Newt Gingrich, in trying to defuse one of his biggest political liabilities, has tried to say that he did NOT serve papers on his first wife while she was in the hospital receiving cancer treatment.
A confidant of the former House speaker told CNN that Gingrich said he dumped Jackie Battley — his one-time high school geometry teacher — in 1980 because she wasn’t “young enough or pretty enough” to be First Lady.
On his campaign website, he denies the much-retold story that he served his first wife divorce papers in the hospital where she had just had cancer surgery.
“It was (Jackie Battley) that requested the divorce, not Newt, and it was months before the hospital visit in question,” the campaign website says.
But newly revealed 30-year-old court papers posted on CNN’s website appear to contradict that.
In the papers, Battley asks the judge to reject her husband’s request for a divorce.
“Defendant shows that she has adequate and ample grounds for divorce, but that she does not desire one at this time,” her petition said.
“Defendant does not admit that this marriage is irretrievably broken.”