Rudy Giuliani has become a polarizing figure. Born and raised in New York, Giuliani began his career as part of the Ford and Reagan administrations before returning to the city to run for mayor — a race he won in both 1993 and 1997. As mayor of New York City on 9/11, Giuliani was widely praised for his leadership and became TIME’s Person of the Year in 2001. However, since Giuliani’s unsuccessful run for president in 2008, the former official gained renewed notoriety for his contributions as Donald Trump’s legal counsel, often appearing on cable news to defend the president.
But Giuliani’s varied political career isn’t the only reason why the former mayor has earned the public’s attention. The politician has been married (and divorced) three times, with each separation lining up with a change in Giuliani’s political ambition. While each woman might be best known publicly for her marriage to Giuliani, each of them obtained success in her own right and deserves a closer look.
Was Rudy Giuliani's first wife his second cousin?
In 1968, fresh out of New York University’s School of Law, Rudy Giuliani married Regina Peruggi, then a drug abuse counselor at a New York state jail. She also took a variety of teaching jobs in and around New York City before moving to Washington, D.C. with Giuliani. However, this did not last long, and the couple agreed to a trial separation in 1975. However, it was not until 1982 that the couple filed for legal separation, getting divorced that year and an annulment from the Catholic Church in 1983. The reason for the annulment? Giuliani discovered that he and Peruggi were actually second cousins.
After her divorce from Giuliani, Peruggi career thrived as she became president of Marymount Manhattan College. According to New York Magazine, during her time as president, she was credited for saving the college’s finances after it had long been run by nuns. She later went on to hold positions as the presidents of both the Central Park Conservancy and of Kingsboro Community College, becoming the first woman to hold the latter position.
Giuliani's second wife was the First Lady of New York City
Rudy Giuliani was his second wife’s second husband. Donna Hanover started as a television journalist, working in Columbus, Ohio, Pittsburgh, Penn., and Miami, Fla., where she ultimately met Giuliani. They married and had two children, while Giuliani successfully ran for mayor of New York City in 1993. As First Lady, Hanover continued to work in her field, reporting on Good Day New York. However, the New York media market also gave her more exposure, and she was able to break into acting.
In the mid-1990s, Hanover earned roles in the films The People vs. Larry Flint and Ransom, and was featured in TV series like Law & Order, Ally McBeal, and Sex and the City. During this period, rumors swirled that Giuliani was cheating. In a particularly scandalous episode in her relationship with Giuliani, he gave a press conference announcing that they had ended their relationship — a reveal Hanover apparently had no foreknowledge of prior, per New York Magazine. Following a bitter divorce on Giuliani’s way out of office, Hanover continued on-camera work, picking up occasional roles on television.
Giuliani and third wife Judith lived a lavish lifestyle
Rudy Giuliani’s third and, to date, final ex-wife Judith Nathan has been perhaps the most vocal in her disdain towards her former husband. Upon their divorce, Nathan told New York Magazine that, “The man that he is now is absolutely not the man that he was when I married him.” She is right about that; nearly 20 years together would change any couple, especially after a battle with cancer, a failed presidential campaign, and a hard pivot to fully support Donald Trump. Nathan, however, has changed quite a bit, too.
Giuliani was Nathan’s third husband. When they met, the former nurse was selling pharmaceuticals in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, and Giuliani was still married to Donna Hanover. Giuliani left Hanover, proposed to Nathan, and the two had a lavish wedding. To hear Giuliani (or his lawyers) tell it, Nathan grew accustomed to a certain lifestyle, leaving behind her coal-mining-town roots when she married the former mayor. Among their several properties were a $5 million apartment in Manhattan and a $4 million home in the Hamptons.
As the pair moved forward with their increasingly ugly divorce, their budget was revealed. All in all, the couple owned six houses, 11 country club memberships, and lived off roughly $230,000 per month, per ABC News. Giuliani’s cigar budget alone was estimated at $12,000 a month. While people do change over time, Giuliani’s highly publicized romantic life has been a constant for nearly five decades.
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