Who is Nadine Arslanian? Wife of Sen. Menendez indicted on bribery charges

Who is Nadine Arslanian? Wife of Sen. Menendez indicted on bribery charges
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Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and his wife, Nadine, were indicted Friday by the U.S. attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York.

The New Jersey senator and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and his wife each face three counts, allegedly having had a “corrupt relationship” with three New Jersey businessmen. Prosecutors said the couple accepted “hundreds of thousands of dollars” in bribes from the businessmen, using the senator’s “power and influence” for their own enrichment and the benefit of Egypt.

Prosecutors based a large portion of their case on Menendez and on texts between the senator, his wife and their co-defendants.

Menendez has denied the allegations against him.

“I have been falsely accused before because I refused to back down to the powers that be and the people of New Jersey were able to see through the smoke and mirrors and recognize I was innocent,” he said in a statement Friday.

She fled Lebanon during the Lebanese Civil War

In a 2020 “The Armenian Report” YouTube interview, Arslanian said she fled Lebanon, her birthplace, during the country’s civil war. She said she was born to Armenian parents.

“During the Civil War, we fled Lebanon to Greece to London and came to the United States and stayed in Palo Alto, Calif., for about seven months, and then moved to New York,” Arslanian said.

She went to New York University

In the same “Armenian Report” interview, Arslanian said she went to New York University (NYU)  for undergraduate and graduate studies, majoring in international politics and French culture and civilization. She said she has a daughter who also attended NYU.

How she and Mendendez met

Menendez met Arslanian at an IHOP in Union City, N.J., in December 2018, according to The New York Times. Following their meeting, the two explored the world together, going to four countries in five months. The senator proposed to Arslanian in October 2019 at the Taj Mahal while on a visit to India.

The Armenian Mirror-Spectator’s account of the couple’s love timeline differs from that in the Times. According to an article on the couple’s socially-distanced October 2020 wedding, the couple did meet at an IHOP, but around a decade ago and reconnected “years later.”

“We were introduced by the owner of the IHOP, and I didn’t know at that time that Bob was a senator,” Arslanian said, according to the Times. “He was very intelligent and had a great sense of humor, and he was very, very hot.”

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