In yet another setback for embattled World Bank president Paul Wolfowitz, who agreed Thursday to depart in June, girlfriend Shaha Riza has announced she is resigning as Wolfowitz's girlfriend, "effective immediately."
While Riza's role in the conflict-of-interest scandal involving Wolfowitz and the World Bank had placed her in the eye of the media storm, few had expected her to relinquish her girlfriend post without a fight.
But according to a source close to Riza, the increasing pressure on the high-profile couple had convinced her that she "could no longer function effectively as Paul Wolfowitz's girlfriend."
A joint communiqué released by the couple indicated that the decision to leave her girlfriend post was entirely Riza's, but sources close to Wolfowitz suggest that the idea had originated not with her, but with the outgoing World Bank president himself.
According to one source, "Paul had dinner with Shaha last night and told her they should start seeing other banks."
News of Riza's departure sparked speculation that Wolfowitz might have difficulty acquiring a new girlfriend, but according to Vice President Cheney, who has served as Wolfowitz's unofficial "wingman" for years, nothing could be further from the truth.
"The fact that the World Bank found Paul guilty of wrongdoing gives him an air of danger," Cheney said. "The ladies dig that."