The Betrayal of Marriage by William J. Bennett

The Betrayal of Marriage

As this article goes to print, it is as yet unclear whether Mayor Rudy Giuliani will withdraw from the New York Senate race. I believe he should—and not merely for health reasons. Given the events of the past weeks, it is the only honorable thing to do. I say this as a person who has admired Mr. Giuliani and considers his accomplishments as mayor of New York City to be among the most impressive governing achievements of modern times.

It is worth briefly recapitulating here what has occurred. Just over two weeks ago, Mr. Giuliani all but conceded that he was having an affair with Judith Nathan, a woman he has been squiring about town and whom he calls his “very good friend.” Then, on May 10, Mr. Giuliani announced at a press conference that he was seeking a separation from his wife, Donna Hanover—without first informing her of his decision. Mr. Giuliani went out of his way to praise his mistress as a “very, very fine woman,” and said about his marriage with Ms. Hanover: “Over the course of some period of time in many ways, we’ve grown to live independent and separate lives.”

The mayor’s assertion was contradicted three hours later by his emotionally distraught wife, who said, “I had hoped that we could keep this marriage together. For several years, it was difficult to participate in Rudy’s public life because of his relationship with one staff member.” Ms. Hanover was referring to Cristyne Lategano-Nicholas, the mayor’s former communications director. The mayor and Ms. Lategano-Nicholas denied those allegations in the past, and continue to deny them now.

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