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New York Times spotlights Pelosi’s lavish California living, husband’s troubled driving history

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Following the drunk driving arrest of Nancy Pelosi’s husband, a Wednesday New York Times piece exposed new details about the Democratic House Speaker’s lavish lifestyle, as well as her husband’s troubled driving record. 

On May 28, Paul Pelosi drove a small distance in his Porsche 911 from the swanky California estate of friend and Democratic donor Alexander Mehran to his home in Napa Valley. Soon after departing, a Jeep slammed into his vehicle as he attempted to cross the highway. He was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving, and will head to court on August 3.

The Times called the incident “not especially flattering,” but noted Mr. Pelosi’s recent cataract surgery may have also impaired his driving, in addition to the alcohol.

But, Pelosi’s friends, including Mehran, did not seem too concerned about the incident, when speaking to the Times. Mehran called Paul a “social drinker,” while his wife reportedly does not drink.

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Paul Pelosi, husband of U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), arrives for a reception honoring Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and his wife Mareva Mitsotakis in the East Room of the White House on May 16, 2022 in Washington, DC. U.S. 
(Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Some of the Pelosi’s friends downplayed the incident, calling Paul Pelosi’s overnight stay in county jail “excessive.” Other local residents added that in an “earlier era” for Napa, drunk driving was “met with understanding, rather than criminal charges,” as the Times put it.

“I feel just awful about what’s happened because there was a time when if a thing like this happened, the cops would take you home,” Diane Wilsey, a Republican family friend as well as fellow trustee with Paul at the San Fran War Memorial and Performing Arts Center, told The Times.

The incident also sparked tragic memories of Mr. Pelosi’s past. In 1957, at the age of 16, Paul got behind the wheel of a sports car with his brother David. The car crashed, and David was killed; Paul was eventually exonerated of misdemeanor manslaughter charges. 

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Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi of Calif., speaks during a news conference, Thursday, May 19, 2022, on Capitol Hill in Washington.
(AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

About 20 years later, Nancy and Paul were on the way home from a barbecue with their children when their car flipped over in another wreck. Nobody was injured, and it was never discovered who was driving; they notably did not tell the Times who was behind the wheel.

At a time when inflation has hit American families hard, the incident also illuminated details about the Pelosi’s standard of living, which includes a $2.35 million Napa Valley villa, complete with a guesthouse, pool and vineyard. 

But according to former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown, D., who previously dated now-Vice President Kamala Harris, one wouldn’t consider it a “palace.”

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Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., speaks during a news conference about infrastructure at Pier One at Brooklyn Bridge Park, Monday, March 14, 2022, in New York.
(AP Photo/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez)

“If you go up there, you will notice that some people have places with caves for the wine and all that kind of stuff. That’s not what they have. They have a place you can actually live in, without servants. You wouldn’t bring the Three Tenors to sing,” Brown told The Times.

Brown also said that “everybody in San Francisco now has a Napa place,” or at least “everybody who can afford it.”

As of 2022, Nancy and Paul Pelosi hold a net worth of around $135 million, including almost $50 million in real estate. Napa Valley Police has claimed that Paul Pelosi will get no “special treatment” for charges brought against him, but will not release body cam footage until the investigation is over. 

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