The State Of Affairs

It's been quite a month for New York City's mayor. In early May, Donna Hanover (the estranged wife) sought to bar Judi Nathan (the loyal girlfriend) from Gracie Mansion (the official residence). And ever since, the New York Post and the New York Daily News (the hungry tabloids) have covered the high-profile threesome at full throttle. Of course, you can't just blame the journalists. Rudy, Judi and Donna's moves have provided plenty of material. Herewith, a timeline of highlights and lowlights from the scandal that's rocked the city:

The opening salvo: On April 20, 2000, Donna Hanover announces she has accepted a role in "The Vagina Monologues." The play was written by Eve Ensler, a friend of Hillary Rodham Clinton, who was at that point Giuliani's opponent for the New York Senate seat.

The first big bombshell: On April 26, 2000, Giuliani admits that he has an early, treatable form of prostate cancer, the same disease that killed his father in 1981. The formerly hard-driving mayor shrugs his shoulders and says of his race against Clinton, "I hope I'll be able to run."

Donna the right thing: On May 1, 2000, Hanover announces she's postponing her appearance in the show for "personal family circumstances."

The euphemism that launched a thousand stories: On May 3, 2000, Giuliani identifies the woman he's been escorting around New York City, pharmaceutical sales rep Judith Nathan, as "a very good friend."

Best use of a backdrop: Three days after the Nathan announcement, Hanover calls a press conference on the steps of St. Patrick's Cathedral, where she was attending a mass for the late John Cardinal O'Connor. She makes her first comments about Rudy and Judi. She will be "supportive," she says, but adds that "decisions have to be made."

Civil talk about a separation: On May 10, 2000, Giuliani tells the press, "The fact that we [Hanover and himself] have grown independent, we've grown more separate over the years-who knows why those things happen? But she [Hanover] is a very, very fine, wonderful person, and she is an extraordinary mother, and I have tremendous respect for her."

Maybe not so civil: Hanover's spokeswoman says Giuliani's announcement has come as a surprise to his wife. Five hours after the mayor's press conference, Hanover walks out of Gracie Mansion and publicly accuses her husband of having an affair years ago with a member of his staff. Her rep later confirms that Hanover was referring to Giuliani's one-time communications director, Cristyne Lategano-Nicholas, now head of NYC & Company, the city's official tourism-marketing organization. (Both Giuliani and Lategano-Nicholas have repeatedly denied any sexual relationship.)

Excuse me, but what have you done with our mayor?: Says Giuliani at a May 11, 2000, conference: "Do I feel like crying sometimes? Yeah, of course. Of course I've cried."

Best appropriation of a cliche: That same day, top Republicans begin whispering that Giuliani will drop out of the Senate race against Clinton. Counters the mayor, "rumors of my demise are greatly exaggerated."

Oh, well: On May 19, 2000, Giuliani drops out of the race.

How quickly things change: Last fall, when asked by reporters for an update on his relationship with Nathan, Giuliani says, "My private life is of no concern to anyone but me, my family and my friends. The rest of it is just voyeurism."

A monologue to remember: On Oct. 17, 2000, Hanover finally debuts in "The Vagina Monologues." Though she never mentions Giuliani by name, one of her lines elicits much laughter: "This monologue was based on an interview with a woman who had a good experience with a man."

Whose house is it, anyway?: On May 7, 2001, Hanover's attorneys seek a restraining order barring Nathan from Gracie Mansion, where Giuliani is still living with his estranged wife and two children.

Upstairs, Downstairs: According to reports, Giuliani and Hanover currently split Gracie Mansion-a two-story, federal-style mansion-with Hanover and the children in the master bedroom and the upstairs apartment and Giuliani in the first-floor den.

Do the rings tell the story?: Nathan is seen wearing what friends think is an unofficial engagement ring, and has been doing so since May 2000. Giuliani reportedly stopped wearing his wedding ring last December. And as recently as last week, Hanover was still wearing her wedding band and diamond engagement ring, according to the New York Daily News.

Take cover!: On May 11, 2001, a judge lifts a gag order on the case.

Her side speaks: Hanover's lawyers accuse Giuliani of "flaunting his mistress." Victor Kovner, one of Hanover's attorneys, is a former top aide to former New York City mayor David Dinkins and was chairman of the 1996 Clinton-Gore campaign in New York. Last year, he was one of Hillary Rodham Clinton's closest advisors.

Happy Mother's Day: Giuliani's attorney, celebrity divorce lawyer Raoul Felder, fires back against Hanover. He told the press the weekend of Mother's Day, "I suppose we're going to have to pry her off the chandelier to get her out of there," referring to Gracie Mansion.

Happy Mother's Day, Part 2: Felder tells reporters Hanover is "howling like a stuck pig."

Happy Mother's Day, Part 3: "She's a little like the kid who killed her parents and then complains that she's an orphan," says Felder. Felder serves on the mayor's "decency" panel.

Bravery, or strategy?: On May 12, 2001, confidantes of Giuliani leak to the New York tabloids the fact that the mayor's been impotent for the last year due to his treatment for prostate cancer. Thus, he has been unable to have sexual relations with Nathan-inside or outside Gracie Mansion. Some see it as candor. Others see strategy; they say this tactic would "take the sting out of the mistress charge and portray Nathan as honorable," writes the New York Post.

Expert opinion: Andrew Kirtzman, who wrote a book on the mayor last year, tells the press, "Only Rudy Giuliani would leak a story about his own impotence."

The high road: On Sunday, both the New York Post and the New York Daily News splash the story across page one. The New York Times stays out of the fray.

Best tabloid headline: On May 15, 2001, the New York Post's page one shouts, "Rudy's latest shot at Donna: CRUELLA DeHANOVER"

Maybe they can turn it into a sitcom: Inside, the May 15, 2001 New York Post says Hanover begins her day with a 5 a.m. workout in the Gracie Mansion gym, which is located directly above her husband's bedroom.

Isn't it ironic?: Until mid-May, the divorce proceedings between Giuliani and Hanover were referred to as "Anonymous v. Anonymous."

It's love: On May 17, 2001, Giuliani tells the press he is "eternally grateful" to Nathan and hopes his relationship with her lasts "forever." The next day, both New York tabloids run "Rudy and Judi Forever" inside big hearts on their front covers.

People who don't need People: On May 18, 2001, the new issue of People magazine appears on New York newsstands with the headline, "The Mayor, the Wife and the Mistress." Asked about the publication, Giuliani says, "I feel very bad about it."

House-hunting: Hanover's seen looking at new $2.25 million digs on New York's Upper East Side, fueling speculation she'll get out of Gracie Mansion before the mayor's term expires on Dec. 31, 2001.

SNL skit: More than six million people see the triangle parodied on the May 19, 2001 "SNL," which opened with the "Judi" character hiding behind a plant and "Rudy" discussing his combover. Then "Donna" comes on stage with a baseball bat and chases Judi away.

No go: On May 21, 2001, Judge Judith Gische rules that Nathan is to be forbidden from Gracie Mansion, though she encourages her to meet with Guiliani's children, Andrew and Caroline, in a neutral location.

Scene at Mount Sinai: That night, Hanover surprises Giuliani by visiting Mount Sinai Medical Center, where the mayor's 91-year-old mother is ailing. He reportedly asks his estranged wife to leave. "I'm not going," she allegedly answers. Hanover hangs out for an hour, then leaves. It's unclear whether she ever sees the mayor's mom.

Heave-Hostess: On May 24, 2001, the mayor removes Hanover as the official hostess of events at Gracie Mansion, where she's presided over dozens of formal functions through the years. She's replaced by Irene Halligan, a little-known etiquette expert.

So long, staff: On May 25, 2001, Hanover's office is informed she'll be losing funding for her chief of staff, Kathleen Madaras, plus the three NYPD detectives who make up her security advance team. (She still has her 24-hour bodyguards.) Later, Hanover press secretary Joannie Danielides also gets a new assignment-but Hanover puts a stop to it by offering to pay her out of her own pocket.

Of all people: On May 28, 2001, New York magazine prints an open letter from Donald Trump to the mayor and Hanover. "The best thing for you to do would be to sit down with each other in a room, without your lawyers, and see if you can settle it... for the sake of your children and for your own sake."

Strike!: Hanover charges that her estranged husband's cut off her supply of tickets to see the New York Yankees. On May 31, 2001, she says that the Bombers staff has told her "they could not accommodate" her requests for good seats any longer. Lawyer Felder's response, "Didn't she ever hear of buying them at the Stadium?"

Huh?: Unbelievably, Donna Hanover is said not to be sure she wants to split from Rudy. "She still hasn't decided if she wants a divorce," Felder complains.

This may explain it: On Sunday, June 3, 2001, the New York Post leads with the news that Giuliani has "one grand and audacious ambition-to marry his companion, Judith Nathan, in City Hall before he leaves office." Says an associate of the mayor, "He wants to reward Judith... what better way than to let her wear the ultimate crown, mistress of Gracie Mansion, if it's only for a few weeks?" Of course, before this can happen, Rudy needs something grand from Hanover: an official divorce.

The State Of Affairs | News