representing the nation's first openly gay governor and his
estranged wife ended the first day of their scheduled
divorce trial reporting progress in settlement talks.
''We are happy to
report on behalf of both of our clients that they have
made progress toward settling their case,'' lawyers for Gov.
Jim McGreevey and Dina Matos McGreevey said in a joint
statement. ''We continue to work to that end and will
return to court tomorrow afternoon.''
delayed Tuesday as the two sides held nearly seven hours of
closed-door meetings before Union County Superior Court
Judge Karen M. Cassidy. Court Clerk Sandy
Thaler-Gerber said the discussions involved custody of
the couple's 6-year-old daughter -- their only child
The first three
days of the trial were scheduled to be held outside the
glare of cameras and the media as Cassidy considered custody
issues concerning the kindergartner.
and his wife, 41, have been going at each other publicly
for months about everything from his partner's financial
assets to their daughter's birthday party.
The issues to be
decided in the divorce settlement involve custody,
alimony and child support, and whether McGreevey, now openly
gay, committed fraud by marrying a woman.
down during his first term in office after a nationally
televised speech in which he acknowledged being ''a gay
American'' and saying he had an affair with a male
staffer. The staffer has denied the affair and claims
he was sexually harassed by McGreevey.
claims she never knew her husband was gay until just
before he told the rest of the world. He claims their
marriage was ''a contrivance on both our parts,'' but
that he fulfilled the marriage contract by providing
companionship and a child.
is seeking $600,000 for time she would have spent at the
governor's mansion had her husband not resigned.
of the McGreeveys' marriage has long been tabloid fodder,
fueled in large part by the McGreeveys themselves.
Paul Talbert, a
New York matrimonial lawyer, said both partners seem
intent on revealing intimate details of their personal lives
to hurt the other.
''The reason this
is going to trial -- there are not complex legal issues
here -- is because there are two very angry, embarrassed
people looking to save face with a judgment in their
favor,'' said Talbert. ''I suspect neither party will
be vindicated at the end of this trial.''
up months after his resignation in 2004, both McGreevey
and his soon-to-be-ex wrote books about their lives
together, including their sex lives. Both promoted
their books during splashy appearances on Oprah
heeded stern suggestions from the judge that they settle the
case rather than expend the emotional energy and significant
money for a divorce trial.
bombshell in the case so far has been claims by a
29-year-old ex-campaign aide that he had regular
sexual encounters with the McGreeveys.
29, said the trysts began while the McGreeveys were still
dating in 1999 and ended two years later, after they were
married and McGreevey had been elected governor.
the encounters happened; Matos McGreevey denied them. Her
attorney, John Post, is seeking to bar Pedersen's testimony
on the matter.
now lives with a male partner and is studying to be an
Episcopal priest, wants joint physical and legal custody of
their daughter. He currently has the child one night a
week and every other weekend.
who until recently worked at Columbus Hospital in
Newark, can often be seen providing commentary on cable
television shows, most recently providing analysis
when New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer resigned amid a
prostitution scandal. (AP)