Nadine Menendez has breast cancer, wants press to stop hounding her amid husband's corruption trial

By Jen Krausz on
 May 17, 2024

Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) revealed on Thursday that his wife Nadine has stage 3 breast cancer and will undergo a mastectomy, even as his lawyers seek to blame her at his corruption trial for his allegedly taking bribes from a number of New Jersey and foreign businessmen and governments. 

Menendez claimed that his wife asked him to reveal her diagnosis due to "constant press inquiries and reporters following [her]".

"We are of course, concerned about the seriousness and advanced stage of the disease," the senator added.

Nadine Menendez, 57, married Bob Menendez in 2020 when he was 66 and she was 53.

Not guilty plea

The FBI has testified at the trial that it found $486,000 in cash along with gold bars and a luxury Mercedes when it raided the Menendez home, which is shared by the couple.

Both have pled not guilty to 18 charges of bribery, corruption, extortion, wire fraud, and obstruction of justice. Menendez has had to step down from the Foreign Relations Committee amid the charges, although he has refused to resign from the Senate.

Husband and wife are being charged in separate trials, and over a month ago, prosecutors agreed to delay her trial by two months due to a "serious medical condition," which was not specified at the time.

It is not clear whether the trial will be delayed further while she heals from the mastectomy and undergoes further treatment such as chemotherapy or radiation, both common in breast cancer cases.

Blaming her?

Bob Menendez's lawyers said in court on Wednesday during opening statements that she had "kept him in the dark" on financial matters, adding that they had separate bank accounts.

They also said some of the gold bars belonged to her.

Prosecutors flipped businessman Jose Uribe, who is now testifying against the Menendezes.

Uribe said in a grand jury court appearance that he worked with Nadine Menendez to hide the gift of a Mercedes in exchange for favors done by the Senator.

Other gifts were explained away as "loans" that Bob Menendez said he helped his wife repay.

Bob Menendez stood trial for bribery and corruption once before in 2017, but the jury could not agree on his guilt and a mistrial was declared in that case.

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