse," Cohen told the site. "It is true. You cannot rape your spouse. And there's very clear case law." (Spousal rape is illegal in all 50 states.)

Coen also threatened the author of the piece with legal action if he published the story: "I will make sure that you and I meet one day while we're in the courthouse. And I will take you for every penny you still don't have. And I will come after your Daily Beast and everybody else that you possibly know," Cohen said. "So I'm warning you, tread very f-;ing lightly, because what I'm going to do to you is going to be f-;ing disgusting. You understand me?"

READ MORE: Jon Stewart on Donald Trump Success: People Love "Spectacular Manmade Disasters"

Cohen has since issued an apology for his rape comments in a statement to CNN: "As an attorney, husband and father there are many injustices that offend me but nothing more than charges of rape or racism. They hit me at my core. Rarely am I surprised by the press, but the gall of this particular reporter to make such a reprehensible and allegation against Mr. Trump truly stunned me. In my moment of shock and anger, I made an inarticulate comment -; which I do not believe -; and which I apologize for entirely."

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