Former New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is separating from his wife, Chirlane McCray, the couple announced Wednesday.
Married for 29 years, the couple says they do not plan to get a formal divorce, but they will start seeing other people even while still living together. De Blasio and McCray made the peculiar announcement in an extensive dual interview with the New York Times on Wednesday.
“I just want to have fun,” McCray told the Times.
The former first couple of NYC said discussions of a separation first began in early May, though troubles in their relationship sourced back much further than that.
McCray revealed that she had been skeptical of de Blasio’s 2020 run for president, which few at the time saw as a winnable contest for the unpopular mayor.
She argued the bid was a “distraction,” but said she stood by her husband because such a campaign is “not the kind of thing where you can break ranks…. That’s part of the difficulty of being part of a package.”
De Blasio went on to acknowledge that McCray had been calling herself a lesbian when they first met. He says that reality always caused him to harbor doubts about their relationship.
“For the guy who took the chance on a woman who was an out lesbian and wrote an article called ‘I Am a Lesbian’ … there was a part of me that would at times say, ‘Hmmm, is this like a time bomb ticking? Is this something that you’re going to regret later on?’” he told the Times.
Neither de Blasio nor McCray referenced a third party as a reason for their split.
De Blasio, 62, has faced lingering issues since making his exit from the political scene. He was fined nearly $475,000 in June for misusing city resources during his 2020 presidential campaign. New York City’s Conflicts of Interest Board found that he wrongfully had the city pay for his NYPD security detail’s travel costs to and from campaign events in 2019. Expenses also included lodging, car rentals, airfare, and meals.