Maggie Gallagher
Forgive the intrusion, but I just had to drop you a note of sympathy in this time of trial with Rudy. Divorce is always difficult. But I would think a woman like you, a working mother with two kids in the middle of a nasty divorce, might generate at least a bit of public sympathy from women leaders, columnists, feminist spokespeople -- I dunno, somebody!

But everyone seems either too intimidated or too full of hero-worship for Rudy to give you the time of day. That is one of the worst parts of divorce, isn't it? The family lines are redrawn to put each parent in opposite camps. Kids are left in the middle. And so now, apparently (judging from the headlines around here), anybody who admires what Rudy did for all New Yorkers on Sept. 11 must also side with him in the way he is conducting his marriage and divorce. Powerful, competent men must be kowtowed to. We need them. Wives and children are private, expendable. Who cares what he does to you, as long as he was good to us?

I wanted to let you know that I noticed, if no one else did, what is too typical in cases like these. Here is Rudy, a wealthy, powerful man, whose earnings this year will probably top $12 million, or about $1 million a month. How much money did Rudy think should go to support his kids? Based on his mayoral salary, he had been ordered to pay only $1,800 a month in child support, plus half the tuition and medical expenses. Now that his real income potential is clear, how much did the Big Man offer to pay up for child support, according to the New York papers? A whopping extra $1,800 a month. That's right: $3,600 a month goes for his two kids, leaving approximately $996,400 a month for he and Judy (give or take a few hundred thousand).

Fortunately, the judge ordered temporary child support raised to more than $20,000 a month.

Meanwhile, Rudy's hired gun, divorce attorney Raoul Felder, last May (according to the New York Post) had the nerve to say, Donna, that you were "coming off looking foolish, trivial and an uncaring mother" with "twisted motives." "She is trying to cling to a marriage that's been dead for years. ... Mrs. Giuliani should get a life," he summed up.

I am still shaking my head over this one. I know that heroes are not saints. But how can Rudy -- in order to save himself some dough, which is what this divorce case is about from his point of view -- allow any employee of his to talk about the mother of his children like that?

And yes, I wanted you to know that someone noticed that this guy who pays lawyers to smear you as a bad mother is the same father who somehow found the time -- after working 15-hour days -- to spend leisurely dinners with his mistress while you were home with the kids.

Vintage Rudy. When he is good, he is very, very good, and when he is bad, he is just plain shameless.


Maggie Gallagher

Maggie Gallagher is a nationally syndicated columnist, a leading voice in the new marriage movement and co-author of The Case for Marriage: Why Married People Are Happier, Healthier, and Better Off Financially.