Senator Bob Menendez is a prominent Democratic politician who represents New Jersey in the U.S. Senate. He also serves as the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, responsible for overseeing U.S. foreign policy and international affairs. However, he faces serious criminal charges, accused of accepting bribes from three businessmen in exchange for favors. His wife, Nadine Arslanian, is also alleged to be involved in this scheme, receiving lavish gifts from those involved. Let’s delve into Senator Menendez’s family and legal troubles.
Senator Menendez’s Wife: Nadine Arslanian
Senator Menendez is married to Nadine Arslanian, also known as Nadine Menendez, a businesswoman and former consultant for a company linked to one of the businessmen implicated in the bribery scandal. They met in 2018 at an IHOP restaurant and began dating shortly after. Their engagement took place in 2019 in India, with Senator Menendez proposing to her in a memorable fashion. They married in 2020 in a socially distanced ceremony due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the indictment, Nadine Arslanian played a significant role in facilitating the bribery scheme between her husband and the three businessmen: Wael Hana, Jose Uribe, and Fred Daibes. She introduced her husband to Egyptian officials seeking U.S. military equipment and attended multiple meetings with them. Allegedly, she forwarded sensitive information, including the names of U.S. embassy personnel in Cairo, to the Egyptian officials. In return, she received a no-show job, $23,000 to prevent home foreclosures, and various gifts, such as gold bars, cash, furniture, and a luxury car.
In June 2022, the FBI conducted a raid on Senator Menendez and Nadine Arslanian’s home, uncovering evidence of the bribery scheme, including envelopes of cash, gold bars, and a convertible car. They also discovered online searches made by Nadine Arslanian regarding the value of gold and how to melt gold bars prior to the raid.
Nadine Arslanian has consistently denied any wrongdoing, and her legal representation has emphasized that she intends to vigorously contest the charges, characterizing her as “a loving wife and mother unfairly targeted by overzealous prosecutors.”
Senator Menendez’s Ex-Wife: Jane Jacobsen
Before his marriage to Nadine Arslanian, Senator Menendez was married to Jane Jacobsen, his high school sweetheart. They wed in 1976 at the age of 22. Over the course of their 29-year marriage, they had two children together: Alicia and Robert Jr. Their divorce occurred in 2005, with the specific reasons remaining undisclosed to the public. Some reports suggest it may have been due to Senator Menendez’s demanding political career and frequent travels.
Jane Jacobsen is a teacher and activist known for her advocacy on various causes, including education reform, environmental protection, and women’s rights. She has supported her ex-husband’s political campaigns and attended some of his events, maintaining a positive relationship with him and their children.
Senator Menendez’s Children: Alicia and Robert Jr.
Senator Menendez and Jane Jacobsen have two adult children:
- Alicia Menendez: Alicia is a journalist and author who works as a host and correspondent for MSNBC. She authored the book “The Likeability Trap: How to Break Free and Succeed as You Are.” She is married to Carlos Odio, a political strategist and co-founder of Equis Research, a Latino-focused polling firm. They have two children together, Evangelina and Cristiano.
- Robert Menendez Jr.: Robert is a lawyer and serves as a partner in the litigation department at Lowenstein Sandler LLP. He specializes in white-collar defense, securities litigation, and corporate investigations. He is married to Leticia Longoria-Menendez, a lawyer who works as an associate in the corporate department at Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP. They have one child together, Emma.
Senator Menendez is currently married to Nadine Arslanian and faces criminal charges related to bribery allegations involving her. He was previously married to Jane Jacobsen, with whom he has two adult children, Alicia and Robert Jr., both of whom have successful careers and families of their own. Senator Menendez’s personal and legal situation is complex and continues to evolve.