New York Divorce Lawyer For Contested Cases And Dividing Assets
When you think about epic political sex scandals, there are plenty that come to mind.
For many New Yorkers, the bizarre very public divorce of Rudy Giuliani from his now ex-wife Donna Hanover stands apart.
It had all the elements of a sizzler of a tale – a history of infidelity, a mistress, long-running fights about who could live in Gracie Mansion, and a Mayor who used the press to convey the news of his decision to divorce to his heartbroken wife.
All this from the man who ran on a pledge to clean up the city – and aside from his own personal exploits with women who were not his wife, he is largely credited with succeeding.
The story begins in the early 1990s, when New Yorkers had lived through decades of out of control street crime, “squeegee men” extorting money from drivers whose windshields they’d (possibly) cleaned, and various other quality of life issues that had left many believing that America’s big cities were failing.
In 1993, Rudy Giuliani launched a mayoral campaign during a period of economic frustration. It was his second run.
In 1989, he had won the Republican primary and squared off against David Dinkins, who had defeated three-term mayor Ed Koch to win the Democratic nomination.
Conservatives viewed Giuliani as too liberal, and in the end, he lost the election by just 47,000 votes out of nearly 1.9 million that were cast.
It was the closest election in New York City history, and set the stage for the rematch four years later.
In that race, another squeaker, he won on a margin of just over 53,000 votes, ascending to the Mayor’s office as the first Republican elected since 1965.
One of his first orders of business was to unleash police powers under Commissioner Bill Bratton.
Bratton was a proponent of so-called “broken windows” policing, where even minor offenses like graffiti, pot possession, and turnstile jumping were cracked down on, and the police rounded up the squeegee men who had been harassing drivers.
While crime had begun to fall under Mayor Dinkins, over the next four years the drop continued.
Unexpectedly, given where Giuliani has landed on social issues in his later years, he was a proponent of equality for gay and lesbian New Yorkers and supported legal protections to allow illegal immigrants living in the city to send their children to school and report crimes to police without fear of deportation.
When he ran for re-election in 1997, his approval rating was 68 percent and nearly three-quarters of New Yorkers reported feeling satisfied with life in the city.
He won with 59% of the vote, opening the way for a wild four years in New York politics that saw him enter the U.S. Senate race in 2000, facing Hillary Clinton, and then learn in April that he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer.
Is Adultery A Reason For Divorce In Queens?
Shortly thereafter, in May of 2000, Giuliani called a press conference at Bryant Park.
There, before the assembled press, he told the world that he had separated from Hanover, a journalist and TV personality who had been his wife of 16 years.
Further, he made clear that the diagnosis would force him to rely more heavily on his “very good friend” Judith Nathan, who not only had been his secret girlfriend for year prior, but also had a background in medicine.
As if this news wasn’t jaw-dropping enough, several hours later Donna Hanover held an emotional press conference of her own where it became clear that her husband hadn’t bothered to tell her of his decision before going public with it.
In interviews with friends in the ensuing days and weeks, Hanover was described as “distraught” by the news, but not exactly surprised.
As the story went, she had stepped back from having a public role in her husband’s political life around 1996 because of an ongoing relationship he was having with a staffer.
If you’re thinking that was “very good friend” Judith Nathan, you’d be wrong.
Giuliani, it seems, had enjoyed extracurriculars with at least two women during his marriage, including his former communications director.
One friend recounted a time in 1995 when Giuliani told Hanover he was going to see their son but instead went to City Hall.
When Hanover arrived to find out why Giuliani wasn’t where he said he was going to be, she found instead that he’d been ensconced in a private suite in the basement with the staffer for several hours.
An aide to the Mayor refused to allow his wife into the basement suite. One suspects this was a rather large warning sign to Hanover.
It was a long six months before Giuliani officially filed for divorce, and the entire 18-month-long saga was as ugly as it was sensational.
National outlets pounded out story after story of “The Mayor, The Wife, The Mistress,” and Giuliani’s lawyers were vicious in their targeting of Hanover.
Giuliani himself sought to have Judith Nathan treated as the unofficial first lady of New York City, while Hanover’s lawyers moved in court to create a “paramour access motion” that would prevent Nathan from entering Gracie Mansion while Hanover and their children remained residents there.
When the judge in the case agreed that this was a reasonable restraint on Giuliani, he moved out.
Since Mayor Bloomberg also opted to reside in his own home, it was the last time a Mayor lived in the residence until Bill de Blasio was elected and his family agreed to vacate their Park Slope home in favor of the more formal quarters.
In the midst of the mayhem, Giuliani seems to have recognized that his public image was taking a hit.
In 2001, he had his lawyers craft a statement that left many New Yorkers laughing.
According to Team Giuliani, the cancer treatment that the Mayor had undergone left him impotent. So, you see, his relationship with his mistress wasn’t a sexual one at all, but something deep and profound.
If you’re shaking your head, you’re not alone.
In the end, as with most divorces, the matter concluded via a negotiated settlement.
All of this played out years before New York’s massive overhaul of matrimonial law in 2010, so at the time there was no option for a no-fault divorce in the state.
One party had to prove that the other party had engaged in misconduct of some kind, including things like adultery or abandonment.
At the end of this case, Rudy Giuliani, America’s (Scandal Plagued) Mayor, was forced to deny vigorously to the press that he had signed on to a settlement where he acknowledged subjecting his wife to “cruel and inhuman” treatment as the grounds for divorce.
“She said he had admitted fault to something, and that is simply not true,” said Raoul Felder, who went on to insist that the $6.8 million settlement that Giuliani paid to his ex-wife, all tax-free, was some kind of victory for Giuliani.
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