Meredith McIver is the woman at the center of the Melania Trump plagiarism controversy. On Wednesday—after members of the Trump campaign both denied that portions of the speech were lifted from a 2008 Michelle Obama speech and tried to blame the whole thing on Hillary Clinton McIver issued a statement saying she was to blame.
"That was my mistake, and I feel terrible for the chaos I have caused Melania and the Trumps, as well as to Mrs. Obama," she said. "No harm was meant."
Internet commenters quickly snapped into action Wednesday, pushing a conspiracy theory that McIver did not exist—that she was more than a ghostwriter for the Trumps. She was an actual ghost.
But the thing is, McIver, 65, is a real person. Here's what we know about her.
1. McIver has co-written about a half dozen books with Trump, according to Amazon, including the national bestseller Trump: How to Get Rich.
2. McIver has worked for the Trump organization since 2001, according to Time. Her previous writing experience, The New York Times reported, was about a decade of work as a copywriter at an advertising agency. At the Trump organization, McIver's desk is just outside Trump's office, close enough so that Trump can literally shout to her—and frequently does—to get her attention, according to a 2007 Guardian article that mentions McIver.
3. McIver is known for her attention to detail—not as someone who would fail to realize she was cribbing someone else's speech. "It sounds like she sort of stepped up and fell on her sword," an ex-boyfriend told The New York Times.
4. McIver is a former ballet dancer. The daughter of ballroom dancers, McIver grew up in Northern California before moving to New York at the age of 14 to dance, according to The New York Times. She studied at the American School of Ballet and later danced in a number of performances, including on Broadway. McIver also earned an English degree from the University of Utah, where she graduated magna cum laude in 1976.
6. McIver has taken the fall for Donald Trump in the past. In a 2007 deposition, The New York Times reported, Trump fielded questions about whether he exaggerated his level of debt in some of his books. He blamed the exaggerations on McIver. "This is somebody that wrote it, probably Meredith McIver," Trump said.
7. McIver is considered an extended member of the Trump family, according to The New York Times. "She's a terrific person," Trump told ABC News on Wednesday. "She just made a mistake. And I thought it was terrific the way she came forward and said look, it was a mistake that I made."
Follow Marie Claire on Facebook for the latest celeb news, beauty tips, fascinating reads, livestream video, and more.