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Will the Jim McGreevey Trial Set a New Precedent?

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By StraightDivorce Staff on 5/6/2008

When asking a number of different people what they think about Jim McGreevey you’d probably get a lot of different opinions and answers. Some think Jim McGreevey tackled his life with a personal agenda from the very start. Others believe he has found his true self and can now live out his life without secrets, lies and dishonesty. Regardless of the different opinions, today, we are observing an openly gay man who created quite a bit of controversy by living a so-called lie both in his personal life and while in political office.

Trial Taking Place in Union County Courthouse

On May 6th 2008, a trial started in Union County Courthouse between Jim McGreevey and his soon to be ex-wife Dina Matos. The first three days of the trial will be closed to the media as Judge Karen Cassidy considers custody issues involving the couple’s 6-year-old daughter. The issues to be decided in the divorce settlement involve custody, alimony and child support, and whether Mr. McGreevey, now openly gay, committed fraud by marrying a woman. The trial enters a new arena that clearly reflects on the way the world is changing as it explores the issue of fraud in both politics and marriage. Did Jim McGreevey know he was gay before entering his marriage and will sexual preference impact on this divorce case? The issues surrounding Jim McGreevey are interesting to say the least, and will surely set a precedent for future cases of this nature.

An American Democratic Politician

Looking into the life of Mr. McGreevey, we know that he has an impressive academic background, graduating from Columbia University and earning a law degree from Georgetown University Law Center followed by a master’s degree in education from Harvard University as well as attending a diploma program in law at the London School of Economics. Jim McGreevey was an American Democratic politician who served from January 15, 2002 to November 15th, 2004 as the 52nd Governor of New Jersey. He stepped down from his post as Governor of New Jersey during a nationally televised speech in which he made known that he was a “gay American” and that he was having an affair with a male staffer. That male staffer has denied the affair. He was married to Dina Matos and together they have a six-year-old daughter. But when the scandal erupted, Mr. McGreevey admitted to an extramarital affair with the male state employee. Publicly revealing his homosexuality in 2004, Mr. McGreevey is on record as the first and to date the only openly gay state governor in United States history. Based on the circumstances, we are left to wonder if Jim McGreevey’s trial will set a new precedent for future divorce cases.

Mr. McGreevey Studying to be an Episcopal Priest

Currently, Mr. McGreevey lives with a male partner and is studying to be an Episcopal priest. During the opening of the divorce trial, Mr. McGreevey asked the court for equal custody of their daughter as well as alimony and child support. Ms. Matos demanded $600,000 in compensation. Mr. McGreevey’s divorce attorney plans to bring in a witness who will testify that Mr. McGreevey needed a disrobed male present in the room when having sexual relations with his wife in order for him to become physically aroused. The reason for the witness is to prove that Mr. McGreevey was at the very least bisexual, something that Ms. Matos would have known prior to marrying Mr. McGreevey. Ms. Matos claims she never knew he was gay until just prior to his telling the world. Today, Mr. McGreevey partners with Mark O’Donnell and the two live in New Jersey. Mr. McGreevey teaches ethics, law and leadership at Kean University in Union, New Jersey. He has been accepted to General Theological Seminary, where he will pursue a Master of Divinity degree.

Waiting To See How Events Play Out

In closing this article, we will all be waiting to see if Mr. McGreevey’s trial sets a new precedent in the divorce arena. It will certainly be interesting to observe how events play out in this particular case, and whether what Jim McGreevey did is considered fraud in a marriage or not.

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