The news that former Mayor Rudy Giuliani and his wife Judy are divorcing marked the end of a relationship that unfolded in the most public and dramatic way imaginable. The two began dating during Giuliani's second term in office, leading him to announce his split to then-First Lady Donna Hanover via the news media. NY1’s Bobby Cuza has this retrospective:
It seemed like a storybook romance: Rudy Giuliani and TV news personality Donna Hanover, New York's first family.
Then came Judith Nathan.
"She's a good friend, a very good friend," Giuliani acknowledged to reporters in 2000.
That friendship became tabloid fodder, then exploded into public view when Giuliani told the media at an extraordinary news conference in May of 2000 that he intended to separate from the First Lady.
"Over the course of some period of time, in many ways, we've grown to live independent and separate lives. And we should probably strive toward formalizing that," Giuliani said.
He had given no heads-up to his wife, who then held a competing news conference accusing Giuliani of a previous infidelity.
"For several years, it was difficult to participate in Rudy's public life because of his relationship with one staffer," Hanover said.
All of this came during Giuliani's high-profile senate race against Hillary Clinton; and less than two weeks after he'd announced he had prostate cancer, a diagnosis that would lead him to drop out just days later.
The drama would continue in a contentious divorce proceeding: Hanover got Nathan barred from Gracie Mansion. Mayor Giuliani moved out and into a friend's apartment.
Longtime reporter Andrew Kirtzman wrote a book on Giuliani's time in office.
"Giuliani was always unapologetic about what he did. It was one of the things that New Yorkers liked about him. But he was also unapologetic about cheating on his wife," Kirtzman said.
Nathan would become a fixture at Giuliani's side, escorting him out of office on his last day at City Hall.
The couple married in 2003 at Gracie Mansion, with Mayor Bloomberg officiating. The marriage would last 15 years, through Giuliani's failed run for president... and more recently, a second life in politics as a supporter and advisor to President Trump... with the two appearing together at Trump's election-night victory party.
How and when their marriage soured isn't publicly known... unlike the demise of his previous marriage.
"It was all very public,” Kirtzman said. “The media tracked every step of this. We all knew every detail of Rudy Giuliani's personal life, while he was mayor."