NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The first hearing was held Wednesday in divorce number three for Rudy Giuliani, and things took a nasty turn.
The former New York City mayor and his estranged wife are battling over a half a million dollars a month in expenses.
How about $2,000 a month for cigars, maintenance on six homes, multiple country club memberships and a demand for $63,000 a month in spousal support?
The hearing in divorce court lifted the curtain on big spending, with estranged wife Judith Giuliani claiming the former mayor is playing poor while lavishing spending money on a new girlfriend that should be coming to her.
15 years after a wedding at Gracie Mansion, performed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, it’s splitsville for Rudy and Judith and a court battle over how to divide the riches he’s earned since leaving City Hall.
“He wants to give her as little money as possible, and she wants as much money as possible. It’s pretty usual,” said Bonnie Rabin of the firm Cohen Rabin Stine Schumann LLP.
Rabin is considered a top divorce lawyer, but she’s not involved in the case. She said Judith’s demands don’t seem out of line given the millions Rudy earns as a lawyer and consultant.
Judith is also demanding Rudy pay expenses for homes in Palm Beach, Florida, and in Southampton on Long Island’s East End, in addition to a salary for her personal assistant and bills for her elderly mother in assisted living.
“It’s not atypical for an attorney or spouse to say ‘if he’s spending this amount of money on his luxuries, why does my lifestyle have to change right now?'” Rabin said.
Judith’s lawyer claims Rudy spent $900,000 on personal expenses over a six-month period, including $12,000 on cigars and more than $7,000 on writing pens.
A lawyer for Rudy points out his income dropped because he’s defending President Donald Trump for free — from $9.5 million in 2017 to an estimated $5 million in 2018.
Judith’s attorney accused Rudy of claiming “sudden income deficiency syndrome.”
The judge urged the parties to save money on legal fees by settling things amicably.
“It often depends on how angry they are and what they’re angry about. Two smart people should be able to sit down and work this out,” Rabin said.
Rudy’s lawyer denied the ex-mayor is spending big money on a new girlfriend, and pointed out the bad publicity over the divorce hurts Giuliani’s earning potential. The judge may issue a gag order to prohibit each from talking publicly about the other.