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Nadine Menendez, wife of New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez, being treated for breast cancer

Opening statements to continue in Sen. Menendez bribery case
Opening statements to continue in Sen. Menendez bribery case 01:30

Washington — Nadine Menendez, the wife of Sen. Bob Menendez, is being treated for grade 3 breast cancer and will have a mastectomy, her husband disclosed Thursday. 

The New Jersey Democrat revealed his wife's cancer diagnosis in a statement while his trial was underway in federal court in Manhattan. He and his wife are accused of accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes from three New Jersey businessmen for political favors. 

"We are of course, concerned about the seriousness and advanced stage of the disease," Menendez said in a statement. "She will require follow up surgery and possibly radiation treatment. We hope and pray for the best results." 

The National Cancer Institute defines grade 3 as a high grade, which may spread more quickly and require more aggressive treatment. Menendez's statement did not say what stage the cancer is, which describes how far the cancer has spread. 

Nadine Menendez was originally supposed to be tried with her husband and two of the businessmen — Wael Hana, owner of the halal meat company IS EG Halal, and Fred Daibes, a real estate developer. 

But a judge postponed her trial until later this summer after she said she was suffering from a "serious medical condition" that requires surgery and weeks of recovery. 

The senator, his wife and the two businessmen have pleaded not guilty. 

Menendez said his wife asked him to disclose her diagnosis "as a result of constant press inquiries and reporters following my wife." 

It comes a day after his attorneys pinned the blame on Nadine Menendez during opening statements of his corruption trial, saying she kept her husband in the dark about her financial issues and business dealings with the codefendants. 

"She was dazzling to Bob," said Menendez's lawyer, Avi Weitzman. 

But, he said, "she kept things from him." 

"She kept him in the dark on what she was asking others to give her. She was outgoing; she was fun loving. But she wasn't going to let Bob know that she had financial problems," Weitzman said. "So what did Nadine do? She tried to get cash and assets any which way she could." 

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