Newt Gingrich has denied allegations by
his ex-wife Marianne Gingrich that he sought an open marriage.
Marianne made her claim during an
interview broadcast Thursday in most markets after the conclusion of
CNN's Southern Republican Debate in Charleston, South
In speaking to ABC Nightline's
Brian Ross, Marianne said Newt asked her to “share” him with his
mistress Callista, whom he later married after divorcing Marianne.
“If he's running for president he has
answers to give,” Marianne told Ross.
“I found out during our conversations
that it was occurring in my bedroom, in our apartment in Washington.
And he always called me at night. He always ended with 'I love you,'
while she was there listening.”
During his tenure as speaker of the
House, Newt criticized President Bill Clinton for having an affair
with Monica Lewinsky. He also supports a constitutional amendment
that would define marriage as a heterosexual union.
During the GOP debate, he denied
Marianne's claims and went on to scold moderator John King for asking
“Let me be quite clear. This story
is false. Every personal friend I have who knew us in that period
says the story was false,” Newt said angrily.
“I think the destructive, vicious,
negative nature of much of the news media makes it harder to govern
this country, harder to attract descent people to run for public
office. And I am appalled that you would begin a presidential debate
on a topic like that.”
“To take an ex-wife and make it two
days before the primary a significant question in a presidential
campaign is as close to despicable as anything I can imagine,” he
added as the audience cheered.
The claims, however, have not slowed
down Newt's momentum in conservative South Carolina, which holds its
presidential primary on Saturday. Polls indicate Newt could win the