Bill Keller's Glass House of Adultery

The gossip blog Deceiver reminds its readers of an inconvenient truth about Bill Keller, executive editor of the New York Times and purveyor of underbaked allegations of adultery against John McCain. It seems Mr. Keller knows something about cheating on the wife, which led to divorce and the second wife:

In a September 2006 New York magazine story, journalist Joe Hagan described the circumstances behind Keller’s marriage to his second wife, the French gin-namesake Emma Gilbey (who is also an ex-something of U.S. Senator John Kerry, but I digress…) and his divorce from National Public Radio reporter Ann Cooper.

Hagan found friends at the Times were shocked, like reporter Stephen Engelberg: "I wouldn’t pretend to be Bill’s psychologist, but he didn’t get a red sports car, so …" Here's the snippet Deceiver used:

Moving to New York, Keller wrote one last piece on South Africa, an article for the Times Magazine about Nelson Mandela’s wife, Winnie, in which he cited a book called The Lady: The Life and Times of Winnie Mandela. The following week, the magazine published a letter by the book’s author.

I thoroughly enjoyed Bill Keller’s article “The Anti-Mandela” (May 14) and am glad he found my biography of Winnie Mandela useful. I agree with him that the phrase “a blistering inferno of racial hatred,” used to describe her childhood, is an overwrought one. However, credit where credit is due. It is not my phrase, it is Winnie’s own.
— Emma Gilbey, Sag Harbor, L.I.

After reading the letter, Keller called Gilbey, a British journalist living in New York, and asked her to coffee at the Times cafeteria. Gilbey, at the time, had a reputation as something of a power-dater; her exes included Senator John Kerry and Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour. An affair ensued, which shocked Keller’s friends. “I felt bad for everyone involved,” says Stephen Engelberg, a former Times reporter. “This was not characteristic behavior at all. I wouldn’t pretend to be Bill’s psychologist, but he didn’t get a red sports car, so …”


Two years after they met, Gilbey was pregnant, Keller was divorced from Cooper, and he had a new job as managing editor under Joe Lelyveld.

New York Times
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