When Marianne Gingrich, the second wife of GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich, went public with allegations that Gingrich asked her for an “open marriage” and had a long-term affair with the former Callista Bisek, the woman who is now Gingrich’s third wife, I thought of Steve Harvey’s ex-wife, Mary Harvey. Last year, Mary Harvey posted a series of videos on YouTube in which she talked of Harvey’s infidelities during their marriage, including his affair during their marriage with his current wife, Marjorie.
Although there was a bit more interest in Marianne Gingrich’s allegations than there ever were in Mary Harvey’s – after all, Gingrich is a current contender for the presidency – eventually, people lost interest in Marianne’s allegations as quickly as they lost interest in Mary’s. Some people have said, of both men, “I knew he was a low down dirty dog!” But ultimately, the consensus seems to be, in both cases: “Yawn, old news, old girl needs to move on.”
It is old news. Gingrich served his first wife with divorce papers while she was in the hospital recovering from cancer surgery. Allegedly, he was involved with Mrs. Gingrich #2 while he was married to Mrs. Gingrich #1, and then cheated on Mrs. Gingrich #2 with the current Mrs. Gingrich #3. If the economy were in better shape, Gingrich’s past might raise character questions that would hamper his presidential hopes. But in the current economic environment, it appears the public at large would rather not think about multiple women clamoring to have sex with Newt Gingrich.
Famously, Steve Harvey turned his infidelity into profit. His relationship advice book was a huge bestseller – and is now a feature film – because women bought into Harvey’s premise that he is best positioned to tell women how to avoid low down dirty dogs, because he was once one himself. Mary’s tell-all videos didn’t hurt Steve Harvey’s entertainment empire, because she didn’t reveal anything that Harvey hadn’t already revealed himself.
In the ABC News interview, Marianne Gingrich still looked hurt as she spoke of Newt’s infidelities. Mary Harvey saved letters, emails, and other evidence of her ex-husband’s infidelity, years after the divorce. In her YouTube videos, she appeared to still be in a lot of pain over her husband’s betrayal of their wedding vows.
I understand why a woman who was hurt by infidelity might choose to tell her story to help her process that pain. But if she does it still seeking revenge on the man who hurt her, that bitter pill is likely to hurt her far more than it does him.