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McGreevey files
for divorce

McGreevey files
for divorce

The nation's first openly gay governor filed for divorce Friday from his wife of seven years.

Lawyers for James E. McGreevey filed a two-page document in Union County superior court in Elizabeth, N.J., seeking to dissolve his union with Dina Matos McGreevey. A spokeswoman for the court, Sandra Thaler-Gerber, confirmed receiving the filing Friday.

The two have lived apart since November 2004, when McGreevey resigned as New Jersey's governor following a stunning public announcement 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 Friday. "It is something that had to be done. We are blessed with a wonderful daughter who remains our focus."

McGreevey has been married twice. He has a 14-year-old daughter, Morag, from his first marriage, which also ended in divorce.

The staffer with whom McGreevey acknowledged having an affair, homeland security adviser Golan Cipel, has denied being gay and said McGreevey sexually harassed him. McGreevey said Cipel tried to blackmail him and that he resigned rather than succumb to the man's 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.

Neither Matos McGreevey nor her lawyer responded to requests for comment Friday. She has 35 days to answer her husband's filing or file a counterclaim.

The filing says McGreevey and his wife have lived apart for 26 months. "This separation has continued to the present time and there exists no reasonable prospect for reconciliation," according to the divorce complaint.

The document says the parties entered into a settlement agreement on January 12, "which resolves all issues pertaining to custody, parenting time, alimony, child support, equitable distribution, and counsel fees."

McGreevey's lawyers ask in the filing that the marriage be dissolved incorporating the terms of that agreement. The terms are not spelled out in the divorce complaint filed with the court on Friday, and McGreevey lawyer David Wildstein would not disclose them.

The relationship between McGreevey and his wife has been subject to much speculation since McGreevey's nationally televised resignation speech, in which his wife stood at his side, a dazed look on her face. People openly wondered whether Matos McGreevey knew her husband was gay and whether she willingly helped hide his homosexuality to advance his political career.

Matos McGreevey, who is executive director of the Columbus Hospital Foundation in Newark, has repeatedly declined requests for interviews since McGreevey resigned. She has written a book, Silent Partner, scheduled for publication May 1.

In the book she is expected to tell about her life with the former governor for the first time. In the press release accompanying the announcement of the book deal, Matos McGreevey said in a statement, "Two years have passed and still I am the subject of much speculation as to the nature of my relationship with my husband. Enough is enough."

In his tell-all book published last summer, the former governor revealed that he was having an affair with Cipel, the former aide who became a central figure in his downfall, while his wife was hospitalized after the birth of their child.

He indicated in his book, TheConfession, that his wife suspected his homosexuality as early as 2002, confronting him and asking if he were gay. McGreevey writes that he thought about telling her the truth but said nothing. He says in the book that he told his wife and parents he was gay shortly before resigning. Matos McGreevey reacted to the news with silence before finally saying, "Where are we going to live?" (Angela Delli Santi, AP)

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