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Gay ex-governor, wife prepare for trial

Settlement negotiations between former New Jersey Gov. James McGreevey and his estranged wife broke down Monday and the two prepared for a potentially embarrassing trial.
Image: Divorce of Former New Jersey Gov. James McGreevey
Former New Jersey Gov. James McGreevey, second from left, and his wife, Dina Matos McGreevey, second from right front, stand in court during a hearing in their divorce case in Elizabeth, N.J., in March.Mike Derer / AP
/ Source: The Associated Press

Settlement negotiations between former Gov. James McGreevey and his estranged wife broke down Monday and the two prepared for trial in a divorce case that has spawned tell-all books and a series of public squabbles.

McGreevey, who is now openly gay, and Dina Matos McGreevey were at an impasse in settlement talks, court spokeswoman Sandra Thaler-Gerber said.

"The judge spent the better part of the afternoon trying to resolve the matter. It does not appear as if it was successful," she said.

The McGreeveys left the courthouse separately and prepared to return Tuesday morning, when testimony was to begin in their divorce trial.

New Jersey's former first couple split in 2004, shortly after McGreevey resigned from his first term in office following a nationally televised speech in which he acknowledged being "a gay American" and said he had an affair with a male staffer. The staffer has denied the affair and claims he was sexually harassed by McGreevey.

The McGreeveys have been separated for nearly as long as they were living together, having split when both moved out of the governor's mansion and into separate homes.

McGreevey, 50, who now lives with a male partner, is studying at an Episcopal seminary. Matos McGreevey, 41, recently has been seen on cable television as a guest analyst.

The couple, who have one child, 6-year-old Jacqueline, reached a deal on the custody portion of their divorce last week. Details remain sealed by the judge's order.

New Jersey grants child support based on the income and earning ability of both parents and how much time the child spends with each. McGreevey currently pays $2,500 a month in unallocated support, meaning amounts for child support and alimony aren't specified separately.

Besides alimony and child support, Matos McGreevey is seeking additional money based on her claim of marriage fraud; she says she was duped into marrying a closeted gay man who needed the cover of a wife to advance his political career.