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McGreevey tells
Oprah of gay affair while wife was giving birth

McGreevey tells
Oprah of gay affair while wife was giving birth

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Former New Jersey governor James E. McGreevey revealed during an interview on The Oprah Winfrey Show, scheduled to air September 19, that he was having an affair with a man while his wife was in the hospital giving birth to their child, according to audience members.

Former New Jersey governor James E. McGreevey revealed during an interview on The Oprah Winfrey Show that he was having an affair with a man while his wife was in the hospital giving birth to their child, according to audience members. The nation's first openly gay governor told Winfrey he believed he was in love with the man, who would become a central figure in his downfall, said two audience members who agreed to speak only on condition of anonymity. Winfrey asked audience members not to divulge the contents of the broadcast, which was taped in Chicago on Tuesday. A dozen friends of McGreevey who attended had to sign confidentiality agreements with Regan Books, which is publishing McGreevey's political memoir. The hour-long program will be broadcast September 19, the day McGreevey's much-anticipated The Confession hits bookstores and he embarks on a national book tour. McGreevey, 49, stunned the nation on August 12, 2004, when he said he had been involved in an affair with a man and would resign. McGreevey later identified the man as Golan Cipel, though Cipel repeatedly has denied being gay. The lawyer who represented Cipel, Allen Lowy, would not comment Wednesday. In the interview, the audience members said, Winfrey explores McGreevey's lifelong struggle with his sexuality. McGreevey recounted going to the library as an adolescent to look up the word homosexual in a dictionary. When he found it included terms like perverse and psychiatric disorder, the Irish-Catholic said he quickly learned to repress his feelings, audience members said. The American Psychiatric Association removed homosexuality from its list of mental disorders in 1973. The interview also explores how McGreevey came out to his wife and parents, how his life is more authentic today, and what life is like with Australian financial adviser Mark O'Donnell, whom he refers to as his life partner, the audience members said. O'Donnell also appears on the program. (Angela Delli Santi, AP) (An exclusive interview with Jim McGreevey and his partner, Mark O'Donnell, will appear in the October 10 issue of The Advocate, on newsstands September 26.)

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