NEW YORK – She stood silently, stunned beside her husband, New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer, as he read a statement of apology to his family Monday afternoon following disclosure of what is believed to be his love tryst with a high-priced prostitute.
But the words failed to soothe Silda Wall Spitzer's closest friends, who advised her to take the kids and run.
"They were great together — fun, fabulous to be around. There was never even one small inkling of anything like this," one friend told the New York Daily News. "If I were her, I would call my mother or my best friend and pack my bags and go someplace far away for six months and take my daughters with me."
Another pal told the News she is "disgusted" Spitzer betrayed his wife of 20 years. "Oh, poor Silda. She is such a wonderful woman. I cannot even imagine this," the friend said.
Silda Wall Spitzer, 50, pursued a career as a corporate lawyer while raising three daughters — Alyssa, 17, Sarabeth, 15, and Jenna, 13. She quit her high-powered job to stay home with their three kids and to run a nonprofit she started to help children learn about philanthropy.
Nancy Lieberman, an attorney who worked with Silda Wall Spitzer at the law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, told the News her friend did not deserve this.
"Silda is the most wonderful human being in the world," she said. "She is kind and caring. My heart is with her at this time."
Silda Wall Spitzer, an Ivy League-educated Baptist Southern belle who married into one of New York's City's richest and most prominent families, grew up in Concord, N.C., the eldest daughter of a hospital administrator and a homemaker, according to the New York Post.
Before they met, she had excelled as a student at Meredith College, an all-women's Baptist school, before heading to Harvard Law.
After her second year at Harvard, she accepted an invitation to go skiing at Mt. Snow in Vermont, where she met the man who would become her husband in 1987 and the father of her three daughters.
"Eliot and I both grew up with parents who worked together as a strong team," Silda said in an interview last year with The Times Union of Albany. "That's the only way I know how to go about it, to be as supportive as I can be for him. He, in turn, is as supportive as he can be with my interests and endeavors."