The bizarre encounter is revealed in Kushner’s bombshell new memoir that is already making waves across American political and social circles.
In his upcoming book, ‘Breaking History: A White House Memoir’ Kushner reveals intimate details about his relationship with Ivanka and includes one anecdote about the couple, struggling their religious differences at the time, who got back together after a romantic day at sea being entertained by the Irish signing stars.
As an Orthodox Jew, Kushner’s faith was important to him, but Ivanka was raised as a Presbyterian Christian. Ivanka eventually made the decision to convert to Judaism, which paved the way for their marriage.
However, Trump’s former special adviser details how the couple had broken up at one point during their relationship over their respective faiths until they managed to find themselves on the same superyacht in the French Riviera owned by Rupert Murdoch.
It was Murdoch’s then-wife Wendi who hatched a plan to get Ivanka and Kushner to reconcile, among several famous guests including both Irish singers as well as Billy Joel.
In an excerpt obtained by The New York Times, Kushner writes about that day.
“On that Sunday, we were having lunch at Bono’s house in the town of Eze on the French Riviera.
“After lunch, Billy Joel, who had also been with us on the boat, played the piano while Bono sang with the Irish singer-songwriter Bob Geldof.”
The 500-page book also delves into the intricate relationship between father-in-law and son-in-law, and revisits some of his early encounters with Donald Trump, stretching back to his days running The New York Observer, a weekly newspaper chronicling Manhattan’s power elite.
Trump had suggested his daughter meet Kushner after he bought 666 Fifth Avenue, in what was, at the time, the most expensive sale in the city’s history.
The two went to lunch, Kushner recalls where they bonded over “NASCAR, New Jersey diners, and other unlikely interests we had in common.”
“Soon,” he writes, “I was taking Ivanka to parts of the city she had never seen before, using our dates to check out neighbourhoods where I was looking to purchase property.
“ On Sunday mornings, we would take our backgammon board to a new restaurant and sit there for hours as we played games, read the papers, and sipped coffee.”
However, month slater Kushner, an observant Jew, broke up with her because of their religious differences, which Ivanka told him was the worst decision of his life.
Wendi Murdoch then surreptitiously invited them both on the Murdoch’s’ yacht for a weekend to get them back together where his yacht-mates Bono, Billy Joel, and Bob Geldof serenading them.
Murdoch, Kushner writes, whispered that they were the two least talented people there).
Once Ivanka decided to convert to Judaism as her relationship with Kushner got more serious, he met with her father twice at Trump Tower. Over one lunch, according to the book, Trump asked Kushner why he wasn’t the one converting, adding that Ivanka should have gone out with Tom Brady instead.
However, he relented and the couple later wed at Trump’s club in Bedminster, New Jersey, and Kushner planned a safari in Africa for their honeymoon, which was derailed by weather and resulted in an unplanned stay in Amsterdam with no luggage. “Some brides would have melted down as their dream honeymoon was thrown off track,” Kushner writes. But not his wife. She “smiled and improvised.” They put on bathrobes and slippers and went down to dinner at the hotel’s Michelin-starred restaurant. “It was a blast.”
In the book Kushner also defends his wife’s controversial appearance at the G20 summit when a video of Ivanka engaged in conversation with President Emmanuel Macron, Prime Minister Theresa May, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and IMF director Christine Lagarde wen viral.
In his telling, “snarky and dishonest detractors used the video…to create the false narrative that Ivanka was unwelcome at the G20” and that this was “painful and disheartening” for his wife.
“Beneath her stoic smile, Ivanka has a big heart,” he writes, “and the media’s attacks could sting. I wish I could do more as a husband to help her feel proud of her important work, even in the face of unfair criticism.” He adds, “We both had to learn to let go of the things we couldn’t control and keep perspective on what mattered most: our faith, our family, and what we were trying to achieve.”