John Hickenlooper and wife Helen Thorpe announce their separation

Categories: News, Politics

john hickenlooper helen thorpe westword.jpg
Thorpe & Hick.
Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper and his wife, journalist and author Helen Thorpe, have just issued a joint statement revealing that they are separating.

The announcement notes that their parting isn't acrimonious and stresses their devotion to their young son, Teddy. Here's the statement:

After years of marriage that have added tremendous love and depth to both of our lives, we have decided to separate. This decision is mutual and amicable. We continue to have the utmost respect for each other, and we remain close friends. We intend to continue functioning as a family that spends a great deal of time together. In fact, we will embark on our annual family vacation together this week, share meals often, and plan to spend holidays together. You can continue to expect to see both of us out in the community -- sometimes together, sometimes solo. Please feel free to include both of us in social gatherings as we will not find it awkward.

Our chief concern right now is the well-being of our son, so we ask everyone to respect our privacy as we make this transition. While public office made this announcement necessary, it will be the only statement we make on this private matter. We want to thank our friends, family, and community for all of the support you have shown us as a couple and as individuals, and for the support we know you will provide as we move forward.

The release, issued by the governor's office, adds the following, addressing in a straight-forward manner the most inevitable questions:

Both the Governor and Ms. Thorpe want the public to know that neither has had an affair, that they did seek extended counseling, and that this decision is unrelated to the difficult events Colorado has faced this summer. While the Governor will be moving into the Governor's Mansion, he will also continue to spend time with his son at their private home.

These attempts to squelch speculation about the causes of the separation are smart, but they're also unlikely to succeed -- at least not entirely. Neither will they mute those who'll wonder in front of microphones and behind the scenes about the possible impact on Hickenlooper should he harbor aspirations toward higher office. Recall that before former Colorado Governor Bill Owens split with from his wife, Frances, he had been frequently mentioned as a national candidate -- but those prospects quickly dimmed amid whispers about affairs and a child born out of wedlock, even though none of this gossip has been confirmed or proven to this day.

Though the announcement is deeply personal, it will undoubtedly start plenty of political conversations. Let them begin.

More from our Media archive: "The Bill Owens Split: A Rumor Roundup."

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29 comments
gwyllie38
gwyllie38

Peolpe seperate and have problems in their marriage, If it affects his Job then be concerned if not let them live their life in private

kwame
kwame

its his ALCOHOLISM 

Alex Hill
Alex Hill

Oh, no! I'm very sorry to read this.

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

"... we have decided to separate ... We intend to continue functioning as a family that spends a great deal of time together." -- this is what Colorado wants -- pols too clueless even to know when they are talking out of both sides of their mouth at once.

 

"While the Governor will be moving into the Governor's Mansion, ..." -- excellent!  Hack will now be in a nice central location where we can address our complaints to him in person.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

Hackmo trading-in for a newer model ...

Denise Caskey
Denise Caskey

Why should this matter? That is their personal business and it should not be blasted all over the media. His marital status has nothing to do with his job.

John Larson
John Larson

just never seemed like she supported him anyway

Emily Epstein
Emily Epstein

Couples split up for all sorts of reasons. Most aren't politicians, so they get to keep their private business private.

Nick Klissiaris
Nick Klissiaris

...but what does James Holmes think about their separation? I think that's what we're all itching to know

George Seaton
George Seaton

How convenient to have the Governor's Mansion to move into when separating from your wife. Let's see... There was Romer, Owens, now the Hick who've all...um, found connubial bliss not so blissful.

Cj Towle
Cj Towle

Respect the 3 day rule, son

Claire Ryder
Claire Ryder

who cares. nice he has a "spare" house to go to and aides to watch the kid

IZen
IZen

 @kwame Yeah, and his skirt chasing, and all those state funded trips to the bath house.

 

Or, it could be the pressure of running the 23rd most populated city in the country followed by leading an entire state all during the largest economic crisis in nearly 80 years. 

 

Or, it could be that after pursuing different paths in their lives they just grew apart.  I know that's less sensational but life is usually more mundane then TV, where most seem to get their frame of reference these days.

IZen
IZen

 @RobertChase If you say so .... but I have known people to split and remain closely involved in each others lives.  One good friend of mine still socializes with her ex and they all meet on most holidays for the kid's and now grand-kids sake.  He's a jolly sole that unfortunately just does' not fit her as a lifelong sole mate.

 

Not every split or divorce ends in accusations and hatred.

 

It's sad that you seem to find joy in judging another person's personal situation just because of your political differences.

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

 @IZen It's sad that you do not understand that "we have decided to separate" and "We intend to continue functioning as a family ..." are contradictory statements.  Pointing out that incongruity has nothing whatsoever to do with "judging another person's personal situation".  I made no reference at all to Hack's personal situation other than noting with pleasure that he will be in a place where we can speak directly to him -- you seem terribly confused.

IZen
IZen

 @RobertChase I interpreted the statement in a different way than you.  When they said "we will embark on our annual family vacation together this week, share meals often, and plan to spend holidays together" that was what they meant by still functioning as a family and keeping the impact on their son minimized, although obviously that will be hard.

 

When they said "Governor will be moving into the Governor's Mansion" I took that to mean that they no longer consider themselves a couple and won't behaving as one in the future.  I have also known functioning families that were not anchored by the traditional couple relationship so I didn't see the inconsistencies you do. 

 

I took it all to mean that instead of alternating custody or scheduled visitation they will continue to raise their son together as a team and help each other in that endeavor, in other words act like a family

 

I apologize if I misinterpreted your source of glee, but that is the way I read you comment.

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