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Split Decision 

Do you believe in Gavin and Kimberly, even as they divorce?

Wednesday, Jan 12 2005
Yes, San Francisco, it's true. After three years, Mayor Gavin Newsom and his wife, Kimberly Guilfoyle Newsom, former lingerie model and prosecutor, are splitting up, a move rumored to be imminent for months in San Francisco high society. It was announced "with great sadness" last week by the City Hall press office, in a brief statement released shortly before Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger began his State of the State speech. The timing was no doubt intended to obscure the news, because the duo has made plenty of it in the past year, with Newsom winning his mayoral bid and pushing same-sex marriage into the national spotlight, and Guilfoyle Newsom appearing daily on Court TV to comment on the Scott Peterson trial. Accordingly, the gossip surrounding the split, by all accounts amicable, has focused on whether the couple's Camelot-like facade was ever genuine and what the failed marriage indicates about the two high-profile personalities. Are you a teary-eyed apologist for the breakup of Gavin and Kimberly? Take our quiz and find out!

1) The announcement of the split attributed the marital discord mostly to job stress, quoting the pair as saying: "Unfortunately, the demands of our respective careers have made it too difficult for us to continue as a married couple." What's your reaction to that statement?

A) Career(s)?

B) I'm just upset I picked "four years" in the office pool.

C) But it can't be! The story of Camelot ended so happily!

2) Rumors of an impending divorce intensified this summer and seemed to spur Guilfoyle Newsom's arrangement of a photo spread in the September edition of Harper's Bazaar. The couple were pictured in splashy attire throughout the Getty mansion, site of their wedding reception and home of Ann and Gordon Getty, longtime family friends and backers of Newsom's mayoral campaign. The photograph that caused the most stir pictured the power couple spooning on an elaborate floor rug. What did you think when you saw the spread?

A) "Thank God the Gettys aren't spooning on that rug ...."

B) Well, it was weird. But at the time, it just seemed like a desperate attempt to convince an adoring, superficial voting public that their phony love would sustain. And it kinda worked for almost five months.

C) I thought the layout was a prime example of aesthetically pleasing, crucially important art that poses the age-old question: Which is more beautiful, beautiful young people or beautiful old furniture?

3) Only a month ago, Mayor Newsom addressed the divorce rumors in an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle, admitting: "But, seriously, this living on different sides of the continent has taken a huge toll personally. The transcontinental marriage is tough -- the only godsend is that we don't have kids ...." What did you make of that quote?

A) I always knew his "bicoastal" thing was gonna be a problem ....

B) Well, duh. Everyone knows you don't have children in a marriage of convenience.

C) Godsend? The only godsend is how gorgeous those kids would be!

4) Throughout their 10-year relationship, Gavin and Kimberly took great pains to publicly distance themselves from comparisons to the Kennedys that cropped up with increasing regularity in the media. (The Harper's Bazaar photo spread, for instance, was headlined "The New Kennedys.") Do you think the pair were genuine in their attempts to dispel such analogies?

A) As genuine as Kimberly's smile on Court TV.

B) Yes, I do. It's got to be a tremendous burden for an up-and-coming politician to be unceasingly compared to the embodiment of everything America yearns for in its ideal statesman.

C) Absolutely. Would Jackie O. have joked at a New York AIDS benefit that her husband was "hung"?

5) What impact do you think the impending divorce will have on San Francisco society and politics?

A) By "society and politics," do you mean, "Marina bars"?

B) Well, Newsom has suddenly become a lot more popular in the Castro.

C) I don't know. But do you think Gav would like this shade of lipstick?

6) How do you think the split will affect Mayor Newsom's image on the national stage, where he is often discussed as a young Democrat with broader political ambitions?

A) I predict a three-part Chronicle series, sometime in the next year, about the challenges a suave, handsome, bachelor mayor faces in searching for his perfect love amid the day-to-day travails of governing a metropolis and increasing his nationwide appeal.

B) I predict a sitcom.

C) Oh, please. It's not like the Newsom machine ever made his ostentatious, faux-Hollywood marriage a central fixture of his political campaigns or anything. (Bonus point for adding: "And that Gonzalez kid didn't even have a girlfriend!")

7) And, finally, what effect, if any, do you think Newsom's bachelor status will have on his major political initiatives as mayor, including his plans for homeless-policy reform and his push for a lifting of the ban on gay marriage?

A) I predict the homeless won't give a shit.

B) Hmm. Yes, that whole inexplicable gay-marriage thing suddenly becomes a bit more interesting ....

C) Who cares? The real tragedy is that now we'll have to find something else to talk about.

How to score:

Score zero points for every "A" answer, one point for every "B," and two points for every "C."

0-6 points: Take heart, fair citizen. When the split was announced, Newsom was hard at work on the business of the city, vacationing in Hawaii.

7-10 points: No more Kimberly ... San Francisco's loss, New York City's gain.

11-14 points: Hey, cheer up: Gavin could always start dating Sharon Stone.

About The Author

Matt Palmquist


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