Sex Gavin Newsom’s Sex Scandal
posted by February 2 at 16:43 PMon
The very popular, very handsome, and very single/recently divorced mayor of San Francisco, Gavin Newsom, is embroiled in a sex scandal. Nothing illegal went down—no underage interns were harmed in the production of this sex scandal.
Newsom did, however, have sexual relations with a staffer. Although the woman, Ruby Rippey-Tourk, was Newsom’s appointments secretary at the time of the affair, she hasn’t made an allegations of sexual harassment. It seems to have been a brief, consensual workplace affair that ended two years ago. A bad idea, particularly for a big city mayor, but we’ve seen worse.
But Rippey-Tourk, however, is a married woman. And her husband, Alex Tourk, is Gavin Newsom’s best friend and campaign manager. When Rippey-Tourk told her husband about the affair, he promptly resigned—from the friendship as well as Newsom’s reelection campaign. Now there’s talk about the affair ending any chances Newsom had of higher office. (He had been mentioned as a potential Dem candidate for governor of California.) It’s a shit storm, for sure, and Newsom’s a cad and I can’t imagine Tourk will be married to Rippey-Tourk much longer.
But here’s the detail that keeps bothering me…
Mr. Tourk, Mr. Newsom’s former deputy chief of staff and a close friend, resigned Wednesday afternoon, apparently after his wife, as part of rehabilitation for a substance-abuse problem, confessed to having had a relationship with Mr. Newsom.
I keep picturing Rippey-Tourk’s shrink giving her the usual recovery rap about how she’ll never fully recover until she makes amends to all the people she’s wronged—and that she can’t begin to make amends until she confesses every last thing she did wrong. Or maybe Rippey-Tourk felt guilty about the affair and wanted to unburden herself to her husband, unprompted by her counselors. However it went down, I don’t think this confession was in the best interests of all involved. Not because I want to protect Gavin Newsom—full disclosure: Newsom’s a hero in the gay marriage fight and I’d have an affair with him in a heartbeat—but because, as I’ve argued in “Savage Love” on numerous occasions, sometimes the best way to make amends to someone you’ve wronged—particularly to a spouse you’ve cheated on—is by keeping your fucking mouth shut.
Rippey-Tourk could have sucked up the guilt, committed herself to staying faithful in the future, and allowed her poor husband to go to his grave believing that he didn’t marry the kind of woman that would do that to him. Instead Mrs. Rippey-Tourk unburdened herself and in the process shifted all of the burden on to Mr. Tourk.
Sometimes honesty is not the best policy, and this may have been one of those times. Now in addition to being cuckolded for real—this wasn’t some fetish cuckold roleplay scenario—Mr. Tourk has been humiliated before the whole world. Oh, and he’s out of job too. Gavin Newsom will survive this scandal (and may yet go on to higher office), and Mrs. Rippey-Tourk will be forever seen as the victim of a caddish man and an unnamed abusable substance. But Mr. Tourk? He’s always going to be that poor dude whose best friend banged his wife.
Yes, Tourk’s wife and best friend betrayed him. But with the affair long over, did Mr. Tourk really need to be told about the betrayal? What good did it do? And whose interests did this confession really serve?
I’ll bet you that Mr. Tourk, in his heart of hearts, would have rather not have been told about this affair.