Former New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and his now–separated wife Chirlane McCray have given a rare insight into their failing marriage in a toe–curling interview with The New York Times.
The couple, who had been married since 1994, said they had reached “the decision to start a new chapter“ in their lives. As they posed for a Good Morning America interview outside their Park Slope townhouse in Brooklyn, McCray said the split was “the right decision“ and that she still “very much loves“ her former partner.
The split has caused quite a stir considering the pair were once a high–profile bi–racial couple in American politics, with their relationship playing a large role in de Blasio‘s progressive 2014 election campaign for the mayorship. The former mayor acknowledged that his doomed 2020 presidential campaign was a setback to their relationship, with McCray adding that the pressure he faced to succeed had taken away their “soul“ and left him “emotionally needy“.
Despite their split, the couple will remain married and continue to live in the same townhouse. They will also both pursue other romantic interests – signaled in a tweet by de Blasio which read: “Even at this moment of change, this is a love story.”
McCray has not yet discussed whether she will return to her previous relationships with women after separating from de Blasio. McCray had described homosexuality in her 1979 essay, “I Am A Lesbian“, and said coming to terms with her sexuality felt “like something was terribly wrong with me“.
In recent years, the couple have attracted controversy over financial issues – with de Blasio last month appealing a fine of nearly $475,000 after he misused his personal police detail during his failed 2020 presidential bid.
McCray was also mired in high–dollar controversy in 2019 as she failed to explain where $850 million given to a mental health program she is involved with had gone. The polarizing split has drawn a range of reactions on social media, with some wishing the couple well while others have blasted their indulgence in a “vanity project“. In any case, de Blasio hopes his new hairdo will help him on his own romantic endeavors, having requested The New York Times include a picture of him in the gym to attract future dates.
McCray and de Blasio may be heading towards separate paths, but McCray – whose children Chiara, 25, and Dante, 26, have been informed of their parents‘ decision – insists the pair will still “spend time together“.
“There‘s a very deep bond between us,” she said. “We‘ve been together for nearly 32 years — serving shoulder to shoulder in City Hall and even before that.” It‘s unclear how this “love story“ will play out, but McCray hopes the couple will ultimately serve as an example of how couples can communicate about their needs and “conduct themselves“ in the event of a split.
Only the future will tell whether this partnership ended on a sour note or whether the love between the two will keep them together – metaphorically – even in light of their separation.