- The Washington Times - Friday, August 10, 2001

NEW YORK — Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, whose marital and extramarital affairs have been the stuff of headlines for months, has taken one more unprecedented step in his personal life: He's moved in with a homosexual couple in midtown Manhattan.

"He's colorblind to the color lavender," said a close friend of the mayor. "He feels very comfortable living there."

Mr. Giuliani is residing with Howard Koeppel, 64, a car-dealership mogul who is one of his staunchest fund-raisers; Mr. Koeppel's domestic partner, Mark Hsiao, 41, a concert pianist; and a small dog named Bonnie.

The foursome occupy a spacious apartment — actually two units made into one — on Second Avenue and 57th Street.

The mayor is a curious mix of contradictions. He has not supported same-sex "marriage," yet has marched with homosexuals in their parades. He is widely known for donning women's clothes in television skits and local media roasts (his Marilyn Monroe imitation has become a local legend), but also for launching a "decency panel" to monitor the contents of the city's museums and a stern drive to shut down strip joints.

Until two months ago, Mr. Giuliani had been living in the guest room at Gracie Mansion, the official mayoral residence, where his wife, Donna Hanover, and two children occupy a separate part of the house.

Mr. Giuliani, 57, and Mrs. Hanover, 51, are in the midst of an acrimonious divorce after rumors of several mayoral affairs, climaxed by the official presence of the mayor's mistress, Judith Nathan, 46, who is seen constantly with the city's top executive.

While they traded insults via their attorneys, Miss Hanover refused to leave the mansion, so the mayor fled the premises and took refuge with Mr. Koeppel.

"I kid Rudy sometimes," Mr. Koeppel told the New York Times. "I say, 'Listen, if this thing doesn't work out now with Judith Why don't you come over to our side, '"

He added that the mayor is "very clean" and makes his own bed. He also calls Mr. Koeppel "Mother."

A source close to the three men recently dropped in at the "decorator-modern" apartment and found the mayor reading a newspaper and having breakfast with his roommates.

"It all seemed perfectly normal," he said. "The gays are now in a quandary. They always attacked him because he was a Republican, but now he's gone further in their direction than any other public figure. He could have stayed at 400 other places in the city, but he chose them."

Homosexual groups have been quiet about the latest turn in Mr. Giuliani's once-private life, but not individual homosexual activists such as Bill Dobbs.

"This mayor has worked mightily to destroy sexual pleasure for gays and every other kind of New Yorker," said Mr. Dobbs. "Now Mr. Family Values is two-timing his wife and moved in with two gay guys. All I can do is roll my eyes."

Answering his critics, the mayor recently told reporters, "I focus on people as people. They fit into all different categories."

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