James McGreevey | New Jersey | News | Photography

McGreevey Dirty Laundry Hung Out to Dry

The New York papers have begun having their field day with the McGreevey divorce and the forthcoming release of Dina Matos-McGreevey's tell-all Silent Partner: A Memoir of My Marriage.

FullfrontalWhen last we heard from either camp in the McGreevey divorce, Jim McGreevey had laid down new demands in the bitter divorce and custody battle between Matos-McGreevey and the former New Jersey governor over their daughter Jacqueline. One of the new revelations that came to light at the begining of April was Matos-McGreevey's demand that a nude photograph hanging in the home of McGreevey and his partner Mark O'Donnell be taken down.

Yesterday, the New York Post published the photograph: "The 50-by-60-inch print in the master bedroom of the Plainfield, N.J., home of McGreevey and partner Mark O'Donnell is part of a series called 'Naked Gay Friends' by Manhattan photographer Richard Renaldi, and was featured in Blue, a gay men's magazine. According to Renaldi, 38, and the Yossi Milo Gallery, which sells his work, O'Donnell purchased the print for $3,000 in 2004. The shot was taken in 2000, on the shores of Lake Michigan, where Renaldi was vacationing with his partner of nine years, Seth Boyd. '[Seth] had just gotten out of the water. It's a lovely portrait,' Renaldi told The Post."

The former Gov. says the photograph is no longer on the wall of their home. He also says that claims by Matos-McGreevey that he and O'Donnell occasionally sleep in the same bed with 5-year-old Jacqueline are not true.

Matos-McGreevey reportedly made the claim in a response to McGreevey's recent divorce filing: "It is one thing for children to sleep with a parent or parents. It is quite another for children to sleep with a parent and a third party." McGreevey has said that his estranged wife has "seemingly irrational fears" about his sexuality.

Whatever your thoughts might be about what is tasteful or appropriate to hang in one's private residence or your opinion of Jim McGreevey, the slant on this particular article was tasteless to say the least and attempted in a disappointing and roundabout way to draw a connection between gays and inappropriate sexual conduct with minors.

Mcgreevey_dinaOn to the New York Daily News which spills the details on Silent Partner, reporting that Matos-McGreevey says her only fears about his sexuality then were that he might leave her for another woman: "She was so convinced he was straight, she writes, that her only fear was that he might still be involved with his ex-wife, Kari, who lived in British Columbia with their young daughter, Morag."

Matos-McGreevey also speaks of that day when her husband stood before news reporters and shocked them with the statement "I am a gay American. McGreevey reportedly told her before the news conference: "You have to pull yourself together. You have to be Jackie Kennedy today...You have to smile. And if reporters ask you why you're here, you should tell them, 'I'm here because he's my husband and I love him.' And if the reporters ask you what you think of gay marriage, you should say, 'I'm sensitive to the issue.' Make sure you smile a little more when I ask for forgiveness and thank you for bringing joy to my life."

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Comments

  1. I think it is a shame that Mr. Renaldi's work is being raked over the coals. Second, if I was Mr. Renaldi's partner I wouldn't like my image being associated with this debacle.

    Posted by: Matt | Apr 23, 2007 10:43:07 AM


  2. Sorry Andy, I do not agree with you on this one! Having lived through being married for 11 years and a father of two small children I remember the difficult time coming out! It was not easy and my focus was on my kids and NOT simply taking my happiness at the expense of my ex-wife; my kids mother. McGreevey, on the other hand, appears to be doing just that. I do not think he has his daughter's best interest in mind nor Matos-McGreevey!

    There are certain things that you do as a parent that have nothing to do with sexuality and that includes nude photos hanging in the bedroom! I can see how Matos-McGreevey could turn this into a "gay" issue because he has. Remember, HER LIFE WAS TURNED UPSIDE DOWN TOO!

    Having said that, my kids mother and I are best friends today because I would like to think that I have been able to make the best of a bad situation. I have not take advantage of her or the situation for political gain. For the rest of their daughter's life they will be a "family" whether married or not and I do not think he gets that. He is not doing well with the responsibility for the child. That is only my opinion as I do not know him personally. However, he certainly appears to me McCreepy to me!

    Posted by: RB | Apr 23, 2007 10:45:39 AM


  3. Americans are a strange lot when it comes down to nudity. Violence is okay but someone naked pushes their buttons and then it's 'all about the children'.

    Posted by: Gary | Apr 23, 2007 10:58:33 AM


  4. RB, I think we are on the same page. I definitely do NOT believe it's appropriate for that photograph to be hanging on the wall in a house with children. And while I think there's a lot of mudslinging going on from both sides of this divorce battle, for me the Post's approach to it felt homophobic - though that's not much of a surprise.

    Posted by: andy | Apr 23, 2007 11:04:20 AM


  5. Interesting point, Gary. I wonder if you have "children"? I try to protect my kids from violence, nudity, bad situations, etc. It is not only about nudity, it is about being a good parent! Exposure to anything before they are old enough to understand is not right. Your post certainly appears to come from a rather ill informed place and actually it is all about the children.

    Posted by: RB | Apr 23, 2007 11:04:39 AM


  6. And that is a typical puritanical American response! I'm an uncle and my nephews and nieces are not 'protected' by nudity, and I would not suggest that my sisters are bad parents. She does limit them with regards to violence but to promote fear of nudity leads to more issues down the road.

    Posted by: Gary | Apr 23, 2007 11:11:10 AM


  7. Gary: I would agree with that. Its ok to take the kids to see ultra violent movies with people sprayed with bullets, but a nude photo is a *omg lets cover the kids eyes* event.

    RB: I think being a good parent is fine and dandy, but its really about the fascination that Americans have with violence and their startling aversion towards sexuality.

    Posted by: Landis | Apr 23, 2007 11:17:06 AM


  8. Of course the paper is going to take a sensational tack on this story. While all of the negative innuendo is pushed to the forefront, very little, if anything dealing with the behind the scenes goings-on regarding motivations, feelings, etc. will enter into this story. But, as a parent of two children who were quite young when I came out, I would think Mr. McGreevey would be a little more sensitive to all of the events surrounding his very public divorce. When he came out, he seemed to have come out all gangbusters. As he left his closet, he seemed to slam the door shut on all that came before. While the freeing feeling of coming out is exhilirating, one has to consider the fall out all around. Perhaps the kind of selfishness he is displaying now is part of his character. After all, he was a politician!

    Posted by: Bill | Apr 23, 2007 11:21:42 AM


  9. Poor Seth, he's a brilliant interior and architectural photographer in his own right, (sethboyd.com) but now he's all over the place buck wild.

    Posted by: Jocko | Apr 23, 2007 11:22:25 AM


  10. Okay, McGreevey told his wife a few minutes before a press conference that he is gay. Uh-huh. He then threw her in front of the cameras as she was forced to realize that her marriage had been sham, her husband had been cheating on her, and that he was using her.

    It's amazing that she didn't slug him (not that I approve of domestic violence). The whole "Jackie Kennedy" statement was callous. McGreevey had no concern for his wife and her pain. The guy seems like a narcissistic sociopath.

    Posted by: noah | Apr 23, 2007 11:23:23 AM


  11. While I don't think children should be shielded by innocent nudity (this photo as far as I can tell isn't sexual), it is up to BOTH parents to decide what is appropriate for their children to see and McGreevey probably agrees that the photo is not appropriate for their child if he had taken it down. I do see nothing wrong with this photo being on the wall of a household with children if the children were brought up from birth that the human body is a beautiful thing and nothing to be ashamed of, but otherwise it is probably too extreme for the average american child who is brought up to be ashamed of the male nude form.

    Posted by: Patrick | Apr 23, 2007 11:41:49 AM


  12. Noah, I totally agree. If I had been in her shoes, I'd have chosen not to participate in that press conference. I can't imagine that a single person would have blamed her. That said, I disagree with the "save the children" tone the divorce proceedings have taken. It makes it harder to support her position when she's taking the low road, even if it's understandable why she might feel that way.

    And all that talk about "protecting children from nudity" is silly. Do people shield their children's eyes when they visit museums or beaches? European children see breasts all the time on the beach and aren't scarred for life. As long as nudity isn't sexualized, how is it a problem for children?

    Americans' velues and sensibilities are rooted in our puritanical origins, and all Americans, children and adults alike, suffer as a result.

    Posted by: Brian | Apr 23, 2007 11:45:47 AM


  13. Hehehe... "velues"... meant "values" of course. All of a sudden I'm typing with an accent now.

    Posted by: Brian | Apr 23, 2007 11:49:22 AM


  14. Who cares about all that -- how do I make the little pink rectangle go away?

    Posted by: Becks07 | Apr 23, 2007 11:59:55 AM


  15. It's a nice portrait. I would put it in a large bathroom rather than a bedroom though and it should not be in a public place where kids or guests will have to stare at it--which is why it's in the bedroom to begin with I suppose. You don't want to send mixed messages to kids or give people cause to question your morals (when in Rome, etc.)

    Posted by: anon | Apr 23, 2007 12:17:48 PM


  16. There's a beautiful photo series that documents Renaldi and Boyd in hotel rooms over the many years of their relationship at http://www.renaldi.com/2/index1.htm.

    Posted by: GBM | Apr 23, 2007 12:28:22 PM


  17. I dunno, I guess it's a nice photo, but haven't we all seen better photos on Manhunt?? ;-) A 50 by 60 of that photo, framed on a wall, seems a bit much to me.

    But, Andy, surely you're not surprised that the Post was tasteless and homephobic.

    Posted by: Martin | Apr 23, 2007 1:33:47 PM


  18. I am surprised the nude photo wasn't of Reichen.

    Posted by: gayisthenewstraight | Apr 23, 2007 1:45:39 PM


  19. The New York Post has been printing a series of near propagandist articles on homosexuality as of late; so shocking in fact I wondered how can they stand by such unjournalistic pieces and call themselves a newspaper at all?..here's one (warning it's outrageous):

    For Some Black Pastors, Accepting Gay Members Means Losing Others
    http://www.aegis.com/news/nyt/2007/NYT070311.html

    Back to McGreevey: I don't doubt he might be a sleazebag, but the incredible biais against him right now is probably due to the fact he has embraced the gay community as publicly as he did; like showing up to the Act Up March last month..

    Posted by: Da | Apr 23, 2007 1:57:41 PM


  20. I'd love to see the untouched photo. If he's just naked, it's fine by me. But, if he's erect, not appropriate for children. Sorry, I'm a prude.

    As for the Post, I know most think it's the worst thing ever, but I like it. All the news I need to read in one place. Yeah, it's biased, but I'm able of deciphering fact from spin. Unfortch, most are not.

    Posted by: Kamasutra Jones | Apr 23, 2007 1:57:55 PM


  21. But, I'm not that much of a prude...

    Where do I see the original???

    Posted by: Kamasutra Jones | Apr 23, 2007 1:59:45 PM


  22. RB, you are my friend and I have great respect and love for you and your family but I think it is inappropriate for you to stand in such judgment over another person about whom you really know so little.

    Don't forget that everything you know about McGreevy is coming filtered though a media whose job it is to sensationalize and scandalize. I'm sure you could have been made to look like an evil man and your own situation could have been turned into a sordid exposee had you been famous and had you been given the National Enquirer treatment that McGreevy is receiving.

    Frankly, I think NONE of this is ANY of our business. We don't know any of the personal details and we have NO right to stand in judgment of anyone involved. This is between McGreevy, Matos and their daughter.

    I find it interesting that some of the same people here who complain the loudest about the privacy invasion of "outing" are some of the same people who are more than willing to roll around in the private affairs of an entire family.

    Posted by: Zeke | Apr 23, 2007 2:03:43 PM


  23. Seth Boyd is Seth Monster on bigmuscle.com.

    Posted by: latebrosus | Apr 23, 2007 3:02:11 PM


  24. @zeke

    I agree heartily accept for one small note and that is the "filtered" part. McGeevy came out very publicly, shown poor judgment, has written a book, and given numerous interviews. People can make a sound judgment on the guy without the media slanting this. And, quite frankly, the guy is a complete ass. He is self-centered and manipulating. Personally I hope his future ex wife takes him to the cleaners.

    Posted by: yoshi | Apr 23, 2007 4:01:34 PM


  25. Yoshi, how do you know that Matos isn't equally self-centered and manipulating?

    How do you know that her motives for marrying McGreevy weren't just as devious and self-serving as his were in marrying her?

    The answer is, you don't; and I don't; and none of us do.

    That's what I mean when I say we don't know the whole story.

    I agree with you that McGreevy has shamefully spread their personal business for the world to see. But, as of late, so has Matos. I don't think EITHER of them is putting their daughter's best interest FIRST.

    However, just because they don't have the good taste, good sense, good manners OR goodwill of their daughter at heart doesn't mean that WE shouldn't, at the very least, respect the DAUGHTER enough to not be drawn into contributing to HER personal nightmare with uninformed statements and judgments.

    I'm not defending McGreevy or Matos. If they didn't have that precious little girl, I wouldn't care less if they destroyed each other, but as long as that little girl exists, and as long as BOTH McGreevy AND Matos are going to be her parents, the more this is escalated the more THEIR DAUGHTER will suffer.

    Taking McGreevy to the cleaners will not be in the best interest of his daughter. Bitter divorces and taking one spouse to the cleaners is NEVER in the best interest of the child; it’s only in the best interest of a selfish parent.


    Posted by: Zeke | Apr 23, 2007 5:23:44 PM


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