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Andrew and Caroline Giuliani’s right to be “emotionally secure” in their Gracie Mansion home for the next seven months justifies barring their father’s female friend from visiting the mayor’s residence for public functions, a judge in Manhattan ruled Monday. But Acting Justice Judith J. Gische warned that “[i]t is inevitable that the children will meet JN [Mayor Giuliani's friend Judith Nathan].” So the judge gave the mayor and his wife, Donna Hanover, 30 days to reach an agreement on when and under what circumstances Andrew, 15, and Caroline, 11, should meet Nathan. Otherwise, the judge said, she would appoint a law guardian to represent the children and appoint a neutral forensic mental health expert to evaluate the family and make recommendations, which are standard steps in any New York custody dispute. In Anonymous v. Anonymous, 350728/00, Gische granted Hanover’s motion to keep Nathan out of Gracie Mansion, the mayor’s official residence, while the children continue to live there. The judge also ordered the mayor to keep Nathan away from any event attended by his children. The judge noted that Giuliani, Hanover and their children have lived in the East Side mansion for more than seven years and had planned to live there until the mayor completes his second term at the end of the year. Then Giuliani and Hanover plan to establish separate households. The mayor, who has publicly credited Nathan with helping him cope with treatments for prostate cancer, had argued that because Gracie Mansion is a public place, the court had no legal authority to bar Nathan from it. The decision, filed in Supreme Court, New York County, IA Part 51, noted that Nathan had attended public events at Gracie Mansion on several occasions, but had not been in the family’s private quarters. Justice Gische disagreed, finding that there was no affirmative direction in any law, contract or enabling document that required all members of the public to be admitted to the 202-year-old home. “The court finds that the right of the parties’ children to be emotionally secure and have free access to all parts of their home is a legally cognizable basis to exclude [Nathan] from the mansion,” she wrote. The motion to bar Nathan “is not about the parties, it is about their children,” the judge said, citing the standard to be applied as the children’s best interests. CAROLINE’S ‘NEAR MISS’ Apparently Caroline and Nathan almost met last month at a reception at Gracie Mansion, when “contrary to prior practice,” Caroline was allowed to watch the event. “Determining who is to blame for the ‘near miss’ is not important,” Justice Gische said. “It is JN’s presence in the mansion that creates the opportunity for such chance meetings. Although the parties disagree about whether, when and under what circumstances JN should meet the parties’ children, no one urges that a chance meeting in the children’s home is an appropriate way to introduce them.” Mayor Giuliani, who filed for divorce last November after 16 years of marriage, sought for a second time to have a gag order imposed on the parties and their attorneys to prevent them from discussing or distributing documents concerning the proceeding. Justice Gische again denied the request. The mayor’s claim that the two children would be adversely affected by the media coverage of the case was not, “in itself, sufficient reason to impose a prior restraint on speech,” the judge said in a second decision in the same case, noting the parties’ constitutional First Amendment right to speak publicly about their case. “The parties’ public status in and of itself does not justify the imposition of a ‘gag’ order, especially when the child-related disputes are fairly common,” she said. Giuliani was represented by Raoul Lionel Felder. Helene Brezinsky of Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman and Victor A. Kovner of Davis Wright Tremaine were counsel for Hanover.

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