Sharon Cotliar and Diane Herbst
May 07, 2007 12:00 PM

It seemed like a classic tale of sexual deception. Dina Matos McGreevey, estranged wife of former New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevey, reveals in her memoir, Silent Partner, how humiliated she was to stand by her husband in ’04 as he said to TV cameras, “I am a gay American.” Not only was her marriage shattered; her husband had just told her—and then the world—that he had slept with another man.

But what did Dina, 40, know—and when did she know it? Her friends insist she had been kept in the dark. “She really didn’t know,” says one source. But in papers filed in the couple’s divorce, Jim, 49, claims Dina “knew of my sexual orientation before our marriage.” Earlier Dina, also in court papers, questioned Jim’s judgment for having a giant photo of a nude man in the Plainfield, N.J., bedroom he now shares with financier Mark O’Donnell—a room visited by the couple’s daughter Jacqueline, 5. “Jacqueline was oblivious to it,” Jim McGreevey tells PEOPLE. “She notices her bike, the cats and dogs and Barbie.”

Why the public food fight? Legal experts speculate Dina could be angling for more say in the upbringing of their daughter, of whom she has primary custody. For his part, McGreevey says he wants to set the record straight: “With these filings, she left me no choice.”

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