- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 10, 2001

NEW YORK — The love-hate triangle unfolding at Gracie Mansion got so tangled one recent evening that the mayors girlfriend was spirited out a side entrance of the official residence while his wife stalked the hallways waiting to confront her rival.
New Yorks first couple is in the midst of testy divorce negotiations and thats just one of the juicy details leaked by sources close to Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani. They are painting a picture of his wife, Donna Hanover, 51, as a controlling, yet out of control, aggrieved woman who is determined to embarrass her husband.
It is also just one of two incidents that reportedly led Miss Hanover (she long ago dropped use of her husbands name) to seek a temporary restraining order against the mayor, forbidding him to bring his "very good friend," Judith Nathan, to the executive residence known as Gracie Mansion where he resides with his wife and two children, Andrew, 15, and Caroline, 11.
A second incident occurred in late March when the mayors wife, a local TV personality and actress, made a surprise appearance in the mansion foyer at a meeting of high-level Jewish leaders minutes before they were to appear at a news conference with her husbandupstaging Mr. Giuliani. Asked if she was going to attend the event, she told reporters: "No, I just live here." She and the mayor missed each other by seconds.
The tabloids had a field day and Mr. Giuliani was said to be very upset, arguing that by stealing the spotlight, his wife was responsible for eclipsing press coverage of the killing of an Israeli infant in the Middle East. Sources tell The Washington Times that, according to sealed court documents, the mayor retaliated by threatening to move his wifes offices out of the mansion into a city-owned building.
Sources say the court must decide two issues: whether the mayor should be able to introduce his children to his girlfriend; and whether Gracie Mansion is a public or private building. The main floor is generally considered public, while the private quarters are upstairs. At present, say the mayors friends, he is living in the upstairs guest room and Miss Hanover occupies the master bedroom and an office.
Changing this living arrangement — possibly turning the office over to the mayor and moving his wife to the guest room — are part of the slow-moving and acrimonious divorce negotiations. A counter proposal from Miss Hanover suggests he sleep downstairs and use the toilet facilities in the hallway, which has no shower.
Sources say Miss Nathan has been a guest in the public section of the mansion on the first floor at least five times, but has never visited the private quarters on the second floor. In legal terms, such appearances are called "paramour visits," often a source of increased bitterness in divorce cases.
The near-confrontation between the mayors wife and Miss Nathan occurred on April 27 when a group of Dallas civic leaders were visiting the mansion, which sits high over the East River in a bucolic setting. Fresh from a golf outing, the mayor allowed one of his guests to use the upstairs shower.
According to sources, Miss Hanover thought Miss Nathan was in the shower and positioned herself outside the door for a showdown. She was intercepted by the mayor and retreated to the bottom of the stairs, her daughter by her side. At this point, the mayor ordered that Miss Nathan be hurried out through a side door, sources say.
New Yorkers have grown somewhat immune to the mayors very public relationship with Miss Nathan, a 46-year-old Upper East Side divorcee, who is a sales manager for Bristol-Meyers Squibb. The mayor, 56, has brought his constant companion to many high-profile official events, including the St. Patricks Day parade and baseball games at Shea Stadium, where she sits with him in a VIP box next to the visitors dugout.
But the filing of a lawsuit last week to ban Miss Nathan from the mansion has set the town buzzing. Questioned about his wifes legal action after a conference of lawyers on Monday, the mayor said he could not discuss the issue because a gag order was in effect — despite the fact that the required papers had not been completed. Although the court issued a gag order yesterday, this has not prevented intimates of the Giulianis from leaking information in an attempt to spin stories making whichever side they support look favorable.
"She wants to be there to the last second of the last minute of the last day," said the mayors attorney, Raoul L. Felder, referring to Miss Hanover prior to the gag order. "Thats what this is all about." Mr. Giulianis second term ends in November and he is prohibited by term limits from running again.
Former Mayor Edward I. Koch who lived in the mansion for twelve years, said: "The mayor can invite whomever he wants to normally. But a court can tell him that for the protection of your children whoever you invite ought not to be someone perceived as having a sexual relationship with you."
The mayors personal life has recently been the focus of several front-page newspaper stories. A year ago, Mr. Giuliani announced he had prostate cancer and then dropped out of the U.S. Senate race against first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton.
In the wake of tabloid reports, Mr. Giuliani admitted to his year-long relationship with Miss Nathan, saying, " … I rely on her, and she helps me a great deal. And Im going to need her now more than maybe I did before." He also declared he was seeking a separation from his wife, apparently not telling her first before making the announcement.
Miss Hanover responded by announcing that Mr. Giuliani also had an extra-marital affair with an "other woman" earlier. In a teary news conference in front of Gracie Mansion, New Yorks first lady charged that his relationship with a former press secretary, Cristyne Lategano, then 35, had undermined their marriage. Miss Lategano denied the affair ever happened.


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