The way Newt Gingrich has handled his marriages, and their demise, has long been poked and prodded, with one event in particular getting special attention. As the story goes, Newt visited first wife Jackie in the hospital where she was battling cancer ... to discuss the details of their divorce. Some 31 years later, daughter Jackie Gingrich Cushman—who was present during this "infamous hospital visit"—wants to set the record straight. "I have always hesitated" to do so, she writes for Creators Syndicate.
But she has recently encountered people who "hold an inaccurate understanding" of the visit or "think my mother is dead." Here, writes Cushman, is how it happened: She was 13 when her parents told her and her sister, at the kitchen table, that they were divorcing. Later that summer, her mom went to the hospital. "My mother and father were already in the process of getting a divorce, which she requested. Dad took my sister and me to the hospital to see our mother. She had undergone surgery the day before to remove a tumor. The tumor was benign." Cushman shares no more details, but explains, "As with many divorces, it was hard and painful for all involved, but life continued. We will not answer additional questions or make additional comments regarding this meaningless incident, which occurred more than three decades ago."