NJ Sen. Bob Menendez announces wife is battling stage 3 breast cancer amid corruption trials

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Thursday, May 16, 2024
Nadine Menendez, wife of Sen. Bob Menendez, to undergo mastectomy for breast cancer
Darla Miles reports on the health update of the senator's wife.

NEW YORK -- U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez announced his wife, Nadine, is battling breast cancer, and she will require a mastectomy, as the two face separate corruption trials.

The senator's corruption trial started this week, after his wife's was postponed until at least July, for what was previously an undisclosed medical condition.

However, the senator released the following statement on Thursday morning, revealing that the medical condition is cancer:

"As a result of constant press inquiries and reporters following my wife, she has asked me to disclose her medical condition. 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. We hope and pray for the best results. We ask the press and the public to give her the time, space and privacy to deal with this challenging health condition as she undergoes surgery and recovery."

Jurors began hearing opening statements Wednesday in the trial, in which Menendez is accused of accepting lavish bribes in exchange for a variety of corrupt favors, including taking actions as a senator that benefited the government of Egypt.

A lawyer for Menendez blamed the politician's wife Wednesday for his legal problems, telling a jury at the start of the trial that the Democrat wasn't aware his spouse had taken gifts from a trio of businessmen and didn't know about cash and gold bars hidden in a closet at their New Jersey home.

"She kept him in the dark about what she was asking others to give her," defense lawyer Avi Weitzman said, portraying it as a desperate search for funds from relatives and friends. "She wasn't going to let Bob know that she had financial problems."

The couple began dating in early 2018. They married two years later and moved into her New Jersey home.

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Darla Miles has the latest from Lower Manhattan.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)