It’s widely known that Newt Gingrich’s history of it being All About Him and his ambitions goes back a long way, but this news is still really gross. A story from years ago is making the rounds right now, about his marriage to Jackie, his first wife, and it’s fairly disgusting:

She had free will. Nobody forced her to marry someone eight years younger. The man is supposed to marry someone younger, and Newt corrected that the second time around after divorcing Jacqueline in 1980 for “irreconcilable differences,” which he said had been the case through the 1970s, despite counseling.

But did he have to be so mean about it? As reported by L.H. Carter, his campaign treasurer, Newt said of Jacqueline: “She’s not young enough or pretty enough to be the wife of the President. And besides, she has cancer.”

Newt has been claiming for years that it was Jackie that wanted the divorce, but it’s looking like that’s a lie:

[N]ewly revealed 30-year-old court papers posted on CNN’s website appear to contradict that.

In the papers, Battley asks the judge to reject her husband’s request for a divorce.

“Defendant shows that she has adequate and ample grounds for divorce, but that she does not desire one at this time,” her petition said.

“Defendant does not admit that this marriage is irretrievably broken.”

CNN said it was initially told the divorce documents were sealed, but then a reporter found the folder stashed in a court clerk’s drawer in Carroll County, Ga.


CNN interviewed Newt Gingrich’s former pal and early congressional campaign treasurer Leonard Carter, who said their friendship ended over the ambitious pol’s callous treatment of his wife.


He said Gingrich initially refused to pay alimony — a claim supported by the court papers — and a church had to launch a food drive for Battley and her two daughters.

Nice. The article points out, of course, that at that time, he was already dating the newer, hotter model, who became his second wife. When she got a wrinkle before Newt’s ambitions came to fruition, he started testing out the 3.0 version, named Callista, with whom he was having an affair while he was attacking President Clinton for infidelity.

Newt Gingrich will never be president — this, we know — but if his pattern holds, I wouldn’t be surprised if Callista gets the boot sometime after the 2012 elections.