Now it’s her turn

Posted on 25 Jan 2007 at 7:45pm
By Leslie Robinson – General Gayety

Former N.J. Gov. James McGreevy’s ex-wife is ready to pour out her pain in front of a worldwide audience

Dina Matos McGreevey, estranged wife of former New Jersey Gov. James “I am a gay American” McGreevey, is committing her guts to print. Her memoir, called “Silent Partner,” is due out in May.

I expect Oprah has already penciled her in.

And why not? “The Oprah Winfrey Show” was a major stop last fall on James McGreevey’s promotional tour for his memoir, “The Confession,” his account of his closeted life and the gay sex scandal that toppled him as New Jersey’s governor.

What’s publicity for the goose is publicity for the gander.

Are we seeing the start of a trend? As prominent men are outed in various ways, will their wives pour out their pain on the page?

Writing is said to be cathartic. Anyone who has discovered, in front of a worldwide audience, that her marriage is a sham could use a little catharsis, if not a little morphine.

The publisher of the Garden State’s former first lady is Hyperion Books, a division of The Walt Disney Company. Clearly Disney is no longer strictly in the business of fairy-tale endings.

In a statement, Hyperion Executive Editor Brenda Copeland said, “Like many people, I was impressed with Mrs. McGreevey’s grace and fortitude under what were clearly some of the most difficult circumstances imaginable. As I watched the coverage and read Jim McGreevey’s speech, I found myself wondering what Mrs. McGreevey was going through before, during and after this experience.

“That’s the story I’ve always wanted to know, and that’s the story she has told in “‘Silent Partner.’”

Meaning if you want the intimate details, people, pre-order now!

For her part, Matos McGreevey explained, “I’ve had a lot of requests for interviews and appearances, but thought it best for my daughter and myself to stay out of the public maelstrom. But two years have passed and still I am the subject of much speculation as to the nature of my relationship with my husband. Enough is enough.”

Meaning, “I’m sick of the media conjecture, now here’s my side of the story, and ditto on that intimate details business!”

Matos McGreevey will certainly vent in her memoir. The question is how much bile will she aim at her husband for lying and cheating, how much at the media for being relentless, and how much at herself for not detecting the truth.

I don’t think money heals wounds, but it can buy some snazzy bandages. Matos McGreevey might well have herself a bestseller. After all, her husband did.

Personal pain can generate ample profit.

Another woman to have been famously dragged out of her husband’s closet lately is Gayle Haggard, spouse of Ted, the meth-using, callboy-buying, gay rights-fighting evangelical pastor from Colorado.

Perhaps she’ll write a book about discovering her husband’s terrible truths and the experience of being in the media glare. She could call it “A Christian Deer in the Headlights.”

Char Barnes, wife of another noted Colorado evangelical pastor who has admitted to gay sex, could then call her own memoir “More Colorado Roadkill.”

While the McGreeveys are sensibly divorcing, the Haggards are trying to preserve their marriage. So I wouldn’t be surprised if Gayle actually does pen a book designed to inspire women to fight for their marriage. Later, when Ted falls off the spiritual wagon, she’ll have to write the mother of all revisions.

Mike Jones, the then-prostitute with whom Haggard dallied, is really writing a book, which he says will come out in June. With Matos McGreevey’s memoir due out the same time, I see a joint book tour.

They can both tell Oprah how one person’s lie creates a ripple effect, making those around him seasick.

Read more of Leslie Robinson’s work at www.GeneralGayety.com.
E-mail LesRobinsn@aol.com

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition January 26, 2007

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