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Gay Governor's Book 'Won't Name Names'

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Gay Governor's Book 'Won't Name Names'

by Angela Delli Santi, Associated Press

April 28, 2006 - 7:30 pm ET

(Trenton, New Jersey) Former Gov. James E. McGreevey's tell-all book about life as the nation's first openly gay governor will explore his own struggles as a closeted gay but will not venture into anyone else's bedroom, say people who are familiar with the contents of the memoir due out in September.

The former governor's confidantes and his publisher will not speak publicly about the contents of the book by McGreevey, who stunned the nation when he proclaimed himself "a gay American" in August 2004. But three people who know McGreevey who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the book hasn't been published, said McGreevey in the memoir will not "out" any New Jersey politician or staffer.

Still, some have reason to be jittery about how they're portrayed in the book, said the people, who have discussed the book with the former governor. They say McGreevey uses real names and that some people are not portrayed in a positive light.

Some may be embarrassed because of personal stories or situations involving them and McGreevey, say those who know him.

"He's not writing a score-settling book," according to one person.

People who know McGreevey say he is striving for a higher purpose in the book, namely to document his very public coming out in hopes it will help others trying to come to terms with their own sexuality.

McGreevey, 48, announced his homosexuality and his impending resignation in the same nationally televised speech during which he declared he had been involved in an affair with a man. A Democrat, McGreevey was governor from Jan. 15, 2002, to Nov. 15, 2004.

After leaving office, McGreevey began writing his memoir with a former investigative reporter. It's due in stores Sept. 19.

The book, titled "The Confession," traces McGreevey's life through two failed marriages, his rapid political rise to the governor's office, and the sudden, public implosion of his political career.

McGreevey is being courted by national television personalities like Barbara Walters, Katie Couric, Larry King and Oprah Winfrey, all of whom want to be first to interview him before ReganBooks, an imprint of HarperCollins, publishes the book, people who know him said.

McGreevey is barred by contract from discussing the book now - and from talking to the media in general - before the book's release, said Jonathan Capehart, a friend who is fielding media inquiries on behalf of the former governor.

Suzanne Wickham, a publicist for ReganBooks, said Friday that she hadn't yet read the manuscript, but that the book will be a candid look at McGreevey's personal and political life. She said the book is still being written.

People who know McGreevey said the former governor and his partner, private investment adviser Mark O'Donnell, 42, were vacationing in Australia on Friday. The two, who met at a cocktail party last year, have recently been house-hunting in central New Jersey, the people said.

They said the book was both painful and therapeutic for McGreevey to write. The former governor's struggle with his sexuality and its effect on his Catholic faith are dominant themes, they said.

McGreevey, who was raised Catholic, now belongs to an Episcopal church, which he and O'Donnell attend regularly, people who socialize with them said.

©365Gay.com 2006

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