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Gay ex-N.J. governor seeks divorce

Former Gov. James McGreevey who announced he was gay in 2004 filed for divorce on Friday from his wife of seven years.
/ Source: The Associated Press

Former Gov. James McGreevey who announced he was gay in 2004 filed for divorce on Friday from his wife of seven years.

McGreevey's lawyers filed the two-page document seeking to dissolve his union with Dina Matos McGreevey in Elizabeth, county court spokeswoman Sandra Thaler-Gerber confirmed Friday.

The two have lived apart since November 2004, when McGreevey resigned after announcing that he was "a gay American" who had had an affair with a male staffer.

"It's a sad day for everyone," McGreevey told The Associated Press on Friday. "It is something that had to be done. We are blessed with a wonderful daughter who remains our focus."

The marriage was McGreevey's second. His previous marriage also ended in divorce.

The male staffer named by McGreevey — Golan Cipel — was hired by the governor in 2002 to a $110,000-a-year homeland security post despite having little experience. Cipel has said he isn't gay and accused McGreevey of sexually harassing him. McGreevey said Cipel tried to blackmail him and that he resigned rather than succumb to threats.

Matos McGreevey, who stood at her husband's side as he told the world he was gay, now lives in Springfield with the couple's 5-year-old daughter, Jacqueline. McGreevey lives in Plainfield with his partner, Australian-born money manager Mark O'Donnell.

McGreevey and Matos McGreevey legally separated Jan. 12, but Matos McGreevey said some issues regarding their daughter remain unresolved.

“We continue to have profound differences about what our daughter should be exposed to, and until they are resolved, there will be no agreement,” she said through her lawyer, John N. Post.

The relationship between McGreevey and his wife has been subject to much speculation since McGreevey’s resignation. People wondered whether Matos McGreevey knew her husband was gay and whether she willingly helped hide his homosexuality to advance his political career.

McGreevey indicated in his tell-all book last summer, “The Confession,” that his wife suspected his homosexuality as early as 2002, confronting him and asking if he were gay. He wrote that he thought about telling her the truth, but said nothing.