The Wall Street Journal has a sad story on the decline of Tony Podesta through a series of missteps with his powerful Washington lobbying firm that was eventually implicated in the Paul Manafort case. Podesta’s problems began in 2012 but seemed to accelerate in 2014 when he was divorced from his wife Heather, a powerful lobbyist in her own right.
Art, which originally bound the couple, seems to have driven them apart in the end. At the firm there were problems with Podesta billing art shipping costs to the business. Podesta went as far as renting his art to the business for displaying the works in the offices and even paid part of the salary of a curator or advisor.
But the most telling fact is buried here in the story where it seems Podesta was buying works and keeping them secret from his wife:
Mr. Podesta’s passion for art drove a wedge in the marriage after Mrs. Podesta learned he was secretly making purchases, according to people familiar with the matter. In 2014, the couple filed for divorce, with the art collection caught in a legal tug of war.
In the settlement, Mr. Podesta kept most of the collection. He gave up homes in Washington and Manhattan, and nearly $5 million in retirement savings. He agreed to pay his former wife $200,000 every three months for five years.