Books | Golan Cipel | James McGreevey | New Jersey

McGreevey/Cipel Affair Turns into "He Said, He Said"

Confession_mcgreevey_1Golan Cipel is painting a far darker picture of the relationship he had with former New Jersey Governor James McGreevey after excerpts from McGreevey's new book The Confession were released to media last week. Cipel, who dropped his harassment lawsuit against McGreevey, told the New York Daily News that he received threats from "Jim's friends" if he talked to the press and that their relationship was forced on him by McGreevey:

"I wasn't his lover. I didn't have sex with him. I never heard anything from him saying that he loved me. The only things that happened were sexual harassments. And unwanted sexual advances and assaults."

3653228"One night, McGreevey called me and asked me to come over to speak to him about something related to work. I came to his house and we had a good conversation and, all of a sudden, he asked me to go to a bar. I said, 'I think it's inappropriate for you to go to a bar, you're the governor.' And he said, 'This is my neighborhood. I grew up here, everybody knows me, I'm fine. I just want to get out a little bit.'

"I thought, he's the governor, I guess he knows what he's doing, so we went. There was a state trooper outside guarding the house and the trooper insisted he escort him. McGreevey said no, but we went to a little neighborhood bar in the Woodbridge area and the state trooper is behind us. Everybody inside knows him. He ordered a beer for himself and for me. I said, 'I don't really drink.'

"He drank, I think, two glasses. He tells me, 'Come on, be a man, drink a little more.' I just took a few sips. I'd left my briefcase at his house so I had to get it. The bar had a liquor store and he said he wanted to buy liquor. He bought Jagermeister. I drove him back home, I got my bag and he said, 'The news is coming on, please stay, I want to talk to you about something.'

Cipel"He was pouring us drinks and he was drinking his. I didn't feel any warning signals or hostile atmosphere. I've thought a lot about this since. I thought he was just a normal guy. McGreevey was drinking. I said, 'I really have to leave, it's getting late.' He escorted me to the door and all of a sudden he said, 'I need to give you something, but it's upstairs.'

"I said, 'Okay, I'll wait,' and he said, 'No, come with me, it'll be easier.' I was innocent, I had no clue this guy had any intentions. We went to the upper level. To the right was a bedroom and to the left, a den with his office.

"He turned and pushed me with a lot of strength to the bedroom, and I was in shock. He put his hands to my chest and pushed me into the bedroom. He pushed me onto the bed and jumped on me.

"We wrestled and he stopped. And there was this moment when the two of us were in the room. And I asked him, 'Why did you think I was gay?' And he said, 'Everybody's a little bit gay.' I was very embarrassed.

"If you would have asked me, before this happened, what would I do? I would say I'd punch the guy in the mouth. But I completely froze, and I just hurried out, out of the house. I went home and I couldn't sleep."

When he saw his boss the next day, Cipel said, the only thing McGreevey said to him was, "I got rid of the liquor."

"I never thought this would happen to me," Cipel added. "I realized my whole life was in the hands of this man. He controlled the police, appointed the judges, the attorney general. I'm a new immigrant, with only a visa. I didn't know what to do."

OprahMcGreevey's account, some of which we brought to you on Friday, was a bit more florid:

"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."

Who do you believe? Corrupt, marriage-wrecking New Jersey politician or spurned ex-pat social climber? The truth is in there somewhere, though it's likely the only real truth the public will get out of this is that gay break-ups can be just as bitter and vindictive as straight ones.

You may have missed...
James McGreevey's Confession a Steamy Read [tr]
McGreevey and Brokeback: "Better Together" [tr]

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Comments

  1. I dont believe Cipel. Im surprised he didnt throw in that he didnt want to consume alcohol so that he could get up early the next day to read to blind children at the orphanage. He seems embarassed by the situation and wants to clear his name, so to speak. Though, the McGreevey version seems a little to sweet and sugar coated.

    Posted by: Mark | Sep 18, 2006 12:02:22 PM


  2. I don't believe Cipel either. McGreevey no longer has anything to lose by telling this story, and Cipel perhaps does. But that doesn't mean that McGreevey's story is 100% kosher either... as with all things, the truth is usually somewhere in the middle.

    Posted by: Brian | Sep 18, 2006 12:06:18 PM


  3. Am I the only one who's over this? McGreevey sounds like a bottom feeder reality star now that he's capitalizing on his sexual encounters back to 8th Grade (?!?) and Cipel just sounds like he's lying (just my opinion). It's gone from an awful personal scandal to a story of empowerment to one of exploitive titillation. It should really go away now.

    Posted by: MT | Sep 18, 2006 12:07:17 PM


  4. I don't believe Cipel; I think he was in a quid-pro-quo relationship and certainly reciprocated sexually. He seemed shocked when McGreevey outed himself, and fled, which feeds into that perception that he was quasi-blackmailing the man. McGreevey, however, seems pretty sleazy. And not for having sex in rest stops. I think he would still be married and feeling "invincible" if he hadn't gotten caught. He wasn't a late-blooming "oh, my God...am I gay???" type of guy. He was just a user. Not a fan. But will read his book to see what he has to say.

    Posted by: Matthew Rettenmund | Sep 18, 2006 12:10:48 PM


  5. Why has anyone not asked Cipel why he took such an important job that he was not qualified for? How he got the job? What means he used to get the job? I mean really, we all know he slept his way into that position. He pushed McGreevey with the blackmail thinking he had him cornered and that McGreevey would never come out but just give him the money. But hooray for McGreevey, I think he saw this as his opportunity to finally come out, yes he would give up his political career but what a big weight off his shoulders. Cipel is snake. And I am truly happy for McGreevey, but I do feel sorry for his soon-to-be ex-wife. I am sure she is embarrassed, but she had to have some thoughts that McGreevey was gay but I am sure hid them under the rug.

    Posted by: PleaseThink | Sep 18, 2006 12:20:41 PM


  6. I honestly don't know who to believe -- McGreevey could be lying to cover up what was sexual harrassment and instead call it an affair. Cipel could be lying because he's in denial. I don't think either one is particularly squeaky clean in this. As usual I'm sure the truth is some third version that we'll never know.

    Posted by: David | Sep 18, 2006 12:23:37 PM


  7. Cipel wants to go back in the closet. He wants people to think he's straight and live the life he had before the scandal. I can't stand him.

    McGreevey probably romanticized his relationship with Cipel but that could be the publisher pushing him, what he actually thinks or what he wants to believe.

    Posted by: Jack | Sep 18, 2006 1:21:27 PM


  8. I believe McG. There is no lawsuit and no settlement. Cipel didn't get that job by NOT sleeping with McG. I also think that the romantic aspects of this were tossed in and are not realistic but closet cases can do that. Haven't we all done that when we first started being sexual?

    Posted by: Trey | Sep 18, 2006 1:25:44 PM


  9. Cipel probably flirted it up with McGreevey to safeguard his immigrant status and, as a result, gave in to the governor's timorous, hinting advances, then threatened blackmail when he realized how fearful the married governor was. (I doubt a closeted McGreevey would have played fast and loose with male colleagues and risked exposure.) But McGreevey is coming across more and more as a sleazebag, not a noble pioneer. You know he's sanitized his activities for the public record.


    Posted by: Dan | Sep 18, 2006 1:32:42 PM


  10. I hear that Cipel is doing a remake of Street Car Named Desire. I have always depended on the kindness of strangers.

    Plus wasn't this guy in the Israeli Army??

    They are both idiots.

    Posted by: pbnyc59 | Sep 18, 2006 2:05:38 PM


  11. Pleaz let's hope they don't make a movie of the McGreevey Story... He said - He said. Who cares? This is a made for forgetting, not a made for TV, episode.

    Posted by: Chaz | Sep 18, 2006 2:18:42 PM


  12. I think they are both an embarrassment to the gay community. One can't come to terms with being a gay man, the other is using the gay community's good will to absolve him of all his sins.

    Overall, this is a story of a corrupt closeted politician who lied to two wives, his family and New Jersey. There is nothing sweet or nice about Jim McGreevy. He is a narcissist who cared about only one person, himself.

    I will fight tooth and nail to ensure the gay community doesn't endorse him as some type of political savior for our cause. Think about it, I know he is. He is a "Gay American Embarrassment."

    Posted by: John | Sep 18, 2006 2:30:40 PM


  13. I don't believe Cipel. He has a need to demonize McGreevey, even though I can't really figure out why.

    Posted by: Jonathon | Sep 18, 2006 2:59:50 PM


  14. There are men that truly want to have sexual relationship with both men and women. I don't know if Jim McGreevy is one of them. He would not become a governor if did not lie about his sexual orientation. It was the society that forced him to stay in the closet. I don't believe what Cipel said. I am going to guy McGreevy's book because I am one of his fans!

    Posted by: JD | Sep 18, 2006 3:11:26 PM


  15. Lets see...we have a politician,who by nature are naturally crooked,who comes out of the closet ONLY because he's been caught.
    (BTW no one goes that far in the gov't as an elected official"gov".Without being very good at hideing their secrets..henc two marriages.I doubt that he'd have taken the risk of hitting on one of his male staff...)

    We have a former Israel army officer who receives a plum government job to which he is unqualified.
    Who claims if he had been asked about a sexual
    relationship he would "have punched the guy in the face" but is incapable of protecting himself in a one on one physical "moment".
    (nice army training there).
    Its easy to see that their both liers.
    McG's political career almost over can spin this to at least try and get the gay lobby and our supporters on his side to carve out some type of money making scheme.
    And the secound banana,Cipel, in these type of affairs(if he was truelly gay or playing for pay off either way)have nothing to go back to...no more than 15min. of fame and no real career potential with a scandle dogging him.
    If we really want to lay the "he said- he said" game to rest.
    Ask the state trooper that guarded the hotel room door if they spent the night together.
    If they where there all night...I doubt they where going over old tax returns.

    Posted by: griffin1573 | Sep 18, 2006 3:12:15 PM


  16. PBNYC59,

    What does Cipel having served in the Israeli army have to do with anything concerning this issue?

    Posted by: mikey d | Sep 18, 2006 3:14:16 PM


  17. Thanks for the link to the commentary on all this at "Proceed at Your Own Risk," Andy. See "the truth is in there somewhere" if you missed it.

    Posted by: Kurt | Sep 18, 2006 3:19:43 PM


  18. They are both astonishingly unattractive.

    Posted by: gwyneth cornrow | Sep 18, 2006 3:58:05 PM


  19. Well, y'all wanted more non-effeminate gays to come "out" to break the stereotype. Now, you got 'em.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Sep 18, 2006 4:35:05 PM


  20. Lots of good comments on this one, people! Thanks. Cipel stuck around for too long if he was being harrassed, but JMc seems to have whitewashed his romance a bit too. Somehow JMc knew Cipel was gay or bi and was probably somewhat aggressive but C probably did consent. There was no evidence of blackmail, though, as JMc alleged, at least by the FBI's standards. I always assumed that JMc resigned because of a pending fundraising scandal, the infamous "Machiavelli-gate" issue. After he resigned, no one bothered to get to the bottom of that. The state troopers might clear some of this up were they to come forward, but I don't think enough people really care. It's up to the Star Ledger, which has been leading on this from day one. They both seem to be lying, though one a way lot more than the other.

    Posted by: Anon | Sep 18, 2006 4:44:27 PM


  21. Such is the state of politics in New Jersey...*exhaustive sigh*

    Posted by: Derrick | Sep 18, 2006 5:07:17 PM


  22. Cipel is fairly easy to figure out. He is typical of the gold-digging boytoy types that have preyed on richer, older men in our community from time immemorial.

    After the NJ state homeland security job scam fell thru, he was informally put on the state payroll as an "advisor" to the Gov. When the media scrutiny over this erupted, he got two more jobs, no doubt arranged by the Gov, in high power public relations firms in the private sector that did political consulting work for the Democratic Party in NJ.

    Cipel later got fired from both of these private sector jobs for absenteeism. He apparantly felt sex with the Gov of NJ entitled him to a paycheck, w/o the annoyance of having to actually go into work.

    After it became apparant that McG was over him, and another sinecure would NOT be forthcoming...he got himself a lawyer and began demanding millions of dollars from McG or a "public" lawsuit would be filed.

    The FBI may not have considered this to be blackmail in the "legal" technical sense of the word, but in the common usage of the word...I think we can all pretty much agree what there was indeed blackmail here.

    Which McG, to his credit I must admit, refused to submit to. His "I am a Gay American" speech essentially torpedoed the million dollar dreams of Cipel and his ambulance chaser. Much as I dislike McG, you have to applaud his for giving a golddigging scumbag like Cipel his comeuppance in such a grand fashion.

    Posted by: Pompeius | Sep 18, 2006 5:55:23 PM


  23. Well said, Pompeius!

    Posted by: td | Sep 18, 2006 6:33:46 PM


  24. i can see why jmc, would give the unqualified cipel that job especially when he was probaly only him who knew him, after all politician give that wives jobs they are not qualified for (which is not right by the way).

    secondly, all these jmc is not a right gay model stuff is just funny, who else do we really have (LOL) is it george michael who is probaly in the bush as i am typing this very moment, or lance bass, who cannot stay away from a camera or celebrity party, mist closeted gay men have issues like this at the beginning, hopfully jmc can become a better model now that he is finally "free", let us give him a chance, after all elton john before he came out had all those sex scandal, married a woman, before he came out, now has a long term relationsip and that very sucessful aids foundation.

    Posted by: johnosahon | Sep 18, 2006 10:13:10 PM


  25. I believe Cipel far more than McG. Neither is being truthful, but McG is simply into it for the money. Ask yourself just what does Cipel get out of all this? He's here on a work visa and the man he works for is sexually harrassing him. Put yourself in his position and you can believe that he was afraid of being kicked out of the country. But I believe he was having sex with McG.. Maybe that makes him as much an opprotunist as the wonderful Gov.....and if someone digs far enough, I believe someone who has worked for McG. in the past will eventually come foreward. You don't suddenly become an adultuer, especially when your wife is in the hospital having a baby, this man was experienced at the sneak attack.
    Is the Gay community so desperate for idols and icons that they throw out all their common sense?

    Posted by: joshua | Sep 18, 2006 10:19:19 PM


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