I cheated on my wife with a man, admits governor as he quits

The governor of New Jersey, James McGreevey, sent shockwaves across the political landscape of America last night by abruptly announcing his intention to resign because, he said, he was a "gay American".

The Democrat, who was elected to lead one of America's most populous and politically important states two and a half years ago, made his astonishing public confession before a packed room of journalists and a live television audience with his wife at his side. His resignation would take effect from 15 November, he said.

"Shamefully, I engaged in adult consensual affairs with another man, which violates my bonds of matrimony," the Governor, who has two children with his wife, declared. "It was wrong. It was foolish. It was inexcusable." He added: "My truth is I am a gay American." Mr McGreevey, whose tenure had already been overshadowed by corruption scandals, one involving his own chief of staff and another his most prolific campaign contributor, suggested that he had decided to leave office because of a risk that the extramarital affair could diminish his ability to govern. He noted that a sexual harassment lawsuit was pending against him, but offered no details.

"I am removing these threats by telling you about my sexuality," he said. Reports said the Governor was expecting to be hit by a sexual harassment suit from a former aide, who had acted as his security advisor until 2002 when he resigned.

The drama in Trenton, the state capital, comes at a time when gay rights are already in the spotlight in this year's presidential contest. President George Bush has supported an amendment to the US Constitution to make it illegal for gay men and lesbians to marry. Senator John Kerry, the Democratic nominee, is opposed to gay marriage but does not support amending the Constitution for it.

The predicament faced by Mr McGreevey - as well as by his wife, Dina Matos McGreevey - is certain to fan the flames of that debate. Massachusetts earlier this summer became the first state to allow gays and lesbians to receive a state marriage license.

Mr McGreevey, who succeeded Republican Christie Todd Whitman in the governor's mansion, is the second US governor to resign in recent months. In June, John Rowland, the former governor of Connecticut, stepped aside amid an inquiry into favours given to him by beneficiaries of state contracts.

Mr McGreevey said he had "grappled" with his own identity for a long time, referring to a "certain sense that separated me from others.". The doubts, he said, had been there since he was a child. Asking for his family's forgiveness, he added: "This is an intensely personal decision and not one typically for the public domain. Yet, it cannot and should not pass."

Suggested Topics
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
Arts and Entertainment
The teaser trailer has provoked more questions than answers
filmBut what is Bond's 'secret' that Moneypenny is talking about?
News
Johnny Depp is perhaps best known for his role as Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean
peopleBut how did he break it?
Arts and Entertainment
Paul Walker and Vin Diesel in Fast and Furious 5
film
Sport
Lewis Hamilton secured his second straight pole of the season
f1Vettel beats Rosberg into third after thunderstorm delays qualifying
  • Get to the point
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: Massage Therapist / Sports Therapist

£12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A opportunity has arisen for a ...

Ashdown Group: Practice Accountant - Bournemouth - £38,000

£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped commission: SThree: Does earning a 6 figu...

Recruitment Genius: SEO Executive

£18000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Day In a Page

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss