Marlene Knaus – Where is She Now?

By: Ann Burdett

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Marlene Knaus has been a famous former model of her time. Her fame skyrocketed after she got married to the Formula 1 driver Niki Lauda. Their relationship made headlines across several magazines and publications. Both were considered a desirable couple by many. Niki passed away in 2019 after suffering various illnesses. 

So, where is Marlene Knaus these days? 

Read this article till the end to find out. 

Who is Marlene Knaus? 

Marlene was born in the United States of America in 1956. She has a Venezuelan ethnicity. But she received Austrian citizenship after marrying her husband. Knaus was raised by her Venezuelan-American parents. Although their names remain unknown, their ancestry traces back to Venezuelans. 

Marlene Knaus’ Career as a Model? 

Marlene had a full-fledged career in modeling before she married her husband. The gorgeous beauty queen began her modeling career in the 1960s. She was also known for carrying herself so gracefully. Her overall personality made her the object of desire in the modeling and ad world. She modeled for various prominent brands. Her signature hairdo became the trend among many women who would love to follow her fashion sense. 

Marlene’s career wasn’t restricted to being a model alone. Besides modeling for ad campaigns and magazine covers, she worked as a designer. 

Marlene Knaus’ Relationship with Niki 

Besides being popular as a model, Marlene rose to more fame after getting involved with the F1 racer Andreas Nikolaus Lauda or Niki. The duo met in 1975. The details of their first meeting remain unknown. But reportedly, they quite liked each other from the very first meeting. After a few rounds of meetings, they decided to get married the following year. Post his marriage with Niki, Marlene acquired Austrian citizenship. 

The couple welcomed their first child, son Mathias Lauda, on the 30th of January, 1981. He followed in his father’s footsteps and grew up to become a racing driver. Their second son, Lukas, serves as his brother’s manager in the same profession. 

When Things Went Downhill between the Two 

Fans worldwide were shocked by the news of Marlene and Niki’s divorce. Contrary to their expectations, the marriage between the two did not last long. Niki and Marlene filed for divorce in 1991, ending their happy union. 

The actual reason for their divorce remains unknown. However, reportedly it could be Niki’s extramarital affair. After their divorce, Marlene did not get married or date anyone. She opted to remain single. On the other hand, Niki married Birgit Wetzinger, a flight attendant on his airline, in 2008. They welcomed twins – a girl named Mia and a boy named Max. Reportedly, Niki also has a son Christoph from his extramarital relationship. 

Although the duo sought a divorce and ended their happy marriage, they never had hard feelings toward each other. Instead, they remained in touch, and Marlene would often attend the family get-togethers. 

Niki Lauda Passed away in 2019 

Niki Lauda passed away on the 20th of May, 2019, ten months after undergoing a lung transplant. He underwent a lung transplant in August 2018 at a private hospital in Vienna after falling ill with flu-like symptoms when he was vacationing in Ibiza. While he was getting treated in Vienna before his death, medics confirmed he had suffered from severe lung disease. Reportedly, Niki was also suffering from kidney ailments. 

Where is Marlene Nowadays? 

Per reports, Marlene lives in a house in Ibiza that Niki had left for her. All this while, she has also been on good terms with Birgit. They even shared responsibilities when Niki was on his deathbed in a hospital. 

The major share of Niki’s net worth was signed off to his four children and Birgit, along with a considerable amount for Marlene and Christoph. 

What is Marlene Knaus’ Net Worth? 

After parting ways with Niki, Marlene has been very private. Not a lot of details about her professional life are available across the media. Thus, the information on her net worth remains a question. That said, some reports suggest that her net worth extends up to a whopping $43 million. According to these reports, Marlene has acquired such an impressive net worth out of her modeling career, and besides this, a significant share of it comes from the fortune that her ex-husband left for her. 

Little-known Details about Marlene Knaus

  • Niki Lauda almost succumbed to death in a 1976 racing competition. He was racing for the second Formula One world title. According to reports, his Ferrari caught fire. But a fellow driver, Arturo Merzario, saved the day by diving into the burning car and unbuckling Lauda’s safety harness. The accident caused Niki a lot of burns. When Knaus saw these burns, she passed out. Niki’s eyelashes got damaged to a great extent. But Knaus looked after her husband like an ideal wife and didn’t leave his side. 
  • Reportedly, Niki Lauda was caught cheating on her wife, but despite that, Marlene stood by her husband. The scandal became a huge sensation across the industry. 
  • There is a movie about Niki Lauda and Marlene Knaus. The 2013 movie Rush is focused on the rivalry between Niki Lauda and British race driver James Hunt. It stars Chris Hemsworth as Hunt and Daniel Bruhl as Lauda. Marlene’s character is portrayed by Romanian-German actress Alexander Maria Lara. You will see glimpses of Marlene and Niki’s relationship in the movie. 
  • During her heydays, Marlene Knaus was regarded as the IT girl of the industry. She was immensely popular for her excellent dress-sense and personal style. Many budding models and fashionistas would imitate her fashion sense. Marlene was a famous socialite of her time. 

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