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Jim McGreevey
in The Advocate's 2006 Coming Out
issue

Jim McGreevey
in The Advocate's 2006 Coming Out
issue

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New Jersey's ex-governor invites The Advocate home for a no-holds-barred interview about losing the lies and coming out happy. Reporter Jon Barrett previews our Coming Out exclusive.

It's been two years since Jim McGreevey last gripped the world's attention by coming out of the closet and resigning as the governor of New Jersey with his now-famous "gay American" speech. And it was on the eve of his next coming-out party--this time for his memoir, The Confession--that McGreevey invited me to his neo-Georgian home in Plainfield, N.J., last month to conduct the first interview for the book. After he greeted me at the front door with his partner, Mark O'Donnell, and offered me a glass of water, McGreevey and I sat down in the living room and immediately started talking about his life in the closet--the furtive sexual encounters with men, the deception of his wife--as well as the rewards of coming out, meeting O'Donnell, and continuing to raise his two daughters.

Despite spending his entire public life pretending to be someone other than himself, the governor was surprisingly forthcoming; he answered every one of my questions. He was anxious about the monthlong cross-country book tour scheduled to start three weeks after our meeting, and he was especially nervous about the tour's kick-off interview with Oprah Winfrey, which airs today. But he was clearly ready to tell his story.

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