Books | James McGreevey | New Jersey

James McGreevey's Confession a Steamy Read

More excerpts (we've seen a couple previously) from former New Jersey Governor James McGreevey's new memoir The Confession have turned up online, and detail how McGreevey's Brokeback marriage and steamy self-discovery turned into a political horror show as the media began to catch on to his relationship with Israeli "security advisor" Golan Cipel.

ConfessionMcGreevey sent up smoke screens early on:

"In our milieu, it wasn't enough to appear straight; you actually had to prove your mettle in public. I felt I had no choice but to engage the services of the women at the clubs, for show. There were times -- scores of times -- when I would invite friends to my apartment or hotel room when I knew I'd be in bed with a woman, just so they'd 'accidentally' catch me in the act."

When McGreevey began his affair with Cipel, he'd have state troopers guard the hotel where they were having sex:

"It was wrong to do. I wasn't an ordinary citizen anymore. But I took Golan by the hand and led him upstairs to my bed. We undressed and he kissed me. It was the first time in my life that a kiss meant what it was supposed to mean -- it sent me through the roof."

A sex that up till then, McGreevey was unaccustomed to:

"I was like a man emerging from 44 years in a cave to taste pure air for the first time, feel direct sunlight on pallid skin, warmth where there had only ever been a bone-chilling numbness...I pulled him to the bed and we made love like I'd always dreamed: a boastful, passionate, whispering, masculine kind of love."

"Twice Golan and I had managed to spend whole nights together, once in Philadelphia, when we'd gone for an Army-Navy game and a Jewish event; and another time for a meeting at the American Israeli Political Action Committee in Washington, D.C., where we had the nerve to tell the state troopers we would share a double-occupancy room to save taxpayers' money. We grew so concerned about the troopers listening in that we made love on the floor, fearing a squeak from the beds."

And the realization that the jig was up:

"I can't say I was convinced that an exclusive interview in The Record would dig us out of our hole. But I was horrified when reporter [Jeff] Pillets' article appeared the next day. I read it in a cold sweat. Pillets and co-author [Clint] Riley seemed to be hinting broadly that there was a homosexual subtext to Golan's appointment. For instance, rather than call him a naval officer in the Israeli Defense Forces, where he was indeed a lieutenant, they called him a 'sailor.'...But the worst line was this: 'Democrats close to the administration say McGreevey and Cipel have struck up a close friendship and frequently travel together.' It was like I was right back in Cub Scout camp again: I wasn't sure if I was reading too much into this article's innuendo, or too little...That confusion ended when my mother called me. 'Jimmy, they're saying you're both gay,' she said in disbelief."

The Confession looks to be one of this fall's juiciest reads.

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  1. Politicians are tricky creatures, gay or not. McGreevey is still performing for his public, albeit a little more truthful, and a whole lot gayer. Did any of the time he spent as a politician mean anything then why doesn't he go back to politics? Or was that a lie too? I mean, who better to champion a cause in politics than someone who can set the stage as born-again. Or was he a crappy governor as well as closeted?

    Posted by: Scott A | Sep 15, 2006 1:10:12 PM

  2. I think we have not heard the last of McGreevey in the world of politics. I doubt he will run again but I think his voice will be heard. He is a very bright guy, I think one of the smarter people in politics and had a very bright future, but the truth of his life got in the way. It's a shame.

    Posted by: Donald | Sep 15, 2006 1:26:08 PM

  3. I know these are just excerpts from a whole book and that i should probably read before forming an opinion....but....who cares? what's his point in doing this (other than money) does he offer any meaningful advice for other closeted people?

    Posted by: hoya86x | Sep 15, 2006 1:38:10 PM

  4. McGreevey is certainly not a role model for anyone who is closeted or gay. Zulima Farber, the Attorney General of New Jersey, used the State Police and her own power to keep her boyfriend from getting a ticket for driving offenses including not having a valid license. She was then forced to resign. Here, McGreevey used the State Police to guard his door while he was having sex with his boyfriend. There is corruption and unethical behavior by both straight and gay!

    Posted by: John | Sep 15, 2006 2:01:19 PM

  5. Who knew McGreevy was such a romantic? Wholly corrupt alas, but romantic... Certainly very affirming too. Hopefully there are other sections of the book where he puts pressure on others in the closet to come out, particularly if it may compromise their ethics to remain in. Wasn't that the lesson learned here?? He wrecked two marriages and nearly undermined state government to maintain a single lie--classic monomania. However, he cannot blame all of his corruption on the lie, so the book should have been "My Confessions" instead.

    Posted by: Anon | Sep 15, 2006 2:03:41 PM

  6. Oh, forget about the state troopers guarding the door bit. Thats actually small potatos. What about trying to get your useless boy toy on the state payroll as the official NJ homeland security advisor?

    Donald, McGreevey's problem was not that "the truth of his life got in the way" but rather that he was a CORRUPT politcian. And hardly one I would call very bright, either.

    Posted by: Pompeius | Sep 15, 2006 2:44:25 PM

  7. It seems that he's trying to do all the right things now, but I bet he would still be married and living the lie had he not been caught.

    I commend him for coming out and being honest once he knew that he was going to be outed anyway (unlike many who claim that their dabbling in the homo arts was a fluke attributed to a break down; the subsequent frantic declaration of their heterosexuality; and the tearful proclamation of their undying love and devotion to their wives), but I don't associate the words courage or integrity with his story.

    I wish him and his partner the best.

    I’ve heard conflicting reports about McGreevy’s position on marriage equality. Some reports say that he supports it; others say he is against it. I would have a major problem with a gay man who has married twice (for every reason in the world BUT love and devotion) believing that other gay people shouldn’t be able to marry, HONESTLY, the person they actually love.

    Posted by: Zeke | Sep 15, 2006 2:45:42 PM

  8. I can’t decide, from these few excerpts, much about Mr. McGreevey’s motives for doing what he did at any of the points in his life. I can say, though, that he was clearly off base appointing his lover to a state job. That appointment that makes me almost dislike him. He’s awfully good looking, though, so maybe I’ll overlook the sleaze.

    Posted by: JT | Sep 15, 2006 3:06:38 PM

  9. Outrside of NJ, people thik McGreevy resigned because of being outed...nothing could be farther from the real political truth. He was engaged in corrupt campaign practices that far exceeded the impropriety of his placing the boytoy in the payroll; in a job he was totally unqualified-for).

    Many in the NJ political establishment and NJ press had long known or suspected he was catting-about with the boys; it was that he was criminally-corrupt cost him the Governor's mansion. While I refuse to buy the book, I wonder if he came-clean about the "real story" of how he really broke his ankle at the beach...and how he made his NJ State Police security detail and NJSP helicopter crew provide him with a "believable" cover-story.

    If McGreevy had been a reasonably-competent governor, even by NJ-standards, and had announced that he's was leaving his wife and the lies, for his current boyfriend; he'd still have keep his job as NJ Governor. He might not have been re-elected...or he might-have....hard to say.

    Posted by: Ted B. (Charging Rhino) | Sep 15, 2006 3:16:55 PM

  10. I hope the book comes out on Audible so I can hear this in his own voice. I will reserve judgement but I would like his 'voice' to say a bit more before I wish him to have a voice again. Just what IS the purpose of this book?

    Posted by: Trey | Sep 15, 2006 3:21:07 PM

  11. Hmm...the purpose of the book is to fund McGreevy's bar tab since tax payer's dollars aren't accessible at the moment. No, seriously, I think the purpose is to make some cash and to tell his story, all about the years of supression heh..

    As for using government time and resources for personal ends, if we judge him by his peers then he's done no wrong, right? It's nothing straight politicians don't do. I think there are basically two ways to be a politician: 1) Be a WASP or, 2) have real thinking skills, leadership skills, an understanding of the citizens you represent. Since McGreevy lost his powers as a WASP (read: coming out) he could only go back to politics as the second, eh?

    Posted by: Scott A | Sep 15, 2006 3:35:02 PM

  12. I gotta agree with Ted B. When I was living with my bf in Woodbridge (where McGreevey was Mayor prior to governorship), I had such a crush on him! Anyways, I'd talk about it to people alot because McGreevey was popular down there and the common response I got was along of the lines of "Well, he IS gay ya know."

    I've heard stories about secret houseparties with the gays, I did hear about troopers guarding the hotels, about the cover-ups an blah, blah, blah.

    Funny thing is, it would seem to me that if McGreevey were really to say "I'm gay", he wouldn't have to resign. Most New Jerseyans don't really care. I mean, this state is as blue as blue can get. Anyone in this state, I've come across, knows or assumes that his resignation was from corruption and I have to agree.

    So, despite that I still find him wierdly attractive, I'm so buying this spin or this book. I don't like when repubs media-rape the gays for publicity and/or sales, so why should I accept it when a dem and fellow homo does?

    Posted by: Derrick | Sep 15, 2006 4:06:36 PM

  13. yeah--if the "juice" is vomit. this guy skeeves me out.

    Posted by: scott | Sep 15, 2006 4:15:32 PM

  14. Interesting how reporters started to report about his travel companion, which then led him to come out of the closet.

    Meanwhile, I wonder why San Gabriel Valley Congressman David Dreier, a Republican, is till in the closet and "protected". After all he lives with his lover.

    LA weekly wrote about it 2 years ago:
    Oh, the hypocrisy of the RepubliCON party: they hate the gays for political ammunition yet they hide their own gays. HYPOCRISY at its finest!

    Posted by: FunMe | Sep 15, 2006 5:22:31 PM

  15. Derrick, You had a crush on him? I meet the man several-times when he was governor and had the reverse-reaction. Ever had that odd, tingly "child-molester/beware of snake"-vibe where you just can't shake their hand for fear of the "unclean"? And I don't mean just because he's a politician...

    And McGreevy's not a WASP, he's a Irish-Catholic Democrat. Before he came out, I seem to remember that the RC bishop openly declared him unsuitable to accept Communion from the church for something-or-other. The whift of corruption/deplicity came-off the man like a cold-smoke.

    Posted by: Ted B. (Charging Rhino) | Sep 15, 2006 7:15:12 PM

  16. I'm all for peole to come out at their own time and speed but what I find reprehensible is that while his wife was in the hospital with his child, he was having sex with another man. What a creep.

    Posted by: Glenn | Sep 15, 2006 9:56:04 PM

  17. Everybody is skirting around the BIG thing with him and that is he signed anti-gay bills. He was against gay people while speaking and legislatively to prove his "straightness".

    His life as a politician is over, his demise was spectacular and unforgetable. Voters will not trust him again.

    With that said I'm glad the game is over and he has found happiness.

    Posted by: Jack | Sep 16, 2006 1:17:29 AM

  18. He has itty bitty hands! They are really little, boney and way too soft. Its something akin to shaking the hand of your 98 year old Granny or picking up a dead baby flounder off the beach. Ewww.

    Posted by: Crixi Van Cheek | Sep 16, 2006 9:17:47 AM

  19. I think Jack hit on the one big issue that the whole gay community seems far to ready to forget. McGreevy did very little to advance the rights and protections of gay New Jerseyians. Almost all of our fundamental legal protections came about under a republican govenor.

    Let's face it, he came out because he was caught. He resigned because he was corrupt. And now he is using his "ordeal" to make a profit. It is high time that the "gay establishment" stops jumping all over itself to host a reading or talk with the ex-govenor and admits that he is is a horrible role model.

    There are thousands of braver gay men and women out there doing more to make this world a better place who deserve our attention.

    Posted by: rob | Sep 16, 2006 10:12:09 AM

  20. On a completely non-political front: time to get to the gym, Jim, and do a few (thousand) sit-ups. [snark]

    Posted by: Rick | Sep 16, 2006 5:18:44 PM

  21. Oh, fuck him. This guy resigned because he was a corrupt douche about to get busted for putting his unqualified boyfriend in charge of New Jersey's terrorism response, not because he's a "gay american" or whatever the shit he said.

    Posted by: Maxwell. | Sep 17, 2006 3:40:06 AM

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