President Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani can’t claim he lacks the money to maintain estranged wife Judith Nathan Giuliani’s lifestyle amid their split after agreeing to represent the president for free, her lawyer argued in court Wednesday.
Giuliani and Nathan appeared before Judge Michael Katz in Manhattan Supreme Court for about 90 minutes, during which numerous embarrassing details about their relationship were revealed—as well as bombshell information on their income and spending.
Nathan’s lawyer revealed she’s seeking $63,000 in spousal support on top of housing costs for six homes and incidental expenses—including membership fees for multiple country clubs—as the divorce proceeds.
Giuliani has balked at this request, her legal team claims.
“Mr. Giuliani has taken it upon himself to radically change the financial status quo that existed prior to this action,” said Bernard Clair, who represents Nathan, calling it “conduct that can only be characterized as SIDS...sudden income deficit syndrome.”
Only after Nathan, his wife of 15 years, hit Giuliani with divorce papers in April did he start claiming “financial trouble,” Clair said.
Tax returns discussed in court indicate that Giuliani, who runs a security services firm, earned $7.9 million in 2016 and $9.5 million in 2017, Clair told the court. Giuliani’s expenses are approximately $232,000 monthly while Nathan’s total about $238,000.
Clair claims that Giuliani’s trying to stiff Nathan after spending more than $286,000 on his alleged mistress, New Hampshire hospital administrator Maria Rosa Ryan, since April.
“My client doesn’t care about romantic interest or otherwise, she really doesn’t,” Clair said. “What she cares about is that these expenses, for these people, are continuing while she’s not received any direct support since August of this past year—not a dime directly for her.”
Giuliani has spent in total about $900,000 since the divorce began until at least August, including some $12,000 on cigars and $7,000 on pens, Clair also said.
Clair also intimated that Giuliani’s decision to quit white shoe law firm Greenberg Traurig and serve without pay as Trump’s personal lawyer came at quite a convenient time.
“He says, ‘I’m going to work for Donald Trump—for free,” an impassioned Clair said. “I’m going to be one of his personal lawyers for free.”
“Mr. Giuliani cannot, after commencing the action, say…’Okay, alright, I’m going to take President Trump up on his offer of working for free—that will require me to lose $4-to-6 million from Greenberg Traurig,” Clair said, saying this mindset “translates to conduct [that] is inappropriate.”
Giuliani’s lawyer, Faith Miller, hit back at the suggestion that his work for Trump was in any way nefarious.
“Mr. Giuliani has also devoted the majority of his life to public service,” she said of the former federal prosecutor. “At age 74, he was also given the opportunity to work for the president of the United States.”
“He was not irresponsible for taking that job,” she insisted. “Respectfully, at age 74, if he chooses to work without compensation for the president rather than, say at a private law firm, I submit that he should be entitled to do so—he still is going to realize a salary of five to six million.”
Despite being in this “ballpark,” Miller claimed he can't keep up with Nathan’s request for money, which she called “burn rate,” on a “diminished income.”
Miller, in explaining her request for a gag order, also claimed that if Nathan and “her counsel continue to disparage Mr. Giuliani in the press, it will impact his ability to earn a living.”
Katz, toward the end of the proceeding, pushed both sides to work more cooperatively, saying “ It’s beyond me why either party in this case would have an interest in having all of this done publicly... throwing all their dirty laundry out for public consumption.”
Upon Giuliani’s arrival to court, when asked by a reporter if he had any comment on special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, his only response was a hearty chuckle.
Giuliani, who represents Trump in the probe, was later coy about whether he would soon release a rebuttal of Mueller’s findings, as has been rumored.
“We’ll see,” he said after leaving court.