ELIZABETH, N.J. - Former New Jersey Gov. James E. McGreevey yesterday said he owes a quarter-million dollars to his boyfriend but wants to pay child support for the daughter he has with his estranged wife, as well as a daughter he had with his first wife.
The nation's first openly gay governor denied, however, that he is financially dependent on boyfriend Mark O'Donnell.
"I want to pay child support. I want to fulfill my obligations," McGreevey told a state judge during his third day of testimony in their divorce trial. "Unfortunately, I have had to bankrupt myself to pay legal fees upon legal fees."
McGreevey said O'Donnell has lent him much of the legal costs, and the $3,000 that McGreevey is charged monthly for residing in O'Donnell's Plainfield mansion.
Yet McGreevey said he could not recall asking O'Donnell to cover child support for a daughter by his first wife and is now $11,000 behind.
The testimony came under questioning by John Post, attorney for his second wife, Dina Matos McGreevey. She is seeking alimony and child support so she can maintain a lifestyle she would have enjoyed had he not resigned in 2004 amid a gay-sex scandal. McGreevey has said he can't afford alimony.
McGreevey, 50, now makes about $48,000 a year from two jobs, and his expenses of nearly $11,000 a month do not include his $12,000 tuition at an Episcopal seminary, Post noted.
McGreevey responded, "I have already begun reducing expenses."
Matos McGreevey, 41, a hospital executive who makes about $82,000 a year, is slated to lose her job next month, when the hospital closes.
O'Donnell was hired about six months ago as chief investment officer of the Kushner Companies, a private real-estate-development firm chaired by Charles Kushner, a once-prominent Democratic campaign donor and McGreevey benefactor who served time in federal prison for campaign and tax-law violations.
Post noted that Kushner helped to bring an Israeli, Golan Cipel, to the United States. During his 2004 speech in which he declared himself "a gay American," McGreevey said he had an affair with a male staffer who was later identified as Cipel.