The ‘Energizer’ sets off sparks in Chappaqua, where “cheating is not uncommon.”
By Doree Lewak, New York Post, May 29, 2016
“I don’t understand why this is such a big deal,” Chappaqua resident Joanna Fisher says of the revelation that Bill Clinton’s nonprofit foundation, the Clinton Global Initiative, pledged $2 million to Energy Pioneer Solutions, a company run by her neighbor Julie Tauber McMahon.
“The funniest part of it is, she doesn’t need his $2 million,” Fisher says. “She’s from an extremely wealthy family. We spend that on clothes.”
The big deal, of course, is buzz that McMahon is “Energizer” — the woman so dubbed by Secret Service agents because of her regular visits to Clinton’s home in the Westchester hamlet . . . always when Hillary Clinton isn’t around.
McMahon, 56, has been dogged by the affair rumors since 2001 — fueled by sightings of the former president visiting her home without his wife. So who is this attractive Westchester blonde?
“She’s a very good friend, and an upstanding person. Her family and the Clinton family have been friends for years. They go way back,” Fisher says. “She is the best part of a lot of people’s lives, including the Clintons’.”
McMahon and Bill Clinton reportedly first met in 1998 at the $25 million Aspen, Colo., vacation home of her father, Joel Tauber, a longtime Democratic fundraiser from Michigan. It was around the time McMahon’s marriage to Goldman Sachs exec Bill McMahon, whom she married in 1990 and had three children with, was unraveling.
“She was from a political family, and he was just a good Joe,” says attorney Ira Garr, who represented Bill McMahon in the divorce.
Julie, then a homemaker, first filed for divorce in 1998. In 1999, Goldman Sachs became a public company via an IPO that netted Bill McMahon some $30 million.
According to papers filed in Manhattan Supreme Court, Julie told him “she intended to make a claim for equitable distribution of these IPO benefits. [He] took the position that because the rights only came into existence after the divorce action had been commenced, she had no such right.”
Julie dropped the divorce action. Her husband fought the move, arguing she withdrew it “to obtain equitable distribution of the IPO in a divorce action that was surely to be subsequently commenced.” The trial court ruled in her favor.
Bill McMahon filed for a divorce later in 1999. It was finalized in 2001. Neither Garr nor Julie’s divorce lawyer, Susan Bender, would disclose details of the settlement. The former couple shared custody of their children — Madeline, Gwen and Andrew.
Things have since calmed. Garr says the whole family — including Bill McMahon’s current wife, hedge funder Jennifer Padovani, whom he married in 2010 — celebrated Gwen’s recent 21st birthday.
Bill Clinton and Julie became neighbors a year after they first met. The former first family moved into a $1.7 million Chappaqua mansion less than three miles from Julie’s Colonial Georgian. Eyebrows soon started rising in the neighborhood.
“Wherever he went, she went. If he went to the Palm, she went to the Palm. If he went out to the Hamptons, she went to the Hamptons,” a neighbor says. “In my world, cheating is very common. It’s not so unusual in Chappaqua.”
The chatter has even reached Julie’s hometown of West Bloomfield, Mich., a tony suburb of Detroit. “Gossip about her presidential friendship has fueled Oakland County cocktail parties for well over a decade,” The Detroit News reported this month.
Julie, who graduated from Columbia with a master’s in education, is the eldest of Joel and Shelley Tauber’s five children. Besides being a major Democratic fundraiser, Joel is a manufacturing exec, while Shelley is a philanthropist involved in Israel-related charities.
Like her mother, Julie is involved in philanthropy. She sits on the advisory counsel of Oceana, an international ocean conservation group based in DC. Its benefits have drawn such celebs as Jeff Goldblum, Melanie Griffith and January Jones. Julie has also been a fixture on New York City’s party circuit for years, vamping at galas for the New York Academy of Art, among others.
Julie herself has denied the allegations. In any case, Julie McMahon and Bill Clinton may not be neighbors much longer.
Last September, she put her 7,765-square-foot home on the market for $2.599 million. She has since dropped the price by $100,000, and word among Douglas Elliman brokers, according to one, is “this woman really wants to sell.”