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John McLaughlin and Cristina McLaughlin divorce after nearly 13 years

John and Cristina McLaughlin, at a party for Oscar de la Renta at the embassy of the Dominican Republic, in 1998. (Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post)

It has been a rough season for the May-December marriages of broadcast titans. Larry King's eighth marriage, to much-younger Shawn Southwick King, hit the skids last week. Now we've learned that John McLaughlin has quietly divorced his much-younger wife of 13 years, Cristina.

The McLaughlins at their 1997 wedding. (Tracey Attlee/Oliver Productions via AP)

"He's very sad about it, but it's something he needed to do," his attorney Gregory Nugent told us. The TV punditry pioneer, 83, referred inquiries to his lawyer; we couldn't reach his ex, 49, for comment.

They met in a bookstore in 1990, the story went, and the former Jesuit priest later hired the young Dominican-born Cristina Vidal to work at the "McLaughlin Group" production company. About five years after his contentious divorce from former labor secretary Ann Dore, they wed in June 1997 at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Georgetown. She was nearly half his age.

"He will be a great father," she told The Post at the time. (They did not go on to have children.) Said he: "She's very bright, animated, she reads voraciously and . . . she's a great lover."

She was a glamorous presence in a hat at his annual media-elite brunches, and they were seen twirling around the dance floor at galas like the Meridian Ball. But her name was absent from the invitation to this year's brunch, traditionally held the morning after the White House Correspondents' Association dinner.

Cristina McLaughlin at one of their brunches in 2005. (Lauren Victoria Burke for The Washington Post)

McLaughlin filed for divorce in August. D.C. Superior Court records show a dispute on when they separated: He said February 2008, she said May 2009: an issue, apparently, with bearing on the lump sum she was due from their prenup. She also alleged that his production company owes her "several hundreds of thousands of dollars" in back pay and that she can't hold a job now because of poor health, but the judge ruled that matter had no role in the proceedings, and granted McLaughlin the divorce in February. Vidal filed notice in March that she plans to appeal; her lawyer has removed himself from the case.

By The Reliable Source  |  April 23, 2010; 1:02 AM ET
Categories:  Love, Etc.  
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On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being earth shattering or 1 being yawning oblivion, this story rates a 2!! Pat, Ellen?

Posted by: vagator | April 23, 2010 1:23 AM | Report abuse

Given that this IS a gossip column, the May-December angle, and the "she can't hold a job because of poor health" statement, the answer is 4.

Bye Bye!

Posted by: postfan1 | April 23, 2010 4:14 AM | Report abuse

So how is it that John McLaughlin leaves the priesthood to marry a divorceé in a civil ceremony in 1975, divorces her in 1992 and is still able to remarry in a ceremony officiated by a Roman Catholic priest at Holy Trinity? Just more proof--a metaphysical certitude, in fact--that the Catholic Church holds nothing sacred anymore.

Posted by: whatmeregister | April 23, 2010 6:21 AM | Report abuse

At least maybe now ol' John can finally hook up with TMG's token blonde bimbo Monica Crowley. It's painfully obvious to anyone watching the show that McLaughlin hired her for her legs and not her brains.

Put a smart conservative back in that chair, Johnny boy!

Posted by: whatmeregister | April 23, 2010 6:32 AM | Report abuse

LOL @vagator. Next issue!

Posted by: txourtx | April 23, 2010 7:57 AM | Report abuse

OMG I thought they meant John McLaughlin, the jazz guitarist. This OF is still around? I thought he croaked. I guess, old Republicans never die, they just get older!!

Posted by: jazzfan19605 | April 23, 2010 8:55 AM | Report abuse

Lol @ jazzfan19605, I thought the same thing!
This OF isn't even newsworthy...

Posted by: elleyeyegreen | April 23, 2010 9:10 AM | Report abuse

Age differences like this do not a genuine union make.

Posted by: chunche | April 23, 2010 9:35 AM | Report abuse

She really must have been desperate to marry that old coot.

Posted by: 44fx290 | April 23, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

John McLaughlin is a cool guy-even at 83- and I always enjoy watching his program. How 'the Church' handled all of this is a valid question. Monica Crowley does have great legs, but she also has a PhD in International Relations from Columbia. She and Nixon worked together in his later years.


Posted by: rjrdallas | April 23, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

I agree with WHATMEREGISTER above: Get rid of Monica Crowley! I don't care if she does have a PhD, great legs, blah, blah, blah. There are many conservative voices they could have in that chair who would do a better job. She is an arrogant, over-bearing know-it-all who would fit in better with Glen Beck or Rush.

Posted by: sharronkm | April 23, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

This is a nothing story. But since I read it, I would like to comment how absolutely embarassing it is to have a man publicly announce that one is a "great lover."

Posted by: forgetthis | April 23, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Doesn't "her lawyer has removed himself from the case" usually translate to "this beatch is C-R-A-Z-Y"?

Posted by: SoCali | April 23, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

There was another Vidal in Mclaughlin's life back when he was a Jesuit. During an appearance on David Susskind's show, where he delivered his usual round of mendacious blather, Maclaughlin was admonished "Lies priest -- look to thy immortal soul!"
The admoniosher was Gore Vidal.

Posted by: cllrdr | April 23, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

She has ill health??? Hmmm, drug abuse anyone?

Posted by: sandnsmith | April 23, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

@SoCali -- there's one other reason a lawyer would remove himself from a case -- if she hasn't paid the bills!

Posted by: DKUVA | April 23, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse


This ain't it.

Posted by: bs2004 | April 23, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

McLaughlin hasn't been relevant since Jack Germond sat in the middle seat.

Posted by: MerrillFrank | April 23, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

John Mclaughlin reminds me of Larry King in the gross factor.

Posted by: clarendon67 | April 23, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

I say get rid of elenor clift...
she serves no purpose other than to service obama...

Posted by: DwightCollins | April 23, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Maybe when she said, "He will make a great father", she meant for her, not for any prospective offspring of the marriage.

Posted by: marknesop | April 23, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Maybe when she said, "He will make a great father", she meant for her, not for any prospective offspring of the marriage.

Posted by: marknesop | April 23, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

she finally figured out what a pompous blow hard he is?
Aimlow Joe

Posted by: aimlowjoe | April 23, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Jack Germond didn't sit in the middle seat, he sat in the middle 3 seats!

Posted by: signof4 | April 25, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

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