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Wife Denies Knowing Ex-N.J. Gov. Was Gay

Wife Denies Knowing Ex-N.J. Gov. Was Gay

The estranged wife of the nation's first openly gay governor fired back at her husband during an appearance on "The Oprah Winfrey Show," saying she never knew he was gay and was shocked when he revealed his sexual orientation to her.
"It just hit me like a ton of bricks. I wasn't absorbing it," said Dina Matos McGreevey, who is divorcing former New Jersey Gov. James E. McGreevey. "I just started to cry."
In divorce papers filed recently, the former governor wrote that his wife "knew of my sexual orientation before our marriage" and "chose to either ignore it or block it out of her mind, even when questioned by her friends."
He told the world in August 2004 he was "a gay American" and had an extramarital affair with a male aide. He resigned months later.
"I felt like my world had crumbled and my life was over," Matos McGreevey said. "In the course of the three days of his explanation and confession to me, it was clear to me that he never loved me."
Winfrey interviewed Matos McGreevey in a show that aired Tuesday, the same day "Silent Partner: A Memoir of My Marriage," was published by Hyperion Books.
"No one ever said to me that he was gay," she said. "It's a cliche that the wife is always the last to know, and it's true."
Matos McGreevey said she was shocked by her husband's revelation, which she said came in "cowardly installments."
"I'm not in denial, but I don't think he's simply gay. I think he's bisexual," she said. "I mean, he was married twice. He has two children. And, you know, I never saw him checking out men, but I certainly saw him checking out women."
The former first lady stood with a frozen-faced smile beside her husband when he made the announcement about his sexuality nearly three years ago. Matos McGreevey said she was instructed to smile during that news conference.
"I smiled because I didn't want to break down," she said. "He told me, 'You have to be Jackie Kennedy today.' And I'm thinking, Jackie Kennedy? Her husband was murdered. You cheated on me and I have to be Jackie Kennedy?"
McGreevey said he was not planning to watch his wife's interview and declined to comment on her statements.
"I wish her well," he said.
The two are locked in a heated custody battle for their 5-year-old daughter.
"Silent Partner" is Matos McGreevey's response to her husband's memoir, "The Confession," which was published last September. In it, McGreevey described sexual encounters with an aide _ who has denied having an affair with McGreevey _ and wrote that he married Matos McGreevey to help him advance his political career.
In the fall, Winfrey landed an exclusive interview with McGreevey, who until then, had been publicly silent since announcing that he was gay.
Matos McGreevey said she hopes her story helps men and women who have been through similar experiences.
"I want people to know ... you have nothing to be ashamed of," she said. "You've done nothing wrong. Most of them, just like me, probably married their spouse because they fell in love with them."
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Associated Press writer Angela Delli Santi in Trenton contributed to this report.


Updated : 2021-08-04 07:29 GMT+08:00