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Dirt may fly soon in case of the McGreeveys

A settlement is unlikely in the ex-governor's divorce. He and his wife are expected to take the witness stand.

Dina Matos McGreevey listened to the testimony of her soon-to-be-ex-husband, former Gov. James E. McGreevey, in their divorce case at the Union County Courthouse last week.
Dina Matos McGreevey listened to the testimony of her soon-to-be-ex-husband, former Gov. James E. McGreevey, in their divorce case at the Union County Courthouse last week.Read morePATTI SAPONE / Associated Press

ELIZABETH, N.J. - With no sign of a settlement in the highly public divorce of New Jersey's gay ex-governor, onlookers can expect more dirt to be kicked up in the week ahead.

Jim and Dina Matos McGreevey are each expected to take a turn on the witness stand as a judge tries to figure out how much the governor-turned-seminary-student should pay in alimony and child support.

The McGreeveys have already done a thorough job of dragging each other through the mud as they decouple.

Following his famed "I am a gay American" resignation speech, which propelled the McGreeveys onto a national stage in 2004, the pair have been engaged in a lengthy public humiliation battle.

"There's almost nothing left to hide anymore," said Paul Talbert, a New York matrimonial lawyer. "They both so firmly believe their positions they can't possibly see there is some vulnerability in their arguments and that a settlement may be in their best interests."

The McGreeveys each wrote tell-all books, then hawked them on Oprah Winfrey's show. After reaching an agreement on custody of their 6-year-old daughter, they're slugging it out in a divorce court chiefly over money.

The ex-governor has testified to his financial dependence on boyfriend Mark O'Donnell, to whom he owes a quarter million dollars. McGreevey also acknowledged that he owes $11,000 in child support for his daughter from a previous marriage.

He says that as a 50-year-old seminarian, he's too poor to pay alimony to Matos McGreevey, his second wife.

An employment expert hired by McGreevey told a judge the former governor is all but unemployable because of the gay sex scandal that toppled his administration.

McGreevey says he stepped down rather than give in to a blackmail attempt by a male staffer with whom he'd had an affair. The ex-staffer says the affair didn't happen, and that he was sexually harassed.

Matos McGreevey lawyer John Post claims McGreevey could capitalize on his notoriety if he wanted to, but has instead deliberately underestimated his earning potential.

Asked why he turned down the chance to host a radio talk show, McGreevey said, "I want to go on with my private life. I have no intention of continuing with this charade."

Both McGreeveys' reputations have been sullied by their much-watched divorce, accountant Sharyn Maggio testified.

Maggio said neither partner can expect to enhance their earnings based on the fame they achieved from his resignation or their divorce.

"Charles Manson was famous - that doesn't equate to celebrity in the financial sense," Maggio told the judge.

Matos McGreevey, 41, claims her husband committed marriage fraud and wants compensation for a lifestyle she enjoyed in the governor's mansion - a lifestyle cut short by her husband's resignation.

Once a judge hears all the testimony on alimony and child support, the case will move to Matos McGreevey's claim for damages based on fraud. She claims she is entitled to extra money because she was duped into marrying a gay man who needed the cover of a wife to advance his political career.

That phase of the trial could include testimony from a former campaign aide who claims to have had regular sexual encounters with the McGreeveys.

Matos McGreevey claims the encounters did not happen; her lawyer has moved to bar testimony of the aide, Teddy Pedersen.

McGreevey says the encounters happened. His lawyer says Pedersen's testimony casts doubt on Matos McGreevey's claim that she was in the dark about her husband's sexuality.