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George Santos married a woman in 2012. Yet says he's been "openly gay" for 10 years.
For seven of those ten years, Santos was married to a woman he divorced 12 days before his first run for Congress. But the reality may be even more twisted than that.
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GOP Rep-elect George Santos, the Long Island politician under much scrutiny since the New York Times revealed that he fabricated just about his entire resume, now turns out to have gotten divorced from a woman in 2019.
Roger Sollenberger at the Daily Beast broke the story, underscoring that Santos, who today says he is married to a man, never revealed he’d previously been married to a woman, nor that their divorce was finalized 12 days before his first run for Congress in 2020.
The Daily Beast noted it could find no public record of Santos’ marriage to the man he claims is his husband nor any record of that man being a pharmacist, as Santos has claimed. The Daily Beast didn’t report how long Santos was married to the woman, Uadla Santos Viera Santos, nor where they married.
In checking the New York City Marriage Index, I can confirm that the couple was married in Manhattan on August 2, 2012.
Why does that raise even more interesting questions?
First off, it would mean that Santos was married to a woman for the majority of years he has claimed he was “openly gay” and “never had an issue with my sexual identity in the past decade,” as he told USA Today this past October.
As The Daily Beast’s Sollenberger notes, it’s “entirely possible” that Santos had been living “comfortably as an openly gay man” since people “get married for countless reasons.”
But seven years? Was he living with this woman during that whole time, and did she just understand that he was gay and accepted him going out with men? Note that he’s not come out as bisexual, but as gay. So unless “gay” rather than “bisexual”is another lie, it would be a marriage that was sexless and was perhaps fulfilled by other needs.
Or did he lie to her, living in the closet? That doesn’t sound like a very functional situation or as someone who was “openly gay” and “never had an issue with my sexual identity.”
Or, were they living separately, he leading his openly gay life, and she leading her own life. And why?
It’s also interesting that they married in Manhattan at the clerk’s office, and don’t appear to have had a big Queens wedding. Per the records they didn’t just obtain their license there in 2012 but appear to have gotten married there, on August 2.
Sure, lots of people do that — I did — but it just doesn’t comport with the bio of the ethnic Queens family that built a business empire together, as Santos has emphasized, focusing on how he is the son of parents who emigrated to Queens from Brazil. He’s said his mother was Jewish — though yesterday The Forward uncovered he has fabricated that Jewish ancestry. Jewish Insider reports on aspects of this as well.
And Santos has said his father was Catholic. While Santos has called himself a “nonobservant” Jewish Republican, he has indeed described himself in a religious sense as a “conservative Catholic.” Someone like that would surely have had a big church wedding, rather than meeting at a convenient place like Manhattan for a quickie City Hall hitch.
Melissa Weiss, who broke the Jewish Insider story, tweeted out this morning that a man she spoke with who said he dated Santos in 2012 said he “promised the world including citizenship for marrying him.”
So Santos was dating a man in 2012 — the same year he married Uadla Santos Viera — and promised that man citizenship via marriage? Even though Santos may have been married at the time to a woman or was perhaps about to get married to her?
That only makes sense if Santos was planning to eventually be divorced from his wife — or perhaps met and proposed to the guy first and offered him citizenship, and he declined — which also raises more questions regarding what the marriage between him and Santos Viera was really about. It’s also noteworthy that the Defense of Marriage Act would not be overturned until the following year, 2013 — and only then could gays get federal benefits of marriage, such as citizenship for foreign-born spouses — so Santos was likely betting on it or just stringing the guy along.
Santos has had very shady business dealings, and was the NY director of a company the SEC shut down in 2021 as a “Ponzi scheme.” And he has criminality in his background. As the New York Times reports, at 19, while living in Brazil, Santos “stole the checkbook of a man his mother was caring for, according to Brazilian court records” and “used the checkbook to make fraudulent purchases.”
So, I wouldn’t put anything past him. For what it’s worth, I do believe Santos, who revoltingly supported Ron DeSantis’ “don’t say gay” law, is gay — just the gaydar of one gay journalist who’s been doing this for many years.
But whatever the case, his previous marriage, which he’s kept secret, surely raises a whole host of questions.
Correction: This post has been updated, as Melissa Weiss updated her Twitter thread to report that the man Santos was dating said he asked him to marry him in 2012, not 2014, as she’d initially tweeted, and as I’d initially reported.