Gavin Newsom was born into one of the most opulent and powerful families in America, but his family’s financial status hasn’t always been reflected in his public life. He has dated women, including one of his wife’s friends and a former city attorney and prosecutor, and had an affair with a staffer during his time in office.
He has a long and distinguished political history, dating back to his first election as mayor of San Francisco in 2003 and the recall vote that followed in 2021. His soaring popularity among voters has put him in a position to become the next California governor. But a slew of sexual harassment allegations is now clouding his future, making it difficult for him to build on his already massive personal profile.
His relationship with Kimberly Guilfoyle and his affair with Alex Tourk, both of whom worked at City Hall, are now the subject of debate in the gubernatorial race. His close relationship with the Gettys, the world’s richest family, and his flamboyant lifestyle have drawn scrutiny in his personal life too.
In 2004, Harper’s Bazaar published an eight-page spread of glamorous photos of Newsom and Guilfoyle, both dressed up in $1,000 tuxedos. The magazine’s Camelot-inspired portrait, starring the pair posing together as if in a courtship ritual, drew comparisons to the Kennedy family.
The family, whose members included Ann Getty, the deceased mother of Gavin Newsom, had a long tradition of womanizing. Gordon Getty, the dynasty’s patriarch, was known for his extramarital affairs and his secret double life with another woman.
It was also a glaring contrast to Newsom’s own marriage to Guilfoyle, an accomplished prosecutor and city attorney who had dated one of the Gettys’ biological sons with hopes of joining the world’s most elite family. Their divorce was finalized two weeks after Valentine’s Day 2006.
Rippey Gibney, a former city appointments secretary, and her husband were also photographed with Newsom during his time as mayor of San Francisco. During the campaign, she claimed she had left her job to seek treatment for alcohol abuse and drug addiction. She was awarded $10,154 ‘catastrophic illness pay’ from the city and a reported investigation cleared her of any wrongdoing.
While there are few definitive details, rumors that Newsom may be considering an eventual presidential run have begun to circulate. He has already appeared in several political events outside the state and has helped raise money for embattled Democratic candidates nationwide, suggesting he is positioning himself well to take on a national campaign should he choose to go that route later.
If he is serious about running for president, Kolenc said, Newsom will likely need to secure endorsements from the party’s local chapters. He also would have to fundraise, hire staff and organize a campaign team.
In the meantime, his campaign for a second term as governor has barely broken a sweat. A resounding victory in November will give him another five years of political power, freeing him up to pursue a presidential run should he decide to do so.