melania trump
First lady Melania Trump arrived at the East Room of the White House prior to a joint news conference in Washington, D.C., Feb. 15, 2017. Getty Images/Alex Wong

First lady Melania Trump’s journey to the White House has not been without controversy, but through the way she has had the support of her big sister. As President Donald Trump’s wife stayed back in New York even after he was sworn in, Ines Knauss could be an important figure in the first lady’s life, reports said.

Knauss reportedly lives in a swanky $2 million apartment in the Trump Park Avenue property, just a couple of blocks from Melania’s residence and has been one of her closest friends through her life, sources told the New York Post.

Both sisters left their country of origin, Slovenia, to pursue careers in the fashion industry in the early 1990s, the report cited a photographer as saying. While Melania wanted to be a model, Knauss tried her hand at design, but couldn’t break through in the way she would have liked to.

A very private person just like her sister, Knauss was not seen making any public appearances during Trump’s presidential campaign but cheered on her brother-in-law through social media. Despite having a private Twitter account, one can take sneak peeks into the life of the first lady’s sister through her Facebook account, which has a number of posts visible to the public.

A majority of these, however, are snapshots of sister Melania when she was younger, or pictures of Knauss’ own sketches. Melania also tweeted a photo of her sister’s piece of art, way back in 2014, CNN reported.

The first lady is reported to be very close to her family and has had her sister by her side during all important occasions in her life. At her 2005 Palm Beach wedding, Knauss was reportedly her maid of honor and even when Melania’s son, Barron, was born in 2006, her sister played an important role standing beside her.

“I realized that Melania was very close to her family when I saw them all there supporting her after Barron’s birth,” fashion designer Luisa Beccaria, who is familiar with the sisters, told the New York Post. “Melania had all the professional help she needed at that point, but it was her sister she trusted.”