Scandal and politics are not strangers to one and other. In this case the public microscope landed on New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevey and, his then wife, Dina Matos after the governor revealed that he had an affair with a male-aide and former homeland security advisor, Golan Cipel, in 2004; four years into the couple’s marriage.
McGreevey and Cipel had met in Cipel’s native country of Israel in 2000. Months later, Cipel was hired as part of McGreevey campaign for New Jersey governor. Cipel assumed the position of Jewish outreach coordinator garnering a $30,000/year salary. McGreevey then personally helped Cipel gain a working visa, residence, driver’s license and vehicle. The pairing made headlines when Cipel arranged a private meeting between the gubernatorial candidate and jewish leaders and then made comments which enraged their muslim counterparts.
When McGreevey’s campaign drew a successful result, Cipel also received a significant career bump being named the governor’s homeland security advisor, a post with a lofty $110,000/year salary. This move was highly criticised because Cipel was ill-qualified and lacked any experience. He was later termed “special advisor”, then resigned.
When Governor McGreevey resigned in August 2004, he admitted having had an extramarital affair with Cipel, and came out as a homosexual in the process. McGreevey’s actions were in large part caused by what he told the FBI Cipel’s multi-million dollar extortion demands to keep the affair private.
McGreevey and his wife separated in 2004; however, their divorce was not finalized until 2008. The pair accumulated roughly $1,000,000 in legal costs and while the former governor was ordered to pay $110,000 to gain equitable distribution of assets as well as $1,075/month child support for the couple’s daughter Jacqueline, he did not have to pay alimony.