Sen. Bob Menendez Reveals Wife’s Cancer Diagnosis After Pointing Finger at Her in Trial

Adam Gray/Getty Images
Adam Gray/Getty Images

Nadine Menendez, a defendant in a sweeping corruption trial alongside her husband Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ), has breast cancer and will be undergoing a mastectomy as treatment, her husband revealed on Thursday.

The senator announced his wife’s cancer diagnosis in a statement from the courtroom where his trial on corruption and bribery charges began this week. Nadine Menendez’s trial had been delayed because of the previously undisclosed health conditions, which are now clear.

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“Nadine is suffering from Grade 3 breast cancer, which will require her to have mastectomy surgery. We are, of course, concerned about the seriousness and advanced stage of the disease. She will require follow up surgery and possibly radiation treatment,” Menendez said, asking for respect and privacy on behalf of his wife. “We hope and pray for the best results.”

The disclosure of Nadine Menendez’s cancer diagnosis was peculiarly timed, given that defense attorneys for her husband had spent the first week of his trial arguing that she was largely to blame for the lavish gifts the couple received from Egyptian businessmen, allegedly in return for political favors.

Prosecutors alleged the Menendez couple accepted bribes from businessmen hoping to leverage the senator’s position as leader of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Those alleged gifts included gold bars, wads of cash, and a $60,000 convertible for Nadine, according to the indictment.

Defense attorneys for the senator painted his wife as a critical link between the businessmen and her husband in opening statements on Wednesday. The senator and his wife have each pleaded not guilty.

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