04/21/2004 at 12:00 AM EDT
New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who was expected to face off against Hillary Clinton in a race for the Senate, announced that he and his wife, Donna Hanover, plan to formally separate after 16 years of marriage. Giuliani, who revealed on April 27 that he has prostate cancer, told reporters, "Donna and I lead, in many ways, independent and separate lives." Hanover, a host on cable's Food Network and sometime actress ("The Practice," "One Life to Live"), reacted to the Mayor's surprise announcement with a press conference, during which she laid blame on her husband for the rift, citing a "relationship with one staff member." Hanover was referring to Cristyne Lategano-Nicholas, Giuliani's former communications director. Giuliani has denied a relationship with Lategano-Nicholas, but recently admitted another woman, Judith Nathan, is a "very good friend." It is not know if Giuliani, who has two children with Hanover, will proceed with his plans to run for the Senate.