Even in looking back at her proposal, Dina says there were signs something wasn't right. Before Jim proposed, Dina says he first had a friend ask her if she would marry him. "And I thought it was very strange, but I thought perhaps he was insecure, wasn't sure if I'd say yes, and maybe afraid of denial," she says. "I said, 'Why isn't he asking me himself?' And she says, 'Well, I don't know. I guess he's afraid of rejection or afraid that you'll say no.' So I said I would."
A month and a half later, Dina says she and Jim went to Montreal. During dinner, she was getting ready to put her menu down when she saw a box on her plate. "So he looked at me and said, 'Aren't you going to open it?' So I opened it and I looked at it and I was waiting for him to say something. He didn't say anything," she says. "And he said, 'What do you think?' 'What do you mean what do I think?' 'Well,' he says, 'Well, it's a pretty significant ring.'"
Dina says she looked at him and waited longer for a proposal. "And it never happened. And he says, 'Well?' I'm like, 'Well, what?'" Dina says. "'What do you think?' [Jim asked]. I said, 'I guess yes.'"
Although she agreed to marry him, Dina says Jim never actually proposed. "He wasn't going to get on his knees," she says. "He never asked."
Jim said he asked for Dina's "forgiveness" and "contrition" during his earlier Oprah appearance. When asked if he personally apologized to Dina, he said, "Yes, but...it doesn't cut it."
Oprah asks Dina: Did Jim apologize? "If that's what you call it," Dina says. "It was a pathetic attempt at an apology."
A few days after the news conference, Dina says she and Jim went away for the weekend to escape the press. "I had complained to some of his friends that he had never apologized," she says. "And he came back into the room and said, 'For the record, I apologize.' And that was like a slap in the face. I mean, I rather would have had him not say anything."
Does Dina feel like Jim has any remorse about what he put her through? "I don't think so," she says. "His actions over the last two and a half or three years are not the actions of someone who's remorseful."
One day while Dina and Jim were still living in the same house, Dina says she found what she believes was the outline of a book he planned to write. In those papers, Dina says she made a shocking discovery.
"He just left the papers on the kitchen counter and I went through them and started reading, and that's where I read that he had married me for political gain," Dina says. Looking back at Jim's press conference, she says he had stated that he married his first wife "out of love and respect." When he spoke of Dina, however, she says he only thanked her for her love and bringing joy to his life. "He never said he loved me," Dina says.
Oprah asks the question many people want to know: Why didn't Dina leave? "I was still trying to make sense of all of this. I knew I wasn't going to stay in the marriage. But I had to make sense of it," Dina says. "I also didn't have a place to live. And I had my daughter. I had to kind of ease her out of this situation. And I'm trying to figure out how to do that. How I was going to handle it. What I was going to do. And how I was going to prepare her."
In her book, Dina writes that she shared a bed with Jim for three months after the announcement. "I assumed that he would move out," she says. "Our bedroom was the only one that was close to the nursery. All the other bedrooms were on the opposite side of the house. So I certainly couldn't move out because I had my daughter near me … and he didn't move out."
Although the couple slept in the same bed, Dina says she never thought they could fix their relationship. "No, I couldn't," she says. "I couldn't live a lie."
Looking back, is Dina proud of the way she handled things after the announcement? "I'm proud of the way I handled it for my daughter and for my family. I should have … kicked him out of the bedroom. In retrospect, I should have done that," she says. "But again, I was in a fog. … Here I was the first lady of New Jersey. I had my job. I had my family. I had the awesome responsibilities associated with that role. And I was left with nothing."
In the days after the announcement, Dina says she was exposed to a media frenzy.
Dina reached out to the one person she thought could advise her during this time—Hillary Clinton. "First of all, she asked me how I was. And she had some great advice," Dina says. "Her advice was, 'You have to get your own counsel. You can't let his advisors tell you what to do, but most importantly, you have to take care of yourself and your daughter.'"
Had the revelation not been so public, would Dina have stayed? "The marriage was obviously a lie. I couldn't live a lie," Dina says. "I knew that it was over. At least my marriage was over, because he apparently never had a marriage."
The Oprah Show contacted Jim McGreevey for a comment. He issued the following statement:
"Congratulations. You're sitting on America's favorite couch. I wish you well in your journey. With the telling of this book, Dina has now had an opportunity to share her story as I did with mine. Now, hopefully, is the time to look to the future to raise our daughter in a loving, nurturing environment."
Even with the announcement three years in the past, Dina says she's still healing. "It's a long process," she says. As she heals, Dina says she's not ready to date. "I'm not dating currently, but the one thing that Jim has done was to destroy my ability to trust people … especially men."
Dina has advice for women who are in a similar situation she was. "If it can happen to me, it can happen to anyone," she says. "What I want people to know is that—whether it's men or women that have had this happen to them—is that you have nothing to be ashamed of. You've done nothing wrong. And most of them, just like me, probably married their spouse because they fell in love with them. They've done absolutely nothing wrong and they should not blame themselves."
We asked Golan Cipel to respond to Jim McGreevey's account of the alleged relationship and Golan asked us to emphasize that there are two sides of the story and he sent us this statement.
Printed from Oprah.com on
© 2014 OWN, LLC. All Rights Reserved.