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Ex-governor's wife says marriage was his 'charade'

Breaking her silence on national television, former New Jersey first lady Dina Matos McGreevey this afternoon told Oprah Winfrey that she thought her husband never really loved her.

“I think it was all a charade for him,” Matos McGreevey said of her marriage to Gov. Jim McGreevey.

The former governor revealed his sexual orientation in August 2004, when he famously told the world that “my truth is I am a gay American.”

There has been speculation that Matos McGreevey knew her husband was gay long before he resigned. In court papers, Jim McGreevey recently said his wife knew of his sexual orientation before they married.

She told Winfrey on her talk show today that is not true – she did not find out that McGreevey was gay until a few days before his well-orchestrated press conference.

"He kind of gave me the news in cowardly installments," Matos McGreevey said.

Though she stood by McGreevey’s side with an odd smile frozen on her face, Matos McGreevey said she wasn’t even sure she would attend his press conference.

“I was at war,” she said.

But her husband urged her to act with the grace of Jacqueline Kennedy, and a therapist told her to do what felt right for her, so she went.

She said she felt "like my world had crumbled and my life was over.”

Matos McGreevey said she is not homophobic, but she doesn’t believe her husband is gay.

“I think he’s bisexual,” Matos McGreevey said, pointing to her estranged husband’s two marriages and two children. “I never saw him checking out men, but I saw him checking out women.”

Matos McGreevey said that in retrospect, there were signs that something was off with her husband, but she missed them.

McGreevey never took her to his parents home, which was near their own home. He allowed no contact with his ex-wife, Canadian Kari Schutz. And though she had a stepdaughter, Morag, Matos McGreevey was never permitted to meet her.

Matos McGreevey, who appeared calm and composed fielding Winfrey’s questions, said that her husband even had trouble proposing.

He first had a friend ask her if she would marry him, then presented her with a ring and refused to say the words, “Will you marry me?”

The former first lady appeared on the talk show to promote her new tell-all book, Silent Partner: A Memoir of My Marriage, published by Hyperion Books.