James McGreevey Lays Down Demands in Divorce Battle

In the latest salvo in the Jim McGreevey divorce battle with his estranged wife Dina Matos-McGreevey, the former governor is demanding joint custody of their child (a revision of the sole custody and child support he was demanding in mid-March) and claims that his former wife is dragging their daughter on tour dates to publicize her upcoming tell-all memoir.

Mcgreevey_dinaThe Post reports: “According to the motion, Jacqueline has already been to the set of ‘Good Morning America’ and in Kelly Ripa’s dressing room on the set of ‘Live with Regis and Kelly,’ and joined Matos McGreevey and Diane Sawyer at a meeting.”

McGreevey also accuses Matos-McGreevey of being homophobic (she has “seemingly irrational fears” about his sexuality) and of not disclosing medical information about their child as well as school absences. There’s also apparently a dirty picture in their home that he wants taken down.

Said McGreevey yesterday upon filing the latest motion: “Dina and I both seek to serve the interests of our daughter. It is my hope the court would provide for an added measure of balance and nurturing of Jacqueline’s interests.”

McGreevey sets terms in custody battle [home news tribune]
McG Rips Wife’s Gay Fear [new york post]

You may have missed…
Jim McGreevey Joins Larry Kramer in Times Square Protest [tr]
McGreevey Divorce Gets Ugly as Former Gov. Demands Custody [tr]


  1. atheist says

    Wtf? He lies to and cheats on his wife for years and now accuses her of homophobia and implies she’s an unfit mother ? There are no lows to which this douchebag wont stoop. Disgusting.

  2. Zeke says

    I’m no McGreevy fan but I don’t think his latest filing is outrageous, sleazy, selfish or without merit.

    Somehow, I would be willing to bet that if McGreevy were a lesbian, the reaction to all of this would be quite different.

    I base my opinion on experience, not on myths and male-negative, gender-biased presuppositions.

    Of the many, many, many formerly married lesbians I know, not a single one is ever accused of being selfish, irresponsible, sleazy or a douchebag for marrying and divorcing a “poor innocent unsuspecting” man and none are ever challenged for seeking sole child custody, child support, alimony and much of the marital assets as they can take.

    At this point McGreevy is asking for visitation (a word that I don’t think should ever be used to describe a relationship between a parent and his/her child); there is no mention of child support either way. He is asking that his daughter not be dragged around the country on a book tour and that she not be subjected to negative discussions about her father.

    That doesn’t sound unreasonable, sleazy or selfish to me.

  3. Brian says

    I’m in total agreement with Zeke regarding the lack of criticism directed at newly-out lesbians for marrying and divorcing a “poor, innocent, unsuspecting man”, and that men are more likely to be labeled as ethically challenged (at best). Both sexes should bear equal criticism when they enter into a heterosexual marriage knowing that they’re homosexual. If this happened in the 1950s, then I’d be willing to give a man or woman a break… it was a different time. But now? No. McGreevy is a tool and a douchebag, and has milked this squalid situation for far too long. His ex-wife is not much better, dragging their child around the country to promote a book that makes public the aspects of a fundamentally troubled marriage that should be kept private. They both have demonstrated that they are willing to sacrifice their daughter’s emotional well-being to serve their own self-interest.

  4. Brad says

    Zeke’s remarks vis a vis a double standard gay men versus lesbians is very interesting. I never looked at this situation from that perspective. However, it does not change my opinion of McGreevey. The man was highly corrupt in office, even by NJ standards and continues to behave like a whiny,petulant schoolboy. I pity his poor children

  5. noah says

    There’s a difference between someone going into a marriage either being unsure of his/her sexuality or suppressing gay desires because of societal pressures.

    McGreevey had been married previously. He knew that he was gay when he married his second wife and had no plans to stop having sex outside marriage. McGreevey has stated that he married Dina for his career. It’s these facts that make people not like McGreevey. He’s a user.

    If a lesbian did the same thing, she too would be a user. Come on. If you entered into a relationship with a boyfriend and were supposed to be in a monogamous relationship but you found out years later that your partner had no intention of staying faithful, wouldn’t you consider him a jerk? McGreevey’s marriage was about enhancing his career and not about love. So, he deceived his wife.

    Again, it doesn’t matter what gender a person is who commits acts like this, he or she is a jerk.

  6. Zeke says

    Just to be clear, I’m not defending McGreevy. I agree with many (most) of the comments here. I’m just intrigued by how much the gender of the closeted person and the gender of the straight spouse seems to completely change the discussion.

    Noah, I agree with you that the gender shouldn’t matter, but the fact of the matter is, as far as public opinion is concerned, gender seems to matter a GREAT deal.

  7. DC8 Stretch says

    When did getting ‘dragged around the country’ and meeting Kelly Ripa and Diane Sawyer become a burden to a child? When I traveled with my mom after the divorce, I was lucky to meet Ronald McDonald.

    It’s time for us to really listen- and think- about what people are saying instead of just parroting it back. Because McSkeevey’s lawyers couch the book junket as ‘bad’ for the child, does that mean it really is? C’mon.

  8. Jonathon says

    What pains me most is the affect the divorce and all the publicity will have on the McGreevey’s daughter. I must say that I agree with the former Governor that his daughter should not participate in any book promotions, etc.

    McGreevey’s sleazy, but he is still entitled to his day in court and to fight for the right to have some level of custody of his daughter. He has my support, at least in this small part of his efforts.

  9. atheist says

    The issue is not one of hostility toward MrGreevey simply because he is gay (this is a blog with a predominantly gay readership after all); it is a question of his general unscrupulousness in the way he has conducted himself throughout this sorry business and during his time in office.

    No-one here has referred to his ex-wife as “poor innocent unsuspecting”. Clearly, his ex-wife is no angel but he is on a smear campaign in order to advance his argument for joint custody. Yeah he is *really* concerned for his daughter’s emotional well-being; I mean, “a dirty picture” at home? Puh-lease, that is as nothing compared to learning that your father has been frequenting bookstores and rest stops for casual sex with men and is facing a sexual harrassment suit from a former employee. Not even close. I seem to recall he hawked his book around a fair few shows too whilst his wife looked after their daughter.

  10. Sam says

    He is a D-I-S-G-R-A-C-E-F-U-L human being.

    This guy he calls “life partner” must be
    as big a tool as he is. The thought that
    anyone would deal with such self-serving
    bullshit is beyond my comprehension. The
    gay community should set up a fun for his
    poor wife to show our support.


  11. SGR says

    Atheist nails it. He’s not an honorable man. In his typically sleazy way, he’s trying to smear her to advance his cause. A decent man who fucked up the way he did would realize he doesn’t have a winning argument here, and would play nice to find some other way to have some level of custody. But not him. He can’t conduct himself honorably; it’s against his nature.

  12. Zeke says

    And that is exactly McGreevy’s point Atheist. He didn’t take his daughter around with him to hawk his book. I/m sure she would have had the exact same concerns if he had.

    By the way I never claimed that the hostility was because he is gay so I’m not sure where that straw man argument is coming from. If anything I questioned if the hostility would be the same if McGreevy had been lesbian and Matos had been the spurned straight husband. I still question that.

    McGreevy may have made a lot of mistakes but that does not mean that he is a bad father. He knows that, even without the “handicap” of his sexual orientation and regardless of his past sins, the deck is stacked against him, as the spouse with the penis, in the family court system. If you doubt the extent to which a father is handicapped in our judicial system then you’re simply not paying attention. He seems to be doing what he feels is necessary (right or wrong) to assure himself a continuing relationship with his daughter and to assure that his daughter is not forever turned against him based on his past mistakes.

    Keep in mind that no one knows what Matos has said about him in these court briefs. We don’t know if she is using manipulative or unfair tactics to ask for full custody with no, or very limited “visitation” (which his brief seems to indicate). Without this knowledge, I think it is unfair of anyone to jump to conclusions that Matos is a victim and McGreevy is a villain or to attack him with such veracity, based on only one side of the story.

    As a gay father and as a man who has reached out to divorced fathers for years, I can assure you that the facts seldom bear out the victim wife/mother, villain husband/father scenario that we so often hear and are all too quick to accept as fact without question.

  13. sean says

    i wonder how dina would have felt while being interviewed by diane that the interviewer played on our team? along with her husband mike… we’re everywhere… although, some apparently are still confused about their sexuality well into their 30’s and 40’s and beyond…

  14. Jack! says

    This is why I’m so glad that I didn’t buckle to pressure and get a girlfriend. I would still be paying for it. Luckily I recognized what would happen and never did it.

  15. atheist says

    Zeke, you say that the reaction to a lesbian in these circs would be “quite different” based on the experiences of your formerly married lesbians friends. Did any of your lesbian friends behave like McGreevey? Did any of them occupy positions of high public office? I totally disagree with you that a lesbian in a similar position to McGreevey would have an easier time of it. The social opprobrium that a sexually promiscuous woman is subjected to – especially a married Mother – is always greater than that shown towards a man, not least because men are more tolerant of other sexually promiscuous men than they are of unfaithful women (cf ‘stud’ versus ‘whore’; there is no female equivalent for ‘stud’). That is a double standard that persists to this day. Women are the primary care-givers and are expected to put the needs of their children before their own sexual pleasure or careers. A woman in McGreevey’s position who’d been having casual sex with women in motels/rest stops or sexually harassing her female subordinates could expect an extremely unpleasant onslaught from the public and media; after all, she should’ve been busying herself in the kitchen and looking after her husband and children.

    “If you doubt the extent to which a father is handicapped in our judicial system then you’re simply not paying attention. He seems to be doing what he feels is necessary (right or wrong) to assure himself a continuing relationship with his daughter..”

    I don’t deny McGreevey a continuing relationship with his daughter and as a former legal practitioner, I am well aware of the presumption in favour of women inherent in child custodial matters, but I vehemently disagree that the ends justify the means i.e. publicly smearing his ex-wife to secure joint custody. Interestingly, you suggest that Matos may be using “manipulative or unfair tactics” to get custody yet you don’t appear to view McGreevey’s smearing as a manipulative or unfair tactic (“He seems to be doing what he feels is necessary (right or wrong)..”).

    The characterisation of Matos as victim/wife and McGreevey as villain/husband is not mine nor am I jumping to conclusions. Like I said, Matos is no angel but she has sufficient grounds for divorce and so far as custody is concerned, McGreevey has shot himself in the foot – more than once. Aside from the legalities, he used Matos as a beard to further his own political career; he knew he was gay before he married and would’ve carried on screwing around had he not been catapulted out of the closet in spectacular fashion by Golan Cipel. The guy is a craven opportunist – both sexually and politically. I’ll say no more.

  16. Zeke says

    Atheist, I know a number of lesbians who cheated on their husbands, with women, while married. My own cousin is one of them. From what I’ve seen, there is not nearly the negative reaction to them, or any woman, who cheats on her husband. There doesn’t seem to be the same level of betrayal or the same label of “selfish” or accusations of shirking “responsibilities” attributed to women.

    I can also state, without hesitation or reservation, that of the bazillion discussions that we’ve had here on Towleroad about disgusting, selfish, irresponsible, cheating married homosexuals, NOT ONE has ever centered around a lesbian. I’ll stand corrected if anyone can prove me wrong. That can not possibly be simply a coincidence.

    Yes, a cheating man brings shame upon himself, and rightfully so. Of course, everyone knows that. But we have a hundreds-of-years-old idea of “cuckolding” (“cabron” in Spanish) which says that a cheating woman brings shame, NOT upon herself, but upon her husband: Goat horns growing on the head of the cheated husband has been a big JOKE, for hundreds of years, intended to demean and shame the victim when a wife cheats. Hell, there are even “cuckolding” clubs and parties all across the internet. That gender biased concept runs deep in our society and it is very pronounced in the different way in which people react to gay married men and married lesbians.

    You can act as if people treat the two the same, or treat lesbians worse, but I doubt many people would agree with you and I don’t think observation will support such a claim.

    I also wonder why there isn’t this much outrage when gay men cheat on the male partners to whom they’ve committed and to whom they’ve pledged monogamy. I suspect that differing level of respect and consideration that we expect from male/male couples and male/female couples comes down more to a gender bias, more than an orientation bias, as well. I suspect that the bottom line is, be it gay or straight relationships, the gender of the cheater and the gender of the one cheated upon DOES make a difference. No one wants to think of a man as a victim and no one wants to think of a woman as a villain; no matter what the facts might indicate.

    Yes, McGreevy has been, and probably continues to be, a craven opportunist. I’ve never denied or questioned that. You seem to be convinced that my point is something that it’s not.

    What he did was cowardly, selfish and wrong just as it is for anyone who hides, lies, cheats and hurts him/herself AND others.

    I would never support any parent tearing down the other to gain advantage in a divorce even though I doubt that there has ever been a contested divorce in the history of mankind that hasn’t included such claims and such behavior. You seem to assume that McGreevy, first of all, is making false claims (what is your basis for this?) and secondly you seem to assume that he is the ONLY one of the two who could possibly be doing it. That is quite an assumption to make based on the fact that we know NOTHING about what is contained in her claim.

    How do you know that she isn’t just as big a craven opportunist as he is? How do you know that she didn’t use him for a free ride to power and prestige just as much as he used her? It certainly wouldn’t be the first time in history where a woman used a man to live a life of wealth, power and privilege. Without knowing all of the facts of the case, and considering the fact that you don’t know either of these people personally or intimately, I can only assume that you base your assumptions on the bits and pieces that you get from reports and gossip mixed with preconceived biases and notions. Unless you have far more information than I do (like a copy of Matos’ claim for example) I can’t imagine how you could possibly make such an assumption or how you could possibly have already rendered such judgments.

    Atheist, I understand what you are saying and for the most part I agree. I just think that some of your conclusions are premature and unfair based on the known facts. We know a lot about McGreevy but very little about Matos. That is a not-so-insignificant factor in some of the judgments that are being made.

    And with that, I’m done as well.

  17. Zeke says

    I strongly recommend the book, The Myth of Male Power, by Warren Farrell, to everyone interested in discovering how gender biases negatively affect men, and how we think about them, and how that in turn negatively affects society in general.

    It is written by a lifelong feminist from a truly feminist (as opposed to “womanist”) perspective. Every man AND woman that I’ve ever gotten to read it has said that it is one of the most eye opening and life changing books that they’ve ever read.

  18. Eric says

    She stood by him as he came out. I think he could give her a little more respect. They should be handling this behind closed doors. He really is the quintessential douche.

  19. rufus says

    I hope she got to get him hard with a strap on at least once after the show he performed on her life. Having sex non-stop at rest areas and bringing disease and destruction into their “marriage”. Someone stop him.

  20. says

    “The issue is not one of hostility toward MrGreevey simply because he is gay (this is a blog with a predominantly gay readership after all)”.
    Posted by: atheist |

    Nah, it’s not.

    It’s not just gay men surfing and posting on this blog…Plus on the net, anyone can pose as anyone to say shit.

    I just wanted to point that out in your comment — cause you seem to insinuate and assume that just because you read a hostile comment towards MrGreevey on here it’s written by a gay male.

  21. atheist says

    No DA, I meant the exact opposite i.e. a predominantly gay readership is unlikely to be hostile simply because McG is gay (apropos of Zeke’s point about lesbians).

    It’s clear from my post that I didn’t say it was just gay men blogging here.

  22. Jeff says

    As one person put it, divorce brings out the VERY WORST in people. Things are said and done that wouldn’t happen under ordinary circumstances. Unfortunately, it is those very things (I know from experience) that often cause life-long rifts that are never healed. What is done in the name of “what’s good for the child” is often the farthest from that!

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