4
| News |

John Hickenlooper and wife Helen Thorpe announce their separation

^
Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper and his wife, journalist and author Helen Thorpe, have just issued a joint statement revealing that they are separating.

The announcement notes that their parting isn't acrimonious and stresses their devotion to their young son, Teddy. Here's the statement:

After years of marriage that have added tremendous love and depth to both of our lives, we have decided to separate. This decision is mutual and amicable. We continue to have the utmost respect for each other, and we remain close friends. We intend to continue functioning as a family that spends a great deal of time together. In fact, we will embark on our annual family vacation together this week, share meals often, and plan to spend holidays together. You can continue to expect to see both of us out in the community -- sometimes together, sometimes solo. Please feel free to include both of us in social gatherings as we will not find it awkward.

Our chief concern right now is the well-being of our son, so we ask everyone to respect our privacy as we make this transition. While public office made this announcement necessary, it will be the only statement we make on this private matter. We want to thank our friends, family, and community for all of the support you have shown us as a couple and as individuals, and for the support we know you will provide as we move forward.

The release, issued by the governor's office, adds the following, addressing in a straight-forward manner the most inevitable questions:

Both the Governor and Ms. Thorpe want the public to know that neither has had an affair, that they did seek extended counseling, and that this decision is unrelated to the difficult events Colorado has faced this summer. While the Governor will be moving into the Governor's Mansion, he will also continue to spend time with his son at their private home.

These attempts to squelch speculation about the causes of the separation are smart, but they're also unlikely to succeed -- at least not entirely. Neither will they mute those who'll wonder in front of microphones and behind the scenes about the possible impact on Hickenlooper should he harbor aspirations toward higher office. Recall that before former Colorado Governor Bill Owens split with from his wife, Frances, he had been frequently mentioned as a national candidate -- but those prospects quickly dimmed amid whispers about affairs and a child born out of wedlock, even though none of this gossip has been confirmed or proven to this day.

Though the announcement is deeply personal, it will undoubtedly start plenty of political conversations. Let them begin.

More from our Media archive: "The Bill Owens Split: A Rumor Roundup."

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.

 

Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.