De Blasio and McCray, who has previously identified as a lesbian, stated in an hours-long interview with the New York Times that they would stay married and continue living together in their Park Slope, Brooklyn home while dating other people.
When asked whether de Blasio’s rocky eight years at Gracie Mansion, which culminated in extremely unfavorable ratings among New Yorkers, had anything to do with the breakup, “Oh, yes, absolutely!” McCray said to The Washington Post.
“I thought it was a distraction,” McCray, 68, said of her husband’s unsuccessful presidential bid, conceding that she understood she had to be supportive regardless.
“This is not the kind of thing where you can break ranks,” she said. “That’s part of the difficulty of being a package.”
The couple decided to divorce two months ago when de Blasio, 62, questioned his wife at home, “Why aren’t you lovey-dovey anymore?”
McCray and de Blasio, the liberal, multiracial couple who rose to prominence with their overwhelming mayoral win in 2013, have two adult children, Dante and Chiara.
During his tenure as mayor, McCray oversaw the beleaguered billion-dollar ThriveNYC effort, which failed to meet its promises to treat the city’s mentally ill.
The Wellesley College graduate, who came out as a lesbian before marrying de Blasio, told the Times that the confines of Gracie Mansion hampered her personal goals.
“In the fullness of what you tend to think… how can you be a couple when you’ve got this responsibility on your shoulders and you don’t want to add to that?” She bemoaned.
“There’s a certain weight… that comes with being associated with Mr. Mayor.”
For his side, De Blasio admitted to being “emotionally very needy” during the COVID-19 epidemic, which left the pair “not as connected.”
At the time, Hizzoner was dealing with a rapidly rising infection rate in the city, as well as a tense standoff with then-Gov. Cuomo over the city’s response to the epidemic.
“Everything was this overwhelming schedule, this sort of series of tasks,” de Blasio said of his two stints as mayor. “And that kind of took away a little bit of our soul.”
McCray asserted to reporters outside their Park Slope home that the couple, who married in 1994, were “still very much in love.”
“We came to this decision together, and I think it’s the right decision for us,” she said.
“I hope that we can serve as an example of how couples can communicate openly about their needs and conduct themselves when it’s time to go in a different direction.” That, I believe, is significant.”
While McCray was beaming, she told reporters that she and de Blasio are still getting used to their new normal.
“It’s one thing to make a decision, it’s another thing to think about… figuring out how it plays out, and we’ll be talking about that in the coming months,” she said.
Chiara, 28, and Dante, 26, are “a little sad, but very positive” about the split, according to McCray.
“We’ve been together for about 32 years… Serving side by side at City Hall, and even before that,” she said. “We’ve raised a lovely family.”
“And we just want to be able to continue our lives as public figures — which, it appears, we never stop being no matter what.” But do it in a manner that demonstrates that all we have, everything we accomplished, does not just vanish.”
With a bag in hand, De Blasio strolled out of the family’s house and into a taxi just before 8 a.m. Wednesday.
“He was just going on a trip,” McCray said. “He’ll be right back.”
After quitting his presidential bid, de Blasio accepted a position as a visiting teaching fellow at Harvard University and began teaching at New York University — all while undergoing a makeover.
“I never anticipated ever doing anything with hair color,” he said of his plainly dyed brown ‘do, which is a dramatic contrast to the salt-and-pepper style he previously had. “But I like feeling what I feel.”
Both McCray and de Blasio expressed excitement about resuming their dating lives, with the former telling reporters that she was fascinated by the “new territory.”
McCray even joked about publishing their phone numbers in The New York Times piece, while de Blasio said the song “Mango” by Kamauu starring Adi Oasis spoke to the duo.
“What would I do if you found another guy?” How could I not love him if he sincerely loves you? What if he improves you more than I did?” The lyrics continue.
Meanwhile, De Blasio urged The New York Times to make his phone ring by publishing a thirst trap picture.
“Can I put a picture of myself from the gym in there?” he joked.