Giuliani's ex-wife says the former mayor often slept in late and smoked cigars in his bathrobe after ending his 2008 White House campaign: 'He just could not get over it'

·3 min read
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani speaks during a news conference in Miami in July 2021.
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani speaks during a news conference in Miami in July 2021.Matias J. Ocner/Miami Herald/Tribune News Service
  • Judith Giuliani said her ex-husband "could not get over" losing the 2008 GOP presidential nomination.

  • She made the comments in an essay published in the NYT and adapted from an upcoming book.

  • Rudy Giuliani entered the 2008 race as a top White House contender, but his campaign faltered.

Judith Giuliani, the ex-wife of Rudy Giuliani, said in the adaptation of an upcoming book that her former husband avoided social situations after exiting the GOP presidential contest in January 2008, instead spending much of his time in bed and smoking cigars in his bathrobe.

After the former New York City mayor endorsed then-Sen. John McCain of Arizona, who would eventually win the Republican nomination that year, Judith Giuliani said that she and her then-husband briefly left New York to get away from the cold weather and bask in the mild Florida winter.

Earlier in his career, Giuliani had been the high-profile US Attorney for the Southern District of New York before winning two terms in Gracie Mansion, but the failure of his presidential campaign took a toll on his everyday interactions with his family, which Andrew Kirtzman detailed in "Giuliani: The Rise and Tragic Fall of America's Mayor," which is set to be released in September. Giuliani was Trump's personal attorney while in office, a critical figure in the president's first impeachment over strong-arming Ukraine for political dirt who later pushed baseless claims of widespread voter fraud after Trump's election defeat.

Video: How the U.S. has voted in presidential elections through 2016

Despite Rudy Giuliani and his then-wife staying in a well-off apartment complex in Palm Beach, Kirtzman in a New York Times essay described a man who began to turn inward.

"He rarely left the apartment, spending his time sitting listlessly on his in-laws' living room couch, sleeping late in the bedroom or smoking cigars in his bathrobe on the terrace facing a parking lot," the essay said. "Ms. Giuliani said he refused to socialize or sit for meals, even as her mother, Joan, tried to entice him with his favorite dish, pasticcio."

Judith Giuliani told Kirtzman that she was worried about her then-husband "because he was waking up only if I would wake him."

Rudy Giuliani even suggested to Judith that she should "leave" him, according to the essay.

However, she wouldn't hear of it and told him that he had children who loved him, as well as his health, per the essay.

"He just could not get over it," she told Kirtzman about her then-husband.

In February 2007, Rudy Giuliani launched his presidential campaign, with many GOP observers at the time seeing him as a frontrunner for the nomination.

With near-universal name recognition as the former mayor who led New York City after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, he was seen as a candidate who could appeal to a broad segment of Republicans.

However, his campaign never truly took off in the early nominating states of Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina.

Former Gov. Mike Huckabee of Arkansas won the 2008 Iowa caucuses, while then-Sen. John McCain of Arizona was victorious in the New Hampshire and South Carolina primaries.

Rudy Giuliani banked on a strong performance in the Florida primary as the savior for his fledgling campaign, but he eventually came in third-place and thew his support behind McCain.

While the native New Yorker never launched another presidential campaign, he became an important player in Donald Trump's presidential orbit as a onetime personal lawyer to the commander-in-chief and an unyielding proponent of unfounded claims about the 2020 presidential election.

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