Al Gore and Tipper split shocks Washington
Gores say they ‘grew apart’ as friends insist that there was no affair
Former US vice-president Al Gore and his wife Tipper, who yesterday announced they are separating, have said that they simply "grew apart" after four decades of marriage. Friends of the couple, who seemingly had one of the stronger political marriages in American politics, have insisted that there was no affair and that the split was amicable.
The one-time college sweethearts - whose long kiss at the 2000 Democratic convention (above) sparked debate in America about excessive public displays of affection - had celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary just two weeks ago.
The Gores, who have four grown-up children, broke the news to friends via a short group email. Entitled 'Email from Al and Tipper Gore', the couple said: "We are announcing today that after a great deal of thought and discussion, we have decided to separate." The decision was "very much a mutual and mutually supportive decision", they added.
Yesterday two long-time close associates and family friends told the Huffington Post that no third party had been involved in the split. According to the sources, the Gores, who are both in their early 60s, had recently carved out separate lives with the former vice president frequently on the road to promote both his climate change causes and business ventures. One of the friends said: "Their lives had gotten more and more separated."
Perhaps the biggest shock in Washington's political circles is the fact that it is Al Gore's marriage which has ended while the marriage of his one-time political partner Bill Clinton has endured, despite his affair with intern Monica Lewinsky.
Don Fowler, a former Democratic National Committee chairman, told the New York Times that he was struck by this irony. "There was always a perception that the Clintons would split up the day they left the White House," he said. ·
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