Former Mayor Bill de Blasio and wife Chirlane McCray announced Wednesday that they are splitting after 29 years of marriage — so that they can date other people without living apart or getting divorced.
“I just want to have fun,” McCray — who was living as a lesbian when they met — told the New York Times in a joint interview announcing the split.
The couple claimed that the decision came during a heart-to-heart at home about two months ago in which they discussed why they were not “lovey-dovey anymore.”
However, they conceded that the marriage started crumbling years earlier — especially during the then-mayor’s disastrous 2020 run for the White House.
“I thought it was a distraction,” McCray said of the much-mocked bid that never came close to succeeding.
She said she only stood by de Blasio at the time because the presidential run was “not the kind of thing where you can break ranks … That’s part of the difficulty of being part of a package.”
De Blasio, 62, admitted that the description of his wildly over-ambitious aspirations as a distraction is “kind of true.”
“Point for Chirlane,” he told the Times in their nearly three-hour interview at the Brooklyn home they still plan to share.
De Blasio also blamed his eight years as mayor.
“Everything was this overwhelming schedule, this sort of series of tasks,” he complained.
“And that kind of took away a little bit of our soul.”
The COVID crisis made the mayor “emotionally very needy,” he now admits, saying that also left him and his wife “not as connected.”
McCray, meanwhile, also blamed the lack of “infrastructure” for her own political aspirations, which sparked anger as her mental health initiatives were green-lighted under her husband’s leadership.
The Times also highlighted how the marriage was also promoted to show that de Blasio was not “some boring white guy,” as one of their two adult kids once said.
Supporting her husband while having aspirations of her own became a burden, McCray said.
“How can you be a couple in the fullness of what you tend to think … when you’ve got this responsibility on your shoulders and you don’t want to add to that?” she said.
“There’s a certain weight … that goes with being with Mr. Mayor.”
De Blasio had been a different person before politics, McCray said.
“He was very easy to fall in love with,” she recalled of the man she wed in 1994.
De Blasio, however, suggested that he always had a lingering fear it would not work out.
“For the guy who took the chance on a woman who was an out lesbian and wrote an article called ‘I Am a Lesbian’ … there was a part of me that would at times say, ‘Hmmm, is this like a time bomb ticking? Is this something that you’re going to regret later on?’” he admitted.
“So I always lived with that stuff.”
Neither mentioned anyone else being involved in the split.
They said they have no plans to divorce or for either to move out of the Park Slope home they share.
“You can’t fake it,” McCray said during the interview — in which they cupped hands and even high-fived each other.
“You can feel when things are off … and you don’t want to live that way,” de Blasio said.
“One of the things we’re saying to the world is we don’t need to possess each other.”
Both appeared eager to get dating, with McCray jokingly asking the Times to publish her phone number — and de Blasio suggesting a thirst-trap photo.
“Can I put a picture from the gym in there?” he asked — while also proudly noting his new hair color and cut.
“I like feeling what I feel,” he said.
By Lee Brown