TRENTON - Dina Matos has decided to drop her fraud claim against her ex-husband, former Gov. Jim McGreevey, bringing finality to a bitter parting that raised the question of whether she knew he was gay when they wed.
Matos issued a statement yesterday saying she needed to bring the case to an end for the good of their 6-year-old daughter, Jacqueline.
"My former husband's most recent efforts to keep this case in the press by releasing a letter including information about our daughter in violation of Judge [Karen] Cassidy's order of March 18, 2008, has further underscored for me the need to bring this matter to a conclusion," Matos said in a written statement.
She referred to an offer by McGreevey's boyfriend to pay for Jacqueline to attend private school, which was mentioned in a letter about the case released to the media.
McGreevey issued a statement through his lawyer confirming that the claim had been withdrawn. The lawyer, Stephen Haller, described the legal action, left unsettled after the divorce was finalized last month, as an attempt by Matos to secure more money in the divorce settlement.
Haller said both sides filed papers with the court yesterday requesting the dismissal. Matos faced a Wednesday deadline to tell the judge whether she planned to pursue the fraud claim or drop it.
Cassidy earlier ruled that Matos was not entitled to damages for the 13 months she would have lived in the governor's mansion had McGreevey not resigned.
Matos sought $600,000 after being denied the perks of being New Jersey's first lady, but Cassidy determined she should not be compensated for the household staff, state trooper security and drivers she enjoyed as the governor's wife.
Matos filed a civil claim contending that McGreevey duped her into marriage to advance his political career. He married her even though he knew he was a gay man, she alleged in court filings.
She later said in a tell-all memoir that she missed some obvious signs that he was gay.
McGreevey claimed his ex-wife had to have known his sexual orientation before they married in 2000. To bolster his account, a former campaign aide came forward with a claim that he had participated in regular, three-way sexual encounters with the McGreeveys for about two years before McGreevey became governor.
Matos denied that the threesomes happened.
Had the fraud claim gone forward, lawyers for both sides agreed, intimate details of the couple's sex lives would have come out. The ex-aide, Teddy Pedersen, would have been one of the first witnesses.
When the two were divorced last month, the judge awarded Matos $1,075 a month in child support, but no alimony. She also ruled that McGreevey owes his ex about $109,000, representing half their joint assets. The couple share custody of their only child, a first-grader.