“At a point in every person’s life, one has to look deeply into the mirror of one’s soul and decide one’s unique truth in the world, not as we may want to see it or hope to see it, but as it is. And so, my truth is that I am a gay American.”
That’s how the former governor of New Jersey, James McGreevey, came out to the world in a press conference on August 13, 2004, as reported by CNN. McGreevey announced that he was being blackmailed because of an affair with a man and was resigning.
During the press conference, the governor’s wife, Dina Matos McGreevey, stood at his side, with a weird smile pasted on her face. She was obviously shell-shocked. The McGreeveys had started dating in 1996, and married in 2000. They had a young daughter. Matos says she did not know that James McGreevey was gay.
That’s because the man isn’t gay. In my opinion, he is a sociopath.
The wife’s story
Dina Matos McGreevey wrote a book called Silent Partner—A Memoir of My Marriage, which was published last spring. She describes her relationship with Jim McGreevey, which took place against a political backdrop. Matos was politically involved—that’s how they met. McGreevey had been elected to state government, then elected mayor of Woodbridge, New Jersey, then ran for governor and lost. In 2001, after their marriage, he ran for governor again and won.
McGreevey’s courting behavior was a bit odd. He had an assistant call Matos to arrange their first date. Most of their dates were political events. He had a friend ask Matos if she would marry him. But Matos chalked it up to the demands of politics, and fell in love with McGreevey because she believed they shared the same goals.
Later on, his behavior became even stranger, at least from the perspective of a healthy relationship. McGreevey was detached as his wife struggled with a difficult pregnancy. The day after Matos gave birth through a C-section, he wanted her to hold a press conference. Yet McGreevey refused to let Matos meet his daughter from a previous marriage, Morag, who lived with her mother, Kari, in British Columbia.
After McGreevey was sworn in as governor in January, 2002, things got worse. McGreevey refused to advise his wife of his daily schedule. In fact, he didn’t even tell Matos of public events that she was supposed to attend. McGreevey kept his finances secret from his wife. He put his townhouse up for sale without even telling her. McGreevey’s excuse? “I forgot.”
And of course, there was the affair with Golan Cipel, an Israeli national whom McGreevey hired as Homeland Security adviser, even though he had no experience in the field and could not get security clearance because he was not an American citizen. Cipel denies the affair and says he was sexually harassed by McGreevey.
In Silent Partner, any Lovefraud reader would see the behavior of a sociopath. Matos’ comments in the following paragraphs, on pages 156 and 157, are particularly telling:
Secrets are Jim’s currency; they’re how he moves through the world. Keeping secrets was his default position. In fact, sometimes his secrets—or evasions, or ellipses—were so oddly pointless that they struck me as bizarre. Once, for example, during Jim’s time as governor, he told me that he wanted to go to dinner at Mediterra, one of our favorite restaurants in Princeton. That was all he said. Oh, good, I thought, a quiet dinner. A little time to catch up with each other. But when we walked into Mediterra, we were greeted by about a dozen other people. It turned out that Jim was throwing a party that night to celebrate the birthday of his staffer (and former driver) Teddy Pedersen. Why the omission?
Another time, he let me believe he was going to work, but later I found a single movie stub for that date in his jacket pocket; and still another time he told me he was going to meet with a particular politician, whom I later learned had been out of town on the day in question.
More serious was the time Jim told me he was going to visit Morag. I assumed—why wouldn’t I?—that he would be heading to British Columbia. But later I found an e-mail that his secretary had printed out and learned from it that he had instead gone to Las Vegas. Kari, Morag, and a few of their relatives were all spending the week there living under the same roof as Jim at the home of one of Jim’s friends. Later I asked Jim why he’d let me think he was going to Vancouver and left me in the dark about Las Vegas, never mind the living arrangements. “I went to see my daughter,” he said defensively, seeming annoyed that I had asked at all. “What difference does it make where I see her?”
To this day, I have no idea why he kept these pieces of information hidden. If I asked for an explanation or clarification, as I often did, either he ignored the question altogether, as if I hadn’t just asked it, or he gave me an answer that made no sense.
Sociopaths and sex
In her book, Matos seems to accept the statement that James McGreevey is gay. I do not. As I said, I believe the man is a sociopath. I also believe that many sociopaths are neither straight nor gay. In fact, it’s not even fair to call them bisexual.
Sociopaths have an extremely high need for stimulation, so they’ll get sex wherever they can. And, sociopaths are adept at using sex to control people. So I don’t think they’re really attracted to anyone. They use people for sex, and they use sex to get what they want.
Shortly after I met my ex-husband, James Montgomery, he proclaimed to me, “I don’t have a gay bone in my body.” I later learned that, along with his multitude of affairs with women, he solicited gay male prostitutes.
Lovefraud has received numerous e-mails from women involved with sociopaths who discovered that not only was their partner cheating on them, but was cheating with men. Lovefraud has also received numerous e-mails from gay individuals who found themselves involved with sociopaths. I asked several of them if they thought the sociopath was actually gay. They all said no.
In my opinion, McGreevey played the gay card because it was the best way to spin his political collapse. His administration had been plagued by scandals. McGreevey’s biggest campaign contributor pleaded guilty to blackmail. Another McGreevey fundraiser demanded cash from a farmer to influence state officials. And of course, there was Golan Cipel, whom McGreevey did place in state jobs, whatever their relationship was.
So where is McGreevey now? He is living in the mansion of his wealthy new partner, Mark O’Donnell, an Australian-American executive. He and Matos are embroiled in a bitter divorce—McGreevey is seeking custody of their daughter, and child support from Matos. The former governor, formerly awash in scandal, is teaching ethics, law and leadership at Kean University in Union, New Jersey. Finally, he has entered a three-year seminary program so he can become an Episcopal priest.
Shocking? Not to those of us who have seen this behavior before.