Revealed: The other woman in Antonio Villaraigosa’s life

In April 2005, I also broke the story that what the Los Angeles City Hall journalists were chattering about but not printing was their widespread belief that then mayor James Hahn’s wife had left him for another woman.

Nobody paid any attention.

Beth Barrett writes July 3, 2007 for the Los Angeles Daily News:

After months of dodging questions about the breakup of his marriage, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa acknowledged Monday that he is involved in a romantic relationship with television newswoman Mirthala Salinas.

…Back in January, the buzz of the mayor’s marital trouble reached a fever pitch, prompting Villaraigosa to give [Jim Newton, then chief of the Times’ city-county bureau] an interview at Getty House, calling the reports "absolutely not true" and adding, "We are not separated."

But when Corina raised the same question about her husband’s wedding ring, she got a very different answer.

Basically, he said it was none of her business, according to Corina’s 88-year-old mother, Manuela Raigosa.

"At first he said he didn’t want to talk about it," she said in Spanish during a telephone interview last week.

"When she approached him again, he said that they could stay in the house and he would move out (of Getty House) … and if they didn’t like it, he would leave."

For the sometimes rocky marriage of the mayor and his wife, who merged their surnames Villar and Raigosa when they married some 20 years ago, it was the beginning of the end.

Daniel Hernandez writes:

The news was "the get" of L.A. for 2007, with reporters at the L.A. Times, the Weekly, the DN, and certainly several others all clamoring to find enough sources who would confirm it. Congrats, as it were, to Beth Barrett. LAObserved has this good summary post. In any event, this is relevant because the mayor, by his own design, is as pop as Paris Hilton. And because there’s an obvious ethical line being crossed by both parties. Otherwise, it’s pretty sad.

I suspect that the mayor has been with Salinas for over a year, including time that she was covering him as a reporter.

I doubt that the mayor has had only one woman in his bed the past two years.

Eric Longabardi writes:

“She loves to have relationships with politicians,” one inside source at NBC tells exclusively. “She’s a ‘power f***er!” This source also tells ERS News that Mayor Villaraigosa’s latest dalliance, Mirthala Salinas, a political reporter for NBC’s Telemundo is not the Mayor’s last. “He’s now dating one of the members of his LAPD protective detail,” this source revealed.

Assembly Speaker, Fabio Nunez, one of Villaraigosa’s best friends, also had an affair with Salinas from the summer of 2003 until after his swearing in as Assembly Speaker in February 2004. The Speaker’s office confirmed to that while the Speaker was divorced from his wife Maria (they have since remarried), Nunez and Salinas had a romantic relationship. Salinas attended Nunez’s swearing in as Speaker of the Assembly. Sources also tell that Salinas would regularly fly to Sacramento to see the Speaker. One insider at Telemundo said that “everybody in the newsroom knew all about it and management did nothing about it.”

Tabloid Baby speculates.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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