Estranged Bedfellows

The politics of the Mosbacher divorce.

FORGET WHAT YOU’VE READ or heard about everyone’s favorite war hero coming between one of Houston society’s perennially boldfaced couples. Yes, it’s true that energy baron Bob Mosbacher recently ended his alimony payments to cosmetics queen Georgette Mosbacher, who divorced him in 1998. And, yes, the cutoff did occur shortly after her status as a national co-chair of John McCain’s campaign for the White House was trumpeted in the pages of the New York Observer, and that her subsequent lawsuit supposes revenge on the part of her ex-husband, a longtime Bush family pal who’s supporting George W.’s Oval Office bid. If you scratch below the surface, however, it’s plain that the Mosbach-biting isn’t about ideology but etymology.

On June 23, 1997, contemplating a split after a dozen years of marriage, the Mosbachers executed what might be called a “mid-nup” — a document outlining who would get what should a division of assets become necessary. They’d been down this aisle before, having signed a pre-nup in March 1985 and amended it three times since, but the new deal was intended to supersede all that. Alongside an intimate listing of their separate property (at the time, for instance, she owned a 1984 Maserati; he had a 1997 BMW convertible), the “Postmarital Agreement” spelled out Bob’s “obligations”: He would pay Georgette $32,064 a month, plus $28,000 a year toward the cost of their full-time car and

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