By Eric M. Johnson
(Reuters) - Former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer and his wife, Silda Wall Spitzer, said they are ending their marriage, more than five years after she stood by his side as the embattled Democrat resigned from office over a prostitution scandal.
"We regret that our marital relationship has come to an end, and we have agreed not to make any other public statement on this subject," they said in a joint statement issued on Tuesday evening, Christmas Eve.
Known as the "Sheriff of Wall Street" during his tenure as New York's attorney general, Spitzer was elected governor in a landslide victory in 2006. But he saw his political career derailed after just a year in office after he was exposed as a client in a prostitution ring.
The image of Silda Wall Spitzer standing, stone-faced, at her husband's side as the governor informed the public of his resignation would later inspire the hit TV show "The Good Wife."
Spitzer attempted a political comeback this year, when he ran for city comptroller as a largely self-funded candidate, but he was defeated in the Democratic primary in September.
More recently, the city's tabloids reported the Spitzers, who were married in 1987 and have three children, were living apart.
This week, the former governor has been back on the tabloid's front pages with reports he is in a relationship with his former campaign spokeswoman, Lis Smith, who now works for New York City Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio, who takes office January 1.
(Additional reporting by Edith Honan; Editing by Leslie Adler)