12:00 PM EST, December 27, 2011
Did Newt Gingrich divorce his first wife because she wasn't pretty enough to be First Lady?
That's what a former aide is claiming today in a bombshell revelation that couldn't have come at a worse time for the Presidential hopeful.
In an interview with CNN, Leonard Carter, a former Gingrich insider, says the Presidential hopeful told him that he divorced his first wife, Jackie Battley, because, "She's not young enough or pretty enough to be the wife of a President." Gingrich denies ever saying this.
Gingrich has always claimed that his ex-wife asked him for a divorce. On his website, Gingrich's camp says, "It was [Jackie] who requested a divorce, not Newt."
But CNN uncovered the couple's divorce documents and they reveal that Jackie fought the divorce, telling a judge: 'Defendant [Jackie] does not desire (a divorce) at this time. She does not admit that this marriage is irretrievably broken.'
Judy Kurtz, "In The Know" columnist for The Hill tells INSIDE EDITION, "Well these details really increase the ick factor for Gingrich's campaign. These latest details really are striking and seem to be cruel twords his first wife, Jackie."
Gingrich has worked hard to repair his battered image but it's taking a toll on his poll numbers. With the Iowa caucuses one week away, his lead over his closest rival Mitt Romney is slipping.
"This could not have come at a worse time in terms of the Iowa caucus being so close but if Gingrich is able to bounce back from this, it might be a good sign for the rest of the Presidential race," says Kurtz.