MANHATTAN (CN) – Attorneys for Rudy Giuliani and his third wife sparred about their client’s homes in the Hamptons and in Florida during acrimonious divorce proceedings Wednesday morning. They traded gossip about their interactions at clubs, and they squabbled about jewelry, bank accounts and payments to the former mayor’s mother-in-law.
Often growing red and clasping his head with his elbows at the table, Giuliani grumbled to his attorney at one point: “That’s totally bullshit.”
Judge Michael Katz, presiding over the hearing in Manhattan Supreme Court, lamented at how much Giuliani’s relationship with his ex, Judith Nathan, had deteriorated since their last hearing in November.
“I’m sorry that your case appears to be getting more contentious rather than less contentious,” Katz said.
Hoping that the parties could have resolved their differences in private, Katz observed: “I don’t see any progress in that direction.”
“I think we’re going to be moving this toward a lengthy and unpleasant trial,” the judge predicted.
At an impromptu press conference, Giuliani had an immediate reply to what prevented the parties from avoiding that fate: “Her.”
Giuliani and Nathan’s split was reported to have been sparked by his alleged affair with Maria Rosa Ryan, a New Hampshire doctor.
A reference to the infidelity came up after Giuliani’s attorney Lisa Zeiderman accused Nathan of taking pictures of him at a country club. Nathan’s attorney Bernard Clair denied that and said that the former mayor was embarrassed at being spotted spending money on his new girlfriend’s daughter.
“I’m really tired about hearing about Mr. Giuliani’s personal life,” Katz said. “I really don’t care.
“My question is, did your client take any photos?”
“No, your honor,” Clair replied.
The judge settled it with a ruling: “Whoever’s in the room first gets to stay in the room.”
“Apparently, it’s not particularly healthy for them to be associating with each other,” Katz added. “Perhaps the day will come where one day they can be courteous to each other, but I don’t believe the day has come.”
Though Nathan filed for divorce in April, Clair continued to call his client Ms. Giuliani, and he claimed that the former mayor fell behind on payments he owed.
“For her mother: Not paid,” Clair said, a bill that he later estimated ran more than $21,000. “For landscaping: Not paid.”
Giuliani’s attorney Lisa Zeiderman insisted that her client paid every bill that he received.
“She holds bills to make it appear that Mr. Giuliani isn’t paying them,” Zeiderman said.
Both of the parties made reference to the fact that the former mayor attracted an audience of reporters sitting in the pews.
After Giuliani’s attorney accused his former wife of failing to disclose two bank accounts, her attorney Jad Greifer said the accounts held $100 before adding: “Mr. Giuliani’s making a federal case not for you, but for all the people sitting behind us.”
The parties wrangled over an unspecified amount of money held in the Bessemer Trust, two properties in Florida, and when each of the couple could visit their house in the Hamptons this summer.
“It’s not a ping-pong match,” Katz said.
Reminding the parties that they were talking about a vacation home, Katz added: “It’s not a child.”
That fact made the hearing no less messy: Both sides awaited resolution of another litigation against their condominium board over a leak in the kitchen, being handled by Gibson Dunn attorney Randy Mastro.
Until that ends, Greifer said: “It’s been Ms. Giuliani who’s been living without a kitchen, for about a year.”
At the end of the hearing, Katz noted, the biggest winners were sitting in the pews.
“I think you gave plenty of gossipy material for the press to write about,” Katz said.
Giuliani declined to steer the conversation to more weighty matters outside the courtroom, where the normally chatty attorney deflected a series of questions about President Donald Trump’s investigations and his role defending Reza Zarrab, the man who spearheaded the biggest money laundering scheme to Iran in U.S. history.