Newt Gingrich's Ex-Wife Finally Speaks
Marianne Gingrich on the proposal, the divorce
By Kate Seamons, Newser Staff
Posted Aug 11, 2010 9:27 AM CDT
Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the House, gestures during a speech at Goucher College March 14, 2007 in Baltimore, Maryland.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – With a 2012 bid looking more than likely, John Richardson asks himself, "just who is Newton Leroy Gingrich, really?" The answer, as written for Esquire, is a story both "epic and bizarre"—and gossipy. Though Richardson interviewed Gingrich for the profile, some of the biggest revelations come from his ex-wife, Marianne, in her first time discussing "what happened." The highlights:

  • He proposed while he was still married: "He asked me to marry him way too early," she says, within weeks of meeting. "And he wasn't divorced yet. I should have known there was a problem," When Richardson calls the speedy proposal flattering, she replied, "It's not so much a compliment to me. It tells you a little bit about him."

  • And then he did it again, 18 years later: "I know. I asked him. He'd already asked her to marry him before he asked me for a divorce. Before he even asked," she says of his proposal to congressional aide Callista Bisek.
  • She doesn't think he'll run for president: "There's no way," she says. Writes Richardson, "She thinks he made a choice long ago between doing the right thing and getting rich, and when you make those choices, you foreclose other ones."
  • As for his first wife, who was his high school geometry teacher...: "To this day, the official story is that he started dating Jackie when he was 18 and she was 25," he writes. "But he was really just 16, she says."
  • As for Newt telling Richardson, "Callista and I kid that I'm four and she's five and therefore she gets to be in charge..." "Her eyes go wide when she hears his line about being four to Callista's five. 'You know where that line came from? Me. That's my line. That's what I told him. I'm sorry, that's so freaky.'

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Showing 3 of 96 comments
Aug 12, 2010 12:03 PM CDT
All politicians are bent and crooked, we should just put them straight into jail as soon as they are elected. It'd save time.
Aug 12, 2010 11:08 AM CDT
Didn't McCain propose to Cindy when he was still married too? Swine.
Aug 11, 2010 10:25 PM CDT
Newt Gingrich is THE Family values man eh. Keep on touting it politicians the more you tout it and louder at an opportunistic time the more seriously people can take you. Yes John Edwards has said on a few occasions to be a family values guy or try to hard to present it to the people, but, pretty much over and over again a person can read, see and hear republicans giving the definition of marriage and not living by it.