Gavin Newsom's Shadiest Public Digs At Ex-Wife Kimberly Guilfoyle

One of America's most popular Democratic leaders was once married to Donald Trump's future daughter-in-law. In 2004, Gavin Newsom and Kimberly Guilfoyle were deemed "the new Kennedys" in a Harper's Bazaar spread that featured the San Francisco power couple lying on a rug. Two decades later, Newsom fidgets at the mention of his ex-wife, and Guilfoyle misses no opportunities to take shots at him. While Guilfoyle has been more open in criticizing the California governor, Newsom hasn't shied away from sharing his thoughts as well.

It didn't start out that way, though. When Newsom and Guilfoyle split in 2005, they remained close. The 2006 divorce was amicable, having happened after Guilfoyle accepted a job with Court TV in New York that made the marriage bi-coastal. Newsom and Guilfoyle seemed so comfortable around each other post-divorce that they were constantly asked if they were giving their relationship a second chance.

"If I was standing back and looking at the situation, I would say it went great — these two people obviously love each other and get along very well," she told SFGate in November 2005. She continued to publicly praise Newsom even after she got together with Donald Trump Jr., more than a decade after the end of her marriage to Newsom. Now, they can't seem to stop taking jabs at each other.

Kimberly Guilfoyle 'fell prey' to Fox News

In February 2023, Gavin Newsom held nothing back when sharing his theory behind Kimberly Guilfoyle's drastic transformation. From his perspective, her views were influenced by working at Fox News. "She fell prey, I think, to the culture at Fox," Newsom said on CNN's "The Axe Files" podcast. "In a deep way, she would disagree with that assessment — she'd perhaps suggest she 'found the light.' Obviously, we have contrasting points of view."

When she was married to Newsom, Guilfoyle was surrounded by progressive politicians, having worked for prosecutors Terence Hallinan and Kamala Harris. "She was a different person ... We were close to Kamala, she knew her well, and she was spending a lot of time in Democratic circles," he said. Why would Guilfoyle accept a position at the right-wing channel, then? She was ambitious and believed the opportunity would catapult her career. Ultimately, her ambition and her pride clouded her judgment, he said.

Newsom was right to speculate that Guilfoyle would disagree would him. She fired back at her ex-husband, arguing that she had always been a registered Republican. "I didn't change. He did," she said on "The Charlie Kirk Show". She claimed that Newsom had abandoned his early ideals of standing up for small business owners and fighting for the rights of hard-working Americans. "He's fallen prey to the left — the radical left that is pushing him so far to the left that it's unrecognizable," Guilfoyle said.

Kimberly Guilfoyle and Don Jr.'s relationship sparked confusion

News about Kimberly Guilfoyle and Donald Trump Jr.'s relationship in mid-2018 generated widespread interest. The romance raised eyebrows because it came amid Trump Jr.'s divorce from Vanessa Trump, and Gavin Newsom openly admitted that he found the relationship confusing. "I'm still trying to come to grips with all of it," he told KQED in September 2018. Up until that point, Newsom's past link to Guilfoyle hadn't been the subject of much scrutiny.

However, Newsom seemed disconcerted at the interviewer's interest in it. "What do you think my response is going to be?" he joked. "I appreciate the question." He must have realized his new unexpected link to Donald Trump was about to change that. But he regained his composure and assumed a more diplomatic tone. "It's fine. I wish her well, and them well," he said. But he made sure to highlight their ideological divergences. "And we see the world, clearly, with a different set of eyes politically," he said.

Just the previous year, Guilfoyle indicated she still harbored a lot of admiration for her ex, suggesting their politics hadn't yet overshadowed their respect for each other. "[He is] an amazing 'ideas guy' in terms of having an idea, developing it and seeing it to fruition," she told The Sacramento Bee in July 2017, when Newsom was running for governor. She also highlighted his work ethic. "I remember, at Christmas time, Gavin was sweeping the sidewalk outside the cafe."

Newsom says 'life is interesting' after Guilfoyle started dating a Trump

A year after Kimberly Guilfoyle and Donald Trump Jr. went public with their romance, Gavin Newsom was just as bewildered. In March 2019, he was still trying to understand how he found himself indirectly linked to the Trumps. As governor of one of the country's most powerful states, Newsom deals with the president frequently. Donald Trump was no different. Speaking with PROFILE by BuzzFeed News, Newsom admitted that his ex-wife's relationship with the then-president's son had come up.

Newsom's response gave insight into how he felt about it. "We may have had a private moment on that conversation, which in and of itself, makes life just interesting," he laughed, looking slightly in disbelief. When Ben Smith asked him to elaborate, Newsom doubled down. "Life is interesting," he repeated. The convo he had with Trump about his ex and his son, as uncomfortable as it might have been, likely didn't compare to a chat he had with the man himself.

A few months earlier, Guilfoyle called Trump Jr. to the phone when she was talking to Newsom. She had been joking about sending her new beau to California to derail Newsom's campaign when the idea struck her. She thought it would be funny. The awkward exchange centered around hair products. "Gav's hair is slicked back, and Don's hair is slicked back," she told The Washington Post. Newsom and Guilfoyle were still on good terms then, but that wouldn't last much longer.

Gavin Newsom made it clear he stopped talking to Kimberly Guilfoyle

Gavin Newsom and Kimberly Guilfoyle had vowed to remain friends. "Over the past 10 years, we have developed a tremendous bond of love and respect for each other. That will never change," they shared in a statement (via SFGate). For years, that was true. But her increasing shift to the far-right and involvement with the Trumps seemingly changed their amicable relationship. In a September 2022 conversation with MSNBC's Alex Wagner, Newson made sure to let everyone know that.

"Do you ever talk to her?" Wagner asked him. He didn't falter. "Nope. Not lately." He also admitted that the situation had become uncomfortable all around. "It must be weird for you," Wagner said, and he once again didn't hesitate to share how he felt. "Yeah, of course," he admitted. But Newsom implied the state of his relationship with Guilfoyle reflected the country's politics. When Donald Trump was elected president, Newson had a working relationship with him. "Even though we went at it on a lot of issues we also found ways to get along," he said.

As the country became more divided, he and Guilfoyle grew farther apart. While Guilfoyle had previously praised Newson, she was now doing the opposite. Three months after Newsom's MSNBC interview, she ripped him following California's ban on gas cars. "He ain't making it to the White House," she said at an event, SFGate reported, referring to speculation he was interested in a presidential bid. 

Gavin Newsom questioned Kimberly Guilfoyle's social values

In an April 2024 interview with The Atlantic, Gavin Newsom dodged questions about Kimberly Guilfoyle, asserting he had no desire to disparage her. Still, he reiterated his beliefs that she had drastically changed since they were together. "[She was committed to] social justice and social [values]," he said. Newsom also confirmed Guilfoyle had always been a Republican, but argued her views back then weren't radical. "It was more traditional conservatism," he said.

Before he moved on, he indicated he felt slighted over her digs. "She's taken shots at me publicly," he said. Perhaps Guilfoyle's most vicious criticism of Newsom came the previous year, when she insinuated that she had supported an effort to recall Newsom during an episode of "The Kimberly Guilfoyle Show" (via The Mercury News). She also criticized Newsom's failure to disclose his ties with Silicon Valley Bank and joked about his maskless scandal at a restaurant during the COVID-19 pandemic. She didn't stop there.

Guilfoyle derided California, blaming the state's homelessness, safety, and cost of living issues on Newsom specifically. "All that's happened under the one-party Democratic rule in Sacramento and under the reign of Governor Gavin Newsom," she said. A couple of days later, she once again spoke out about the controversy surrounding the bailout of Silicon Valley Bank praised by Newsom. "It seems really odd to me and really inappropriate that there wasn't a disclosure made," she told Newsmax's John Bachman.