GMA: NYC Mayor's Divorce Drama

ByABC News via logo
May 17, 2001, 9:26 PM

N E W   Y O R K,   May 18 -- The cast of characters in New York's operatic saga is long and complex.

It includes an ailing mayor with an extramarital appetite and an infamous temper; the spurned wife with Hollywood ambitions; the girlfriend with no fear of the spotlight; and, finally, the celebrity divorce lawyer with a habit of saying nasty things about his client's wife.

"Apparently, they're going to have to pull her kicking and screaming from Gracie Mansion," says New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani's attorney, Raoul Felder, referring to his client's estranged wife. "But somebody somewhere has to say to her: 'Get a life.'"

It wasn't always this way. When Giuliani was first elected mayor, his marriage to Donna Hanover seemed to be on solid ground: He was the straight-talking former prosecutor; she was the comely former news anchor.

A Very Public Affair

But then came rumors that the mayor was having an affair with his communications director, Cristyne Lategano. He denied them.

When Giuliani ran for re-election in 1997, Hanover refused to say for whom she would vote.

And then last spring, Giuliani announced in quick succession that:

A: He had prostate cancer;

B: He was separating from his wife;


C: He was opting out of the Senate race against Hillary Rodham Clinton.

The problem with (B) was, he hadn't told his wife before he told the media.

Soon they were holding dueling press conferences.

"Today's turn of events brings me great sadness," Hanover told reporters after learning of the separation from the media. "I had hoped to keep this marriage together."

A Very Good Friend, Indeed

At around the same time, Giuliani also started cavorting about the city with his "very good friend" Judith Nathan, a wealthy divorcee.

She accompanied him to public events. She got police protection. Tabloids reported that he slept at her apartment.

In October, Giuliani filed for divorce.

The court case somewhat curiously titled Anonymous vs. Anonymous remained anonymous for roughly a nanosecond.