Court Watch - POSTED: 2008/05/06 10:55
New Jersey's former first couple is finally about to become unhitched, and it figures to be especially messy.
Jim and Dina Matos McGreevey's divorce trial, which starts Tuesday, means the end of their 3 1/2-year separation that has lasted nearly as long as their marriage.
The trial will feature the usual squabbles — the ex-governor wants equal custody of their 6-year-old daughter, and alimony and child support are at issue as well. But the proceedings figure to be particularly salacious because of the question everybody has asked at least once: Did she know he was gay?
Matos McGreevey, 41, claims she was duped into marriage by a closeted gay man who needed the cover of a wife to advance his political career. McGreevey says he gave her a child and the coattails she rode to the governor's mansion, thus fulfilling the marriage contract.
Matos McGreevey seeks $600,000 as compensation for the time she would have lived at the governor's mansion in Princeton had her soon-to-be-ex not resigned in disgrace. Perks enjoyed by a sitting governor's spouse include household servants, access to a state police helicopter and a state-owned beach house.
The gay former governor and his estranged wife will sit at adjacent legal tables, fewer than 5 feet apart, in the Union County Courthouse in Elizabeth as their high-priced lawyers lay bare the pair's sex lives and finances. Only issues concerning custody of their kindergartner are expected to be decided away from the glare of tabloid reporters and Court TV.