Senator Menendez’s Wife Is Being Treated for Breast Cancer

Nadine Menendez, the wife of Senator Robert Menendez, is being treated for breast cancer and will undergo a mastectomy, her husband revealed on Thursday.

Mr. Menendez announced his wife’s cancer diagnosis in a statement released while he was in Federal District Court in Manhattan, where he is on trial on charges that he accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes in exchange for political favors.

“We are of course concerned about the seriousness and advanced stage of the disease,” Mr. Menendez, 70, said in the statement. “We hope and pray for the best results.”

The timing of the announcement, issued by his Senate office, was conspicuous and punctuated a remarkable first week on trial. It came less than a day after the senator’s lawyers told jurors in an opening statement that Ms. Menendez, 57, was largely to blame for the gold bars and other lucrative bribes prosecutors say he took in exchange for helping Egypt and New Jersey businessmen.

Mr. Menendez said he was releasing the information now because of “constant press inquiries and reporters following my wife.” He asked that she be given privacy as she battles cancer, which he described as “grade 3.”

A lawyer for Ms. Menendez could not immediately be reached for comment. Ms. Menendez has not appeared in court.

Ms. Menendez was originally scheduled to stand trial with him and two other defendants beginning this week. But last month, the judge presiding over the case, Sidney H. Stein, agree to grant her a delay and separate trial in July after her lawyers informed the court that she was dealing with a “serious medical condition” that would require surgery.

The disclosure prompted widespread speculation in New Jersey political circles. But at the time, the lawyers only shared details of her diagnosis in a sealed submission to Judge Stein, withholding it from the public.

The couple have both been accused of conspiring to trade Mr. Menendez’s clout as a senator and leader of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for lucrative bribes, including the gold bars, cash and a $60,000 convertible for Ms. Menendez. In opening statements on Wednesday, prosecutors described Ms. Menendez as a crucial “go-between” for the senator and New Jersey businessmen accused of providing the payoffs.

The senator and his wife have both pleaded not guilty.

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