Democrat Andrew Gillum has come out as bisexual in his first television interview since he was found in a hotel with a gay escort.
Gillum, a former Tallahassee mayor who ran for to be governor of Florida in 2018, saw his career disintegrate in March when he was found in a Miami beach hotel room with a sex worker who had reportedly overdosed on crystal meth.
In a new interview on the Tamron Hall Show, where he was joined by his wife R. Jai Gillum, the former rising star of the Democratic party came out as bisexual.
“I don’t identify as gay, but I do identify as bisexual. And that is something I have never shared publicly before,” Gillum said.
Throughout the hour long interview, Gillum revealed that he started to rely on alcohol following his defeat in the 2018 gubernatorial race.
He said his wife R. Jai had suggested he seek counselling for his depression, but he refused — and their marriage consequently suffered.
“She barely can abide me, I barely can abide her,” Gillum said of their relationship during that period. “Everything the kids do irritates me.”
Andrew Gillum denied sexual relationship with an escort.
He told Hall that he travelled to Miami ahead of his wife for a wedding in March, but ended up meeting with an acquaintance he had known for a few months.
He had been drinking before reconnecting with the friend, and ended up blacking out in a hotel room. He said police were in the room when he woke, and he was told his friend had overdosed.
Gillum insisted that he was not having a sexual relationship with the man.
“The reason why I went to that room is probably no different than how somebody might communicate with someone they are in a friendship, relationship, whatever with,” he said.
“I understand very well what people assume about that.”
Former Florida governor candidate Andrew Gillum tells Tamron Hall he’s bisexual: “That is something I have never shared publicly before” pic.twitter.com/prUW7NPk1C
— The Recount (@therecount) September 14, 2020
R. Jai also addressed her husband’s sexuality in the interview, saying that “so many people just don’t understand bisexuality”.
“Bisexuality is just something different. I just believe that love and sexuality exist on a spectrum. All I care about is what’s between us and what agreement we make.
“I just believe that love and sexuality exists on a spectrum. All I care about is what’s between us and what agreement we make.”
Democrat checked into rehab to recover from drug and alcohol addiction.
Elsewhere in the interview, Andrew Gillum reflected on the time directly after he was found in the hotel room in March.
“I literally got broken down to my most bare place, to the place where I wasn’t even sure if I wanted to live, not because of what I had done, but because of everything that was being said about me.”
Reflecting on the pre-recorded interview before it was aired Monday (September 14), Tamron Hall said it was “intense, and at moments it was heartbreaking, upsetting and it was disorienting”.
“I’m only there because they’ve agreed, but I still felt like I was prying,” Hall, 49, told PEOPLE magazine.
“They agreed to talk with me, but as a journalist, there’s moments where you wonder: How far are we really supposed to go?”
Following the incident in March, Gillum entered rehab to recover from drug and alcohol addiction.
Months on, he reflected on the importance of having his wife, R Jai Gillum, and his three children by his side throughout the odyssey.
“A woman who is literally God’s grace on Earth, the epitome of grace,” he said of RJ.
“I can’t thank her enough for not just standing by me, but encouraging me through this and helping to prop me up.”