Former New Jersey
governor James E. McGreevey, who had been publicly
silent since announcing two years ago that he was gay and
was resigning, made The Oprah Winfrey Show the
first stop on his national book tour Tuesday. But
exactly what he said on the Chicago set will
remain a mystery until the show airs next week.
Audience members who attended the two-hour
taping said they were instructed not to discuss the
show or McGreevey's comments. The former governor's
book, The Confession, has been cloaked in
secrecy and will be released September 19, the same day the
show is to air.
The 49-year-old Democrat waved and smiled at
reporters from a sport-utility vehicle as he arrived
at the studio Tuesday but did not speak to the media.
About a dozen friends and colleagues accompanied
McGreevey and his partner, Australian financial adviser Mark
O'Donnell, 42, to Chicago for the taping.
"It was a good show," said Kathleen Keenan, a
nurse from Spring Lake, N.J., among a group of women
who said they were college friends of McGreevey and
had submitted old photographs to Winfrey producers for the segment.
Keenan, who said she was McGreevey's date to a
homecoming dance when the two were classmates at
Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.,
during the 1970s, declined further comment after the taping.
Before the show, she said she and her college friends
had suspected McGreevey's homosexuality.
"We were in shock, but we had sort of heard he
might be gay," she said.
Some segments of the show, including clips from
the home McGreevey shares with O'Donnell in New
Jersey's Union County, were filmed previously.
McGreevey's book traces his life through two failed
marriages, his rise to the governor's office, and the
sudden, public implosion of his political career.
McGreevey announced his homosexuality and his
impending resignation in the same speech on August 12,
2004, and acknowledged that he had been involved in an
affair with a man.
Julie Everett, a Cincinnati nurse, also said she
attended college with McGreevey. "We're here to
support him as his friends," Everett said before the
taping. "His courage, his humility--he has been
unbelievable since this ordeal. He's an inspiration to me."
(Ashley M. Heher, AP)