Los Angeles Mayor James K. Hahn and his wife, Monica, said Tuesday that they are living apart after nearly 20 years of marriage.
A statement released by the mayor’s personal lawyer said the pair “remain friends, and will continue to share the responsibility for raising their two wonderful children.”
The mayor and the couple’s daughter and son, ages 14 and 10, will continue to live in their home in San Pedro.
Monica Hahn has moved out but sees her children every day, said Patricia Glaser, Mayor Hahn’s attorney.
Glaser said the Hahns decided to announce their separation because “there were rumors that were starting to spread that are inaccurate.”
She declined to discuss how long the couple have been separated or whether they plan to divorce, saying it is a private matter.
Political analysts said they agreed, adding that they did not expect the development to affect the mayor politically.
“I just don’t think it’s an issue,” said political consultant Joe Cerrell.
Hahn is not the first big-city mayor to go through a separation while in office. Former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani’s divorce from Donna Hanover made national headlines after Giuliani revealed on television that he was seeking a separation -- apparently without first informing his wife.
Later, when a judge ruled that Giuliani could not bring his girlfriend to Gracie Mansion while Hanover and his children were still living there, Giuliani stunned New Yorkers by spending many nights at the home of a gay couple.
No one expects such fireworks from Hahn. And though his announcement was the talk of City Hall on Tuesday, even some of the mayor’s political rivals stressed that it was a private matter and expressed best wishes for his family.
Councilwoman Janice Hahn, the mayor’s sister, meanwhile, said “Auntie Janice” was always available to help the family.
“It’s sad,” she said. “The important thing is Jim and Monica love their children above all else.”