Friday, May 24, 2024

Giuliani Divorce: Who Will Get the Monogrammed Napkin Rings, the Oriental China, and the Smoking Room for 55 Pals?


Pretty much the last time Judith Nathan Giuliani let anyone into her swanky apartment with the former of Mayor of New York, Rudy Giuliani, was in the fall of November 2003. Jill Brooke, then the editor of Avenue, got an exclusive interview and photographs. As Jill recalled to me about the apartment, in a swish building on Madison Avenue and East 66th St.: “Everything was monogrammed with their initials, down to the napkin holders. What will they do with that now?”

Now as in post-divorce as the Giulianis, whose relationship began with an affair behind the Mayor’s wife’s back, are separating for good. Unlike during Rudy’s preceding marriage, to Donna Hanover, Rudy and Judy really lived it up. She went from being a rep for a pharmaceutical company to Lady of the Manor. The pictures in Avenue, some of which survived on Getty Images, you can see here. Judy posed for pictures in her ruby-red cocktail dress and monogrammed black velvet Belgian loafers.

The Avenue story talked about Judy “in her walnut-walled dining room, amid rust and navy-blue Oriental china, monogrammed hand-stitched napkins, monogrammed silver picture frames and monogrammed silver napkin rings – half with her initials, half with Rudy’s.”

There were pretentious quotes like this one: “My mother always said a lady should speak at least two other languages,” says Judith, who’s fluent in Spanish and French.

Judy Nathan Giuliani told Brooke she bought her silver from James Robinson (established 1912), stationary from Dempsey and Carroll and plates from Scully & Scully. (These are all unfathomably expensive stores on the Upper East Side– think Bed, Bath and Waayyyyy Beyond.) Nathan also designed a masculine “smoking room” specifically for Rudy to relax in with his friends – like the 55 or so pals “who’ve been known to barrel in after a Yankees game to smoke cigars, which as you know, he loves.”

Rudy himself told Jill that he likened his marriage to Judy — who wore a tiara for what was also her third wedding — to that of Winston Churchill and his wife Clemmie: “When you read the correspondence between Churchill and Clementine, you see how she always supported everything he was doing and was very helpful. She knew exactly how to love him and he loved her.”

Well, the party’s over now. I asked Jill about the day she spent in their apartment. One thing she remembered: all the rooms were decorated to a ‘t’ except for the children’s room– Andrew and Caroline. At that point, three years after the reveal of the affair and the consequent divorce and marriage, neither child was speaking to Rudy. All these years later, those undone rooms may have come back to haunt the Giulianis.


Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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