Current Affairs

Gay ex-Governor launches custody battle

Ian Dunt March 14, 2007
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A former Governor of New Jersey is launching a custody battle for his daughter.

The legal move follows the breakdown of divorce settlement talks with his estranged wife.

Jim McGreevey became the first openly gay state governor in American history following his dramatic public confession of an affair with his former homeland security advisor, Golan Cipel.

He left office two months later, in November 2004.

The confession followed threats from Cipel’s lawyer of a $50 million sexual harassment suit against McGreevey.

Following his admission, and a further admission of sexual encounters at highway rest stops, McGreevey and his second wife began divorce proceedings.

Last month, he filed court papers, saying the couple had dealt with custody issues, as well as alimony and child support.

But within weeks McGreevey has found a new lawyer and filed new court papers. He is now demanding that the judge dissolve the marriage, grant custody and make a decision on child support.

In a strange twist, he did not specify which parent should get custody of his daughter.

Legal experts interpret that as a threat to his wife, warning her to settle now or face a long and dirty legal battle.

“You have to assume this lawyer didn’t just drop a pronoun,” divorce attorney Raoul Felder told the New York Post.

“It’s either very carelessly constructed or carefully constructed to be purposefully vague.”

Should McGreevey win custody, his daughter will live with him and his partner, executive Mark O’Donnell, in Plainfield, New Jersey.

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