Punctuating an aggressive debate Thursday night, Gingrich faced stunning new allegations from an ex-wife that he had sought an open marriage before their divorce.
Marianne Gingrich told ABC's "Nightline" that her ex-husband had wanted an "open marriage" so he could have both a wife and a mistress. She said Gingrich had an affair with Callista Bistek, now his wife, "in my bedroom in our apartment in Washington" while she was elsewhere.
"He was asking to have an open marriage and I refused," she said.
Gingrich angrily denounced the news media for putting his ex-wife front and center in the final days of the race and spreading her accusations. "Let me be clear, the story is false," he said when asked at the opening of the debate about her interview.
Getting a handle on the rate of infidelity is difficult given the nature of the behavior.
According a 2006 InfidelityFacts.com report, in 41% of marriages, either one or both spouses admit to either physical or emotional affairs.
The Washington Post, based upon US Census figures, reported in May that more than one-half of marriages have lasted more than 15 years.
It also reports that divorce rates have leveled off since peaking in 1980s. Currently, about 4 in 10 marriages end in divorce.
What you're saying on our Facebook page:
"William Howe Do we really want a first-lady who started out as her husbands mistress? This ain't France, for god's sake."
"Christine Russell-Drake If he's going to lie and cheat on his wife, he's going to lie and cheat the public."
"Justin Lord I just find it hilarious that he thinks gay marriage will ruin the sanctity of marriage, but what he's done is apparently ok"
"Colleen Reynolds Jackson Absolutely! Remember when Newt was leading the effort to impeach President Clinton at the same time he was cheating on his wife (for 6 years!). I would never vote for such a bold-faced hypocrite. Newt is a big liar and says whatever he thinks the current audience wants to hear. What is the worst part is he claims to be for "family values." Talk about hypocrite, and irony"
"Pamela Peet-Leahey If he can do the job I really dont care about his personal life.So he has issues.Who doesnt.If it wasn't marrital then it'd be some other aspect of his life.I personally think he lacks cooth.His problem solving skills are to black and white(no punt) for a country that has strived to long and hard towards acceptance of our growing diversities.We've come a long way and still have a ways to go...I doubt he has much of a chance anyways.And I do like Clinton and always have.Gotta give Hillary props..Tough gal."
"Karleen Littau Johnson If they cheat in their real lives what makes us think they're going to be honest in politics. Not that I care about their private lives, sometimes I think we know too much!!!"
"Megan Scala It wouldn't bother me if he didn't make such a big stink about gay marriage ruining the sanctity of marriage because he its obvious he doesn't keep the values of marriage."
"Ray Furniss These people are human. They make mistakes, they have regreats, just as we all do. How I will cast my vote will always be based on a persons commitment to represent all and rule with justice and fairness for all. Never on drama. It is even easier in this case as I don't feel any of this field of republican candidates have anything to offer."
"Joseph Moore If you choose to be in the "limelight" and the "center of attention" which it appears that Newt does, then you have to be able to take the good with the bad, his outbursts plainly reveal that he is unable to handle things that don't go his way.. I won't be voting for him ! (K)"
"John Northrup if it was enough to blow Cain away, it should apply to Newt also."