'Gringrich divorced wife for not being pretty enough to be President's wife'

Dec 28, 2011, 09:48 IST | ANI
Former House of Representatives Speaker and 2012 White House contender Newt Gingrich divorced his first wife as he believed that she was not beautiful enough to be the President's wife, according to his former aide.
Gingrich's messiest political problems resurfaced when CNN posted papers from his first divorce that contradict his claims his wife sought the split.
CNN interviewed Gingrich's former pal and early congressional campaign treasurer Leonard Carter, who said their friendship ended over the ambitious politician's callous treatment of his wife. "Gingrich) said, 'You know and I know that she's not young enough or pretty enough to be the wife of a President,'" Carter told CNN.
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. When Gingrich left Battley, he was seeing a young congressional aide, Marianne Ginther, whom he married in 1981, the Daily News reports.
He divorced her 19 years later after an affair with another young congressional aide, Callista Bisek, who is now his third wife and main campaign strategist. On his campaign website, he denies the much-retold story that he served his first wife divorce papers in the hospital where she had just had cancer surgery.
"It was (Jackie Battley) that requested the divorce, not Newt, and it was months before the hospital visit in question," the campaign website says. But newly 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. 

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