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The Race to the White House

Kerry Won't Share Divorce Documents

June 30, 2004|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

PHOENIX — Sen. John F. Kerry said Tuesday that he would not unseal his divorce records as he campaigns for the presidency.

"I have no intention of doing that at all," Kerry said in response to a reporter's question. "There's no reason whatsoever. It's history, ancient history."

Kerry and Julia Thorne were married in 1970 but separated in 1982. They were divorced in 1988. Kerry said neither he, Thorne nor their daughters, Alexandra and Vanessa Kerry, see any reason to open that chapter of their lives to the public.

"My ex-wife and I are terrific friends, very proud of our children," the Democrat said. "We've stayed close as an extended family in a sense ... and it's none of anybody's business."

Kerry was asked the question in the wake of Republican Jack Ryan's recent decision to drop out of the Illinois Senate race because of allegations in his unsealed divorce records. His ex-wife charged in the documents that he had wanted her to have sex with him at sex clubs. He denied the allegations.

Kerry remarried in 1995. His wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry, inherited hundreds of millions of dollars when her first husband, Sen. John Heinz (R-Pa.), died in a 1991 plane crash.

Campaigning in Iowa on Tuesday, Heinz Kerry was asked by a listener if her wealth put her out of touch with most voters. That suggestion, she responded, "is so ludicrous that it makes you laugh."

She also said, "I'd rather have my husband alive than that money."

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