Former New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and his wife, Chirlane McCray, have announced that they are separating but will still be living together and won’t be filing for divorce for now. The couple, who share two children, Chiara, 28, and Dante, 25 are separating after nearly 30 years, according to The New York Times.
De Blasio served as mayor of New York City from 2014 to 2021, and made a run for president during this period, putting a major spotlight on his family. De Blasio’s wife, who is Black, featured heavily during his political career, and she and her two children became examples of a socially progressive American future, as reported by The Hill.
De Blasio told the Times that the stress that comes with being a mayor negatively affected his marriage as he couldn’t find time to be with his wife. “And that kind of took away a little bit of our soul,” he said. The former mayor also blamed the pandemic for the crack in his marriage. He said he sought guidance from a therapist during that period as he and McCray were no longer compatible but he didn’t find time for the therapist because of the huge workload that came as Covid cases kept rising in New York.
What’s more, McCray wasn’t in support of de Blasio’s decision to run for president in 2020, calling it a “distraction”. Two months ago, the two started considering a separation when they finally realized that they weren’t a lovey-dovey couple anymore.
McCray, who works on mental health policy in New York, met de Blasio while working with him under Mayor David Dinkins. McCray had identified as a lesbian at the time but the two started dating and got married in 1994.
Reflecting on his decision to marry a woman who had come out as lesbian years earlier, de Blasio told the Times, “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?’ So I always lived with that stuff.”
The pair will remain in their townhouse in the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn and will be open to dating other people.