Governor came out to stop blackmail over gay affair

The Democratic governor of New Jersey who stunned the state with his resignation and admission that he was gay was forced to do so because a former adviser threatened to blackmail him, it was claimed yesterday.

James McGreevey claimed that an illicit affair made it impossible for him to remain in office. Two sources close to Mr McGreevey, both speaking on condition of anonymity, said the man involved in the affair was his former adviser, Golan Cipel, an Israeli poet who met the governor during a trip to Israel.

Another senior McGreevey adviser said Mr Cipel, who subsequently worked for the governor, had threatened to file a lawsuit against the governor charging him with sexual harassment unless he was was paid "millions of dollars."

With storm clouds gathering, Mr McGreevey, 47, a father of two children, appeared at a hastily arranged news conference in Trenton, New Jersey, with his wife, Dina. There he announced his resignation from the state's highest office.

"At a point in every person's life, one has to look deeply into the mirror of one's soul and decide one's unique truth in the world, not as we may want to see it or hope to see it, but as it is," Mr McGreevey said.

"And so, my truth is that I am a gay American."

He confessed to having an extra-marital affair, saying: "I engaged in an adult consensual affair with another man, which violates my bonds of matrimony."

He said his behaviour had left him "vulnerable to rumours, false allegations and threats of disclosure". He went on: "It was wrong. It was foolish. It was inexcusable.

"Given the circumstances surrounding the affair and its likely impact upon my family and my ability to govern, I have decided the right course of action is to resign."

His wife, Dina, and his parents were by his side as he gave the speech. His wife has vowed to stand by him.

Mr McGreevey said: "From my early days in school, until the present day, I acknowledged some feelings, a certain sense that separated me from others."

Mr McGreevey's resignation will take effect on 15 November. He has served two and a half years as the state's governor.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Software Implementation and Support Consultant

£28000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A consultant is required to pro...

Recruitment Genius: Office Assistant

£12675 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Office Assistant is required...

Recruitment Genius: Lead Software Developer

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Case Handler / Probate Assistant

£15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Trainee Case Handler/Probate ...

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn