Gingrich's ex dishes dirt

2012-01-19 20:11

Washington - The woman who was married for 18 years to Republican White House hopeful Newt Gingrich said in an interview airing on Thursday that her ex-husband asked for an "open marriage" after carrying on a six-year affair with an aide.

Her explosive revelation comes two days before the critically important primary in South Carolina, in America's Bible Belt, and could dent Gingrich's surge as he seeks to close the gap with frontrunner Mitt Romney in the race for the party nomination.

In an interview detailing the unravelling of her marriage, Marianne Gingrich said the former House speaker sought a marital arrangement that would allow him to have a mistress while remaining married to her.

"He wanted an open marriage and I refused," Marianne Gingrich told ABC News's Nightline program, in a video clip airing in advance of Thursday's broadcast.

She said Gingrich admitted to a six-year affair with congressional aide Callista Bisek - now Callista Gingrich - whom he married after Marianne refused his offer and her marriage to the Georgia lawmaker fell apart.

Read more on:    newt gingrich  |  us  |  us elections 2012

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