Details About Kimberly Guilfoyle & Gavin Newsom's Relationship And Why They Got Divorced

These days, Gavin Newsom and Kimberly Guilfoyle are on opposite ends of the political spectrum. He's the Governor of California, a major representative of the modern Democratic Party that might even be planning a run for president. Guilfoyle, on the other hand, has been with Donald Trump Jr. for years. In April 2024, celebrating their sixth anniversary, Trump Jr. wrote on Instagram, "Thanks for always being there no matter what the haters are throwing our way."

Those haters never would have predicted this turn of events back in the 2000s, when Guilfoyle and Newsom were a political couple on the rise. Both Democrats then, they were so young and glamorous that Harper's Bazaar called them "the New Kennedys." That moniker didn't pan out, but don't let it be forgotten, that for one brief shining moment, there was the Kimberly Guilfoyle and Gavin Newsom partnership — and then there was a divorce.

They first met in the 1990s

In their profile for Harper's Bazaar, Gavin Newsom and Kimberly Guilfoyle revealed that they first met in the 1990s, several years before they would wind up dating one another. The meeting went down at a Democratic Party fundraiser; yes, even though she would later date Donald Trump Jr. and throw her full weight behind his father's controversial presidency, Guilfoyle was once a Democrat. They were both dating other people at the time, but their connection at the fundraiser was undeniable. "I looked across the room and saw Gavin — tall, elegant, handsome, charismatic," Guilfoyle recalled.

Newsom, too, was taken with the young lawyer. He recalled, "What really attracted me to Kimberly, what she's all about, is her belief in people and their power to be expressive. Though we didn't see each other for years, I was always asking, 'Whatever happened to that DA from L.A.?'"

They eventually reconnected, and their relationship took off. "When I was younger, I looked up to Gavin," Guilfoyle reflected. "But that's grown into a deep appreciation of someone with whom you not only share a connection but trust."

Kimberly Guilfoyle received death threats around her wedding to Gavin Newsom

Before her marriage, Kimberly Guilfoyle was a prominent prosecutor in San Francisco, serving as an Assistant District Attorney. In 2001, she worked on the high-profile Diane Whipple case, which involved Whipple's fatal mauling by a dog. The resulting investigation revealed that her neighbors were watching the attack dog on behalf of a member of the Aryan Brotherhood, turning the case into quite the media spectacle. SFGate ran an extensive profile of Kimberly Guilfoyle, during which she acknowledged her past as a lingerie model and the fact that she was dating Gavin Newsom. However, she insisted she was a serious prosecutor, thank you very much. "It's not just who's dating who, parties and silliness," she said.

The intensity of the case and the fact that it involved a convicted criminal led to significant security concerns for Guilfoyle. SFGate reported that authorities had learned that incarcerated Aryan Brotherhood member Paul "Cornfed" Schneider — the owner of the killer dog — had put a hit out on Guilfoyle. "The information is a bit thin — we frankly don't know how credible it is, but precautions are being taken just in case," a source told the newspaper.

In Harper's Bazaar, Guilfoyle later admitted that the death threats had an impact on their wedding. "We had to have bomb-sniffing dogs go through the church," she revealed.

Their glamorous wedding of Kimberly Guilfoyle and Gavin Newsom

Scary security situation aside, Gavin Newsom and Kimberly Guilfoyle's wedding wound up being quite the high-society event. Harper's Bazaar published details about the event in their 2004 profile of the couple, noting that Guilfoyle wore a tiara borrowed from Ann Getty and a custom gown by Vera Wang, the biggest name in wedding dress design.

Further details were revealed in a society piece for SFGate, which counted off the many luminaries who attended the wedding. Actor Ed Asner was there, as were plenty of socialites and politicians from the San Fransisco scene. The participation of the Gettys — the iconic oil family — was a crucial one; after all, they were friends with the Newsoms, who made Guilfoyle feel included even though she lost her own mother as a child. "Tessa [Newsom] and Ann have made what could have been a difficult and sad time, not having my mother, a special time filled with love and support," Guilfoyle told The Chronicle.

Gavin Newsom won the mayoral election in 2003

When Gavin Newsom and Kimberly Guilfoyle first got married, Newsom was not yet Mayor of San Francisco, having originally held several smaller offices in city government. When he announced his run for the mayorship, Newsom was a member of the city's Board of Supervisors. He was immediately a popular candidate; as SFGate noted, he raised more than $500,000 in the first two months of his campaign, very close to the city's $724,000 campaign spending limit. "It's astonishing that someone could be so close to the limit and the year has only begun," his rival's campaign manager told the outlet.

In December 2003, Newsom won the election. According to SFGate, during his acceptance speech, he insisted, "It's time to unite San Francisco. It's time to reach out to those who are with us, and those who are against us."

In contrast to typical establishment politics, Newsom went after the youth vote. That included bringing his wife Kimberly Guilfoyle out on the campaign trail. However, once his win was announced, Guilfoyle took a job that would bring her to New York City. She complained about the backlash to SFGate, shooting back, "To these people who question our marriage, I want to ask: How is your marriage doing? Mine is just fine."

They had a long-distance relationship during most of the week

In 2004, when Gavin Newsom was sworn in as the mayor of San Francisco, Kimberly Guilfoyle was working on a number of television projects in New York City. In addition to appearing on both CNN and ABC as a legal commentator, Guilfoyle hosted a CourtTV show called "Both Sides." She told Harper's Bazaar, "Gavin was sworn in on January 8, and on the 11th, I left for my new job in New York."

This meant that for a significant chunk of their relationship, they were long-distance. Guilfoyle had an apartment in NYC, which she stayed in on weekdays, and then she'd fly back to San Francisco to be with her husband on weekends. Guilfoyle admitted to the magazine that this wasn't an ideal situation and that she was frequently tired of traveling back and forth across the country. Still, she said, she made it work. "I'm super-high-energy — Miss Hard Work — so I manage because I'm so lucky to have this great job I love," she said.

Newsom told Harper's Bazaar that he had no interest in putting a stop to Guilfoyle's separate career ambitions. "I could never deny her," he said. "It's this wonderful combination of being in love and extraordinarily proud."

Gavin Newsom quickly became a controversial mayor

In February 2004, within weeks of being sworn in as the Mayor of San Francisco, Gavin Newsom directed his government to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. "California's Constitution is clear. Discrimination is immoral, it is illegal and it is antithetical to our most cherished values — liberty and freedom," he said while making the announcement, The New York Times reported. Even though marriage equality had not yet been legalized nationwide, Newsom insisted that it was discriminatory to prevent gay couples from marrying their partners. "I do not believe it's appropriate for me, as mayor of San Francisco, to discriminate against people," Newsom told CNN. "And if that means my political career ends, so be it."

Newsom's action touched off a national firestorm over the legality (and morality) of same-sex marriage. Even in California, the move was controversial. Directing the courts to put a stop to San Francisco's marriage equality, then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger insisted (via CNN), "It is time for the city to stop traveling down this dangerous path of ignoring the rule of law."

Through it all, Kimberly Guilfoyle stood by her husband. Later in 2004, she appeared on his behalf at the Empire State Pride Agenda Foundation's gay awards dinner in New York, where Newsom's advocacy was being honored. She gave the curious attendees a peek into their sex life, telling everyone (via SFGate), "Is he hot? Yeah. Is he hung? Yeah."

Their first years together were spent in humble digs

It's no secret that Gavin Newsom has always been quite the rich man. When he ran for governor, a profile in The Sacramento Bee noted that Newsom got his start as the proprietor of a wine shop that he co-founded with Gordon Getty, heir to the Getty oil fortune. Newsom told the newspaper that their PlumpJack wine business wasn't all that separate from what he was trying to do in politics. "A willingness to take risks — not be reckless — is a consistent meme whose origin started right here. It's literally laid the foundation for the way I think politically," he said, noting that he wouldn't have been able to open the shop without significant investment from family money.

Nevertheless, in the early days of Newsom's marriage to Kimberly Guilfoyle, the couple settled into a relatively humble home. In their Harper's Bazaar profile, Guilfoyle insisted that their original apartment was nothing special, noting that for all intents and purposes, it was unfurnished. "My dad said, 'If people could see how you two really live,'" Guilfoyle mused. "We had a bed, a TV, one thing to sit on and takeout from boxes." Their second, more upscale apartment was decorated by Ann Getty, but really, who's keeping track?

They had to schedule their time together

Gavin Newsom and Kimberly Guilfoyle's relationship was one marked by constant change in their living circumstances. Soon after they married, he became Mayor of San Francisco, which meant they still needed to find ways to spend time together. A lot of Newsom's time was spent at City Hall, which meant that Guilfoyle was by his side on official government business. Newsom didn't seem to mind, however, and neither did the people he was interacting with. "She's in high demand," Newsom told Harper's Bazaar. "Nowadays when I show up, it's always, 'Forget you, where's Kimberly?'"

Acknowledging that she often made speeches at her husband's political events, Guilfoyle said that she sometimes only saw him for the length of "60 Minutes," the CBS news program. "We both could do more at balancing personal time versus work, though I'm better at maintaining relationships," she mused. "I pride myself on making time to talk with family, be there for friends." Guilfoyle reflected that her husband needed to work on this skill. "I'm working with Gavin to do the same, but he feels such an obligation to serve the city," she said before noting that they were once more living apart. "Actually, I probably see him more now than when I lived here [in San Francisco] full-time," she said. "Because we schedule it."

There was backlash to their Harper's Bazaar profile

The infamous Harper's Bazaar profile of Gavin Newsom and Kimberly Guilfoyle came out in 2005, sparking strong reactions from power players in San Francisco politics. After all, the profile had called the couple "The New Kennedys," which was a lofty claim. Apparently, it wasn't one Newsom and Guilfoyle had sought for themselves. "Oh, my God. We made no suggestion of any similarity," Guilfoyle told SFGate. "Public service, that's it. It's not a comparison we make."

Whether they wanted to claim the mantle or not, the fashion editorial's oddly-posed photos made the couple the butt of jokes around San Francisco. The profile became the subject of a political cartoon in The San Francisco Chronicle, and according to Women's Wear Daily, a spokesperson initially said Newsom found the cartoon funny before taking back the statement. Chronicle reporter Leah Garchik told WWD, "I think that a number of people will look at that spread and think, 'Wow, what a glamorous and beautiful couple, the perfect pair to represent our sophisticated city.' And a number of people will look at that spread and think, 'Whew, how could they be cavorting on a millionaire's carpet while homeless are sleeping in doorways?'"

They separated in 2005 because of their demanding careers

From the beginning of their relationship, Gavin Newsom and Kimberly Guilfoyle were open about the fact that they were both very ambitious people and their ambitions often took them to opposite ends of the country. That required spending a significant amount of time apart from one another early in their marriage, and it seemed that sort of arrangement came back around as the relationship reached its natural end. One source who spoke with SFGate in 2005 told the outlet, "It's no secret that they have been leading separate lives. She's on one coast, he's on the other — how can you make a marriage work like that?"

Sure enough, in January 2005, Newsom and Guilfoyle announced that they had decided to dissolve their marriage. "Unfortunately, the demands of our respective careers have made it too difficult for us to continue as a married couple," they said in a statement. Newsom and Guilfoyle went on to insist that their close relationship would continue; they just would no longer be a married couple. "Over the past 10 years, we have developed a tremendous bond of love and respect for each other. That will never change," they wrote. "We will remain close friends." Reader: they would not.

They each remarried quickly after their divorce

Though they had announced their separation in 2005, Gavin Newsom and Kimberly Guilfoyle's divorce wasn't finalized until March 2006. That same month, speculation swirled about Newsom's potential new romance with an actor named Sofia Milos, a noted Scientologist. Newsom told reporters that the gossip was just that. "My gosh, folks. Relax. I'm a practicing Irish Catholic," he said, according to SFGate. "I'm not a Scientologist, and I couldn't tell you two things about it."

In May 2006, mere months after the divorce was finalized, Guilfoyle remarried. This time, The New York Times reported that she'd gotten hitched to a man named Eric Villency in Barbados. Guilfoyle's marriage to Villency relationship didn't last long; they divorced in 2009.

Newsom, meanwhile, found himself dealing with even more attention paid to his romantic life. In 2007, news broke that a few years earlier, while he was still technically married to Guilfoyle, he'd had an affair with the wife of someone who worked in his office. It was unclear whether Guilfoyle was aware, though they were reportedly already separated at the time. On New Year's Day in 2008, SFGate reported that Newsom had gotten engaged again. He'd popped the question to Jennifer Siebel, who he'd reportedly dated since 2006. Party planner Stanlee Gatti told the outlet, "I actually think they were made for one another." They've been married ever since.

Kimberly Guilfoyle supported Gavin Newsom's run for governor

After he divorced Kimberly Guilfoyle, Gavin Newsom's political status continued to rise. In 2011, he was elected Lieutenant Governor of California (and hosted a talk show!) At the end of the decade, he made a play for the top office in the state. By 2017, with the election still a year away, polls were naming Newsom the top contender for the California governorship.

That same year, as the campaign was heating up, Gavin Newsom's ex-wife Kimberly Guilfoyle spoke out about her ex-husband's political aspirations. Now a Fox News host, she nevertheless told The Sacramento Bee that she admired her former partner's savvy acumen. "[Newsom is] an amazing 'ideas guy' in terms of having an idea, developing it and seeing it to fruition," she said. Newsom did indeed see his gubernatorial campaign to fruition; he took office in 2019.

Meanwhile, Guilfoyle had a busy 2017, too. She was dogged by rumors that she'd had an affair with short-lived White House Press Secretary Anthony Scaramucci. Noted political fixer Roger Stone, who was ultimately sentenced to three years in prison for having impeded a Congressional investigation into President Donald Trump, told HuffPost, "He is way too short for Kimberly."

Gavin Newsom and Kimberly Guilfoyle have gone their separate ways politically

When they went their separate ways romantically, Gavin Newsom and Kimberly Guilfoyle claimed that they would remain close. That seems to have happened up through Guilfoyle's strange nickname-filled relationship with Donald Trump Jr., at least to a certain point. "I'm still trying to come to grips with all of it," he joked to KQED in 2018. "No it's fine. I wish her well, and them well," he added, noting that their politics had diverged. That same year, Guilfoyle told The Washington Post that she'd set up a call between Newsom and Trump Jr. She explained that the men had even found some common ground, joking, "Gav's hair is slicked back, and Don's hair is slicked back."

While Newsom and Guilfoyle used to be a Democratic power couple, Guilfoyle's politics had shifted pretty significantly by that point. By way of explanation, she told The Washington Post, "I have fully recovered from San Francisco." In 2020, she spoke at the Republican National Convention, going viral for her full-throated support of her boyfriend's father. "The best! Is yet! To come!" she famously shouted in conclusion. At a press conference, Newsom was asked about his ex-wife's RNC performance, and he said, "I respectfully defer to the next question."

In 2022, on MSNBC's "Alex Wagner Tonight," Newsom confessed that they hadn't spoken in a while. Asked whether the relationship is weird now, he answered simply, "Yeah, of course."