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Former New Jersey governor "falls to grace" in post-scandal documentary

Former New Jersey governor "falls to grace" in post-scandal documentary

By Piya Sinha-Roy; PARK CITY, UTAH | Fri Jan 18, 2013 7:25pm EST

PARK CITY, Utah (Reuters) - When New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevey stepped down from office in 2004 in a gay sex scandal, he became another disgraced politician brought down by his own actions.

Since then, the former Democratic governor, now 55, has tried to step out of the spotlight after a messy divorce from his second wife by swapping politics for volunteer work with jailed women.

Filmmaker Alexandra Pelosi, daughter of U.S. House of Representatives Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, chronicled McGreevey and his new life in "Fall to Grace" an HBO documentary that premiered on Friday at the Sundance Film Festival.

"I was intrigued by the caricature that I saw in the tabloids, because Jim McGreevey is a tabloid fixture in New York. They're obsessed with everything he does, and I was intrigued by the way they hunted him, like an animal," Pelosi told Reuters on Friday.

"They wouldn't let him move on ... everyone writes him off because of some mistake he made before," she added.

Pelosi, 42, followed McGreevey with a handheld camera as he visited women in jail and counseled them after their release, helping them to rehabilitate their lives.

McGreevey, who was elected New Jersey governor in 2001, said he had "constructed a life" for himself while living as a closeted gay man during his political career. Since his resignation, he said he had found new strength in religion, and attended seminary school for three years.

"My life is to highlight the need for more compassion and for a different way in which we treat incarceration of women. Being behind the bars with these women is a great blessing, and I can be a voice for them," McGreevey said on Friday.

by Anonymousreply 2003/24/2013

'BROKEN MEN'

Pelosi said she was drawn to "broken men" and their stories, and chose to profile McGreevey because he had turned around his life.

"He went into public service because he wanted to help people, then he got wrapped up in the ego and hubris and himself. And ironically, he didn't help people until he fell and realized he was broken. Ironically, he's helping people now," she said.

In 2004, McGreevey admitted an affair with a male staffer from Israel on his security team and came out as gay.

Eight years later, Wisconsin voters sent Tammy Baldwin to Washington as the first openly gay U.S. senator.

"Times have changed. Gay in 2004 is a lot different to gay in 2012. ... You can be gay and be in politics now, but I don't think in 2004 it was that kind of environment," Pelosi said.

Pelosi was joined by her mother and father at the festival premiere. Nancy Pelosi said she was proud of her daughter's effort to capture McGreevey's story.

"This is not just a story about how a politician has fallen from grace, it's a personal momentum to make a difference in our country and the lives of the American people. He's used his power and commitment to make a difference in individual people's lives," she said.

McGreevey said he had put priesthood in the Episcopal Church aside for the moment in order to dedicate himself to his new cause.

"I'm a broken person and many of us are broken. ... I don't always make the right decisions. I have failed, but that's everyone. Women in jail are also deserving of the same transformation and same redemption," he said.

"Fall To Grace" will air in March on HBO.

by Anonymousreply 101/19/2013

At least I never doped and lied about it!

by Anonymousreply 201/19/2013

[quote] "They're obsessed with everything he does, and I was intrigued by the way they hunted him, like an animal," Pelosi told Reuters on Friday.

[quote] Pelosi, 42, followed McGreevey with a handheld camera

She's such a twat.

by Anonymousreply 301/19/2013

[quote]McGreevey said he had put priesthood in the Episcopal Church aside for the moment in order to dedicate himself to his new cause.

Wasn't it the other way around? The church didn't think he was ready to be a priest in their church. They probably realized he didn't want to stay a priest very long and really had his eye on a job as bishop.

by Anonymousreply 401/19/2013

He was a horrible governor, crooked and dishonest and never would have been reelected. There are plenty of gay men in public life one can admire. He's not one of them.

by Anonymousreply 501/19/2013

There are plenty of competent gay men in public life who do not hire their Israeli spy boyfriends.

by Anonymousreply 601/19/2013

The only reason he can be dedicated to this "new cause" is that he's got a rich boyfriend to pay his bills and keep him. He probably still isn't paying child support to either of his wives.

by Anonymousreply 701/19/2013

But he's a GAY AMERICAN!!!!! Y'all are just jealous of this fame whore, I mean, sincerely religious man.

by Anonymousreply 801/20/2013

How is it that a sitting governor resigned over a blackmail plot but the blackmailer was never brought to justice. Blackmailing a state governor is a felony, after all.

by Anonymousreply 901/20/2013

I was surprised they let him study in their seminary for three years.

by Anonymousreply 1001/20/2013

Link to Israeli spy boyfriend, please! Was he hot?

by Anonymousreply 1101/20/2013

My mistake, I thought it was "semenary".

by Anonymousreply 1201/20/2013

[quote] "I was intrigued by the caricature that I saw in the tabloids, because Jim McGreevey is a tabloid fixture in New York. They're obsessed with everything he does

No one is obsessed with him. No one even thinks about him. I had to actually click the link and check the date of this report because I thought this was some 5 yr old thread that someone revived

by Anonymousreply 1301/20/2013

[quote] How is it that a sitting governor resigned over a blackmail plot but the blackmailer was never brought to justice. Blackmailing a state governor is a felony, after all.

He went back to Israel

by Anonymousreply 1401/20/2013

Eight years later, he's still a fake. His claim that he put priesthood in the Episcopal Church aside for the moment is a lie. They said they would not accept him into the priesthood so he walked away. He must be a good fuck for that guy to be keeping him for eight years.

by Anonymousreply 1603/24/2013

R11 here you go

Cipel's website has an incredible account of the "true nature" of his self described sexual harrassment at the hands of McGreevey.

There is a pic of Cipel, as well as links to most articles about the scandal at the time.

by Anonymousreply 1703/24/2013

Most astonishing is that McGreevey teaches a course at Keanu University on ethics. I'd never heard of that school before, but it must be shit if he's their moral standard. Does he qualify for sociopath status with all his behavior?

by Anonymousreply 1803/24/2013

Kean^

by Anonymousreply 1903/24/2013

I was going to say "Keanu Reeves University"?

by Anonymousreply 2003/24/2013
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