Newt Gingrich asked second wife for an “open marriage”


Newt Gingrich asked his second wife for an “open marriage” or a divorce at the same time he was promoting family and religious values, his former wife, Marianne, told The Washington Post today.

According to the story, Marianne Gingrich said her ex first asked for a divorce over the phone. “Is there anybody else?” she asked. “He was quiet. Within two seconds, when he didn’t immediately answer, I knew.”

The next day, Newt Gingrich gave a speech titled “The Demise of American Culture” to the Republican Women Leaders Forum in Erie, Pa., criticizing liberal politicians for supporting tax increases, saying they hurt families and children.

Marianne Gingrich said she was speaking out for the first time this year because she wanted her story told from her point of view, rather than be depicted as the victim or suffer a whisper campaign by supporters of Newt Gingrich’s presidential bid.

“How could he ask me for a divorce on Monday and within 48 hours give a speech on family values and talk about how people treat people?” she said.

In the four weeks after that 1999 phone call, Marianne and Newt Gingrich saw a counselor. During that time, he seemed to vacillate about what he wanted to do. Marianne Gingrich had learned the name of his then-paramour, Callista – now his wife – though Newt Gingrich never talked about her by name.

Newt Gingrich asked Marianne for an “open marriage” so that he could continue to see whomever he wanted. Marianne Gingrich, who had attended services in a Baptist church with Newt Gingrich, refused.

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