Tidbits from McGreevey divorce trial

June 4, 2008 1:46:51 PM PDT
With the divorce trial of New Jersey gay ex-governor Jim McGreevey and his wife in recess for at least a month while the judge considers alimony and child support, here is a look back at some of the testimony and court musings of the past three weeks: - Dina Matos asked that her lawyer drop the "McGreevey" from the end of her name and refer to her by her maiden name instead.

- Matos wore the same powder blue St. John suit on her last day as a witness that she wore to her husband's spectacular resignation in 2004, when he declared himself "a gay American" on national television and said he would resign. She wore during her first day on the stand the same red suit she wore to his 2001 swearing-in.

- Speaking of clothes, Matos testified that her clothing cost upward of $40,000 a year while she was first lady. She later testified to buying clothing for her daughter at high-end stores like Nordstrom and Talbots, prompting McGreevey lawyer Stephen Haller to mock, "Can you believe Talbots for an infant? That's just not smart."

- The McGreeveys are close to $1 million in debt, with no savings and no real prospects for employment. She was laid off Saturday and he is making $48,000 a year as a part-time professor and consultant. Together they have racked up more than $500,000 in legal bills during the divorce.

- Matos testified that she's never been in the house McGreevey shares with his boyfriend, and has no desire to go inside even after having been invited by both McGreevey and his partner, Mark O'Donnell. She said she's never met O'Donnell though her daughter spends time at his house every other weekend.

- Donna Kolsky, a McGreevey-hired employment expert, testified that the gay ex-gov is so tainted by scandal he is considered "radioactive" in the work world. When testing his marketability, she testified to hearing an "audible gasp" at the mere mention of his employment background.

- Dismissing the idea that McGreevey can't earn more money, Matos' lawyer John Post said even Richard Nixon made money writing books and lecturing after resigning the presidency under the veil of impeachment. The message: If Nixon could find work, surely McGreevey can.

- Suggesting Matos should give up the idea of replicating the gubernatorial lifestyle, Haller said, "It's time for her to realize her gubernatorial ship docked and it's time for her to just go home."

- The former campaign aide who claims to have engaged in sexual trysts with the McGreeveys may never get to testify. That's because Matos' claim that she was duped into marrying a gay man could be dismissed or dropped. Even if the fraud claim goes forward, there is a motion to keep Teddy Pedersen's salacious testimony out.