Bill de Blasio and Chirlane McCray announce separation, but not divorce

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Wednesday, July 5, 2023
Bill de Blasio and Chirlane McCray say they are separating
Bill de Blasio and Chirlane McCray announced they are separating after nearly 30 years of marriage.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Former New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Chirlane McCray announced Wednesday that they are separating after nearly 30 years of marriage.

McCray said the decision unfolded after the two had an "ah-ha" moment.

"We came to this decision together and I think it's the right decision for us to start this new chapter in our life," McCray said.

De Blasio, at the time the city's public advocate, entered the 2013 Democratic mayoral primary race as an underdog but came out on top, thanks partly to the sexting scandal that doomed former U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner's campaign. De Blasio went on to serve two terms as mayor and was succeeded by fellow Democrat Eric Adams.

De Blasio, who is white, and McCray, who is Black, met in the early 1990s while both were working for New York City's first Black mayor, Democrat David Dinkins.

Their interracial family helped boost de Blasio's 2013 campaign, particularly after their teenage son, Dante de Blasio, starred in a TV ad promising that his father would end policies of billionaire three-term Mayor Mike Bloomberg like stop-and-frisk policing.

McCray was often by de Blasio's side during his two terms as mayor and was put in charge of a mental health initiative called ThriveNYC that was criticized for its $1 billion price tag and dearth of quantifiable results.

She joined him for the announcement of his short-lived run for the 2020 Democratic presidential campaign, although she told the Times that she had doubts about the endeavor.

The pair decided to separate, but said they will both continue to live together at their townhouse in Park Slope.

McCray said the announcement had been in the work for months, but they are still sorting things out.

"It's one thing to make a decision, it's another to figure out how it plays out and we'll be talking about it over the next months," McCray said.

McCray said de Blasio's political past, from his eight years as Mayor to his failed run for president, played a role in the decision.

"I hope we can be a model for couples how couples can communicate honesty about what their needs are and how to conduct themselves when its time to move in a different direction," McCray said. "We just want to be able to continue our lives as public people but do it in a way that shows that all we had and built doesn't go away."


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