Former Va. Gov. McDonnell: Marriage was at breaking point

Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, on the witness stand, said his wife once wanted to use a campaign list to promote a product.
By Frances Burns  |  Aug. 21, 2014 at 4:18 PM
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RICHMOND, Va., Aug. 21 (UPI) -- Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell testified that his years in politics put increasing stress on his marriage, and he is now living away from his wife.

McDonnell remained on the witness stand Thursday. He said he is currently living with his pastor.

The ex-governor and his wife, Maureen, are charged with receiving gifts and loans from Jonnie Williams Sr., former CEO of Star Scientific, in return for helping him promote a nutritional supplement. Federal prosecutors say the couple received a total of $165,000 in loans and items like designer clothing.

McDonnell appeared to be suggesting that any impropriety was his wife's work. He said that when he was attorney general he had to admonish Maureen for using a campaign list to try to sell a nutritional supplement.

"I felt that was completely inappropriate," he said. "I was very upset about that."

During his years in politics, he and Maureen were often apart, McDonnell said. She stayed home with their five children while he was in Richmond, doing her job as a mother "very well," he added.

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