Eliot Spitzer to divorce amid reports of affair with campaign spokeswoman
Eliot Spitzer, the former governor of New York, and his wife, Silda Wall Spitzer, are set to divorce after 26 years of marriage, the couple said.
"We regret that our marital relationship has come to an end," the couple wrote in a joint statement. Spitzer, 54, and Wall Spitzer, 55, a former lawyer, had been living apart for months.
The couple, who met at Harvard Law School and have three daughters, were considered a consummate power duo until Spitzer abruptly resigned the governorship five years ago amid a prostitution scandal.
The image of an ashen-faced Wall Spitzer standing beside her husband as he announced his resignation prompted debate about the role of political wives.
Wall Spitzer was absent from her husband's failed campaign for New York City comptroller this year. Privately, she told friends she would rather he had not run.
It was reported this week that Spitzer was romantically involved with Lis Smith, 31, a spokeswoman for New York mayor-elect Bill de Blasio. She was also Spitzer's spokeswoman during the comptroller race.
Smith, who is single, is a leading candidate to be de Blasio's press secretary but has not appeared at the mayor-elect's events since reports of the relationship emerged on Sunday.
"I respect Lis as a professional, but I also respect her right to privacy," de Blasio said on Monday.