The Tragic Life Of Kimberly Guilfoyle

Kimberly Guilfoyle is a well-known member of America's social elite. Easily recognizable due to her stint as a Fox News host, Guilfoyle was a vocal supporter of the Trump presidency. Her engagement to Donald Trump Jr. cements her place in the family she holds so highly. But Guilfoyle endured many hardships, scandals, and tragedies while rising through the ranks of the Republican Party to get where she is today.

Looking at where Guilfoyle started, it's impressive to see her now. Guilfoyle is a child of immigrants who worked as a model to get through law school. Now, she and Don Jr. are one of the United States' most powerful political couples, and she is estimated to be worth $25 million. Her life story could read as an inspiration or a tragedy, depending on your perspective. Through her journey, she's endured familial loss, multiple divorces, career setbacks, allegations of misconduct, and even threats against her life.

Kimberly Guilfoyle lost her mother to cancer when she was young

Kimberly Guilfoyle comes from a working-class background. She grew up in San Francisco as a child of immigrants. According to The Mercury News, her mother, Mercedes Marie Gerena, was a teacher who moved to the U.S. from Puerto Rico, and her father, Anthony Guilfoyle, was an Irish immigrant who worked in construction and real estate. Kimberly Guilfoyle said she and her mother were close. She told Mediaite, "My mother was just everything to me. I loved her so much, I always wanted to be around her. I loved how I saw people react to her." Tragically, Gerena died of leukemia when her children were still young.

Speaking about her mother's illness and death, Guilfoyle told Mediaite, "I had to go through a lot to be able to heal." Due to her mother's passing, she took on raising her younger 8-year-old brother. "It made me a better mother, better person. But it hasn't been about me for a very, very long time," she said.

That early loss informed many of her decisions and motivations throughout her life. As a prosecutor, she said she was motivated to seek justice for victims because of what she went through. "I decided if I can make it easier for someone else to deal with rough transitions, then I can make my parents proud," she said.

She was fired as a deputy district attorney

Although she eventually became known as a top prosecutor, Kimberly Guilfoyle faced many challenges in her legal career. According to SFGate, she had to work hard to be taken seriously in her field. While attending the University of San Francisco, she modeled to pay for school, a fact that her critics often used to belittle Guilfoyle.

Her career struggles started as early as her first professional legal position. After graduating and briefly working as a teacher, Guilfoyle landed a job at the San Francisco district attorney's office. It was an excellent opportunity at the same office where she had interned during law school and could have been an exciting start to her career in her hometown. Unfortunately, her time at the office ended prematurely when District Attorney Terence Hallinan took over and promptly fired 14 deputy district attorneys, including Guilfoyle (per SFGate).

Hallinan replaced District Attorney Arlo Smith, whom Guilfoyle and many others had worked to reelect. Hallinan was accused of discriminatory treatment for letting people go based on age, sex, race, and political affiliation, though he denied these claims (per SFGate). Upon losing her first position, Guilfoyle was forced to relocate from San Francisco to Los Angeles, where she continued working in the LA district attorney's office and built her reputation as a prosecutor.

Her first marriage ended with a cheating scandal

Looking at Kimberly Guilfoyle's current political views and her zealous support of the Trumps, it might come as a surprise that she was once married to Gavin Newsom, the current Democratic governor of California. Guilfoyle told The Mercury News that she's been a registered Republican since college, but it seems she and Newsom put some of those differences aside. In the early 2000s, they were seen as the next political power couple. Harper's Bazaar even published an eight-page spread on the pair (via The Washington Post). Newsom was mayor of San Francisco at the time, and Guilfoyle told the magazine that she'd "gladly vote for him" if he ran for president.

Sadly, their marriage ended after just a few years. The pair announced their split in January 2005. Guilfoyle's career in broadcast journalism was taking off, causing her to divide her time between California and New York. The couple said this distance was hard to overcome, writing in a statement, "Unfortunately, the demands of our respective careers have made it too difficult for us to continue as a married couple."

Though public statements claimed the divorce was amicable, the true reason may have been more scandalous. It was later revealed that Newsom had an affair with Ruby Rippey-Tourk, his secretary (per People). Their affair wasn't public knowledge until 2007, but it reportedly occurred in 2005, when Guilfoyle and Newsom were going through their divorce, linking her to the cheating scandal.

Kimberly Guilfoyle's life was threatened as a prosecutor

Kimberly Guilfoyle's career as an assistant district attorney gained national attention when she was assigned as a prosecutor in a controversial dog mauling case. ABC News reported on the 2001 case, in which a 120-pound dog mauled a woman to death right outside her apartment. The mauling involved two dogs in the care of Robert Noel and Marjorie Knoller. Noel and Knoller were husband and wife defense lawyers and neighbors of the victim. The dogs were Canarios, a large mastiff breed. They'd originally belonged to Paul Schneider, a convict the lawyers had become close to. But tragedy ensued when Knoller lost control of the dogs, which attacked their neighbor.

As a prosecutor on the case, Guilfoyle charged Knoller with second-degree murder (per Los Angeles Times). The high-profile case garnered much media attention, and Guilfoyle received threats to her life, reportedly from Schneider (per SFGate). "I had a contract out on my life to have me killed because they didn't like the Puerto Rican lawyer that was prosecuting these people," she said on Fox News. Despite the threats, she continued with the case and pushed for the couple's convictions. "I stayed on the case, [wore a] bulletproof vest ... and managed to survive and convict and persevere."

Her second marriage also ended in divorce

After her divorce from Gavin Newsom, Kimberly Guilfoyle was quick to remarry in May 2006. However, she steered clear of politicians in her second union, instead marrying Eric Villency, the president and chief executive of Maurice Villency, a furniture company founded by his grandfather. The pair had a son, Ronan, but split in 2009. Speaking to Mediaite about her divorces, Guilfoyle said that in marriage, it's important to "put all your effort in. And don't be afraid to say perhaps this isn't working."

Sadly, things didn't work between them, but Guilfoyle said she maintains a good relationship with her ex-husband. "Even though we're divorced, I'm still very close with his family. Even when people don't stay married, they can still be a family together," Guilfoyle said. "That's been something that's been really good for developing me as a person. It's been a very positive learning experience. When you go through divorce with children, you don't make it about you, make it about that child. Eric and I both want a positive environment for our son."

Speaking about the short marriage, divorce lawyer Christina Previte told The List it's unlikely Guilfoyle got much of a settlement because "most of Villency's wealth was premarital." The lawyer added it was "unlikely she got much financially from her husbands in terms of property distribution." But, on the positive side, the pair left the relationship amicably, and they have their son to show for it.

In 2008, Kimberly Guilfoyle lost her father to cancer

After already losing her mother to cancer, Kimberly Guilfoyle faced another tragic loss when her father died in 2008. The San Francisco Chronicle reported that Anthony Guilfoyle died of cancer on Thanksgiving that year. Kimberly was very close to her father, so this was a huge blow. She told Mediaite, "He was the best coach in my life. I was a little shy and introverted, and he wanted me to be the woman who would stand on her own two feet and have self-esteem and stand for myself, no matter what." She also said her father was the inspiration for the title of her book "Making the Case."

Guilfoyle credits the things she learned from her parents for much of her success. In 2019, she made a heartfelt Instagram post dedicated to her late father for Father's Day. In the caption, Guilfoyle wrote, "Happy Father's Day to my greatest inspiration. You came from Ennis, County Clare, Ireland, to America like so many before you to live the American dream and provide for your family and you served your country faithfully in the Army. You taught me that in this life all things are possible if you work hard, live fearlessly, believe in yourself and in other people."

She left Fox News amid accusations of misconduct

Kimberly Guilfoyle became a household name through her time as a Fox News personality. It was during co-hosting the network's panel show, "The Five," that she rose to prominence within the Republican Party. She also began dating Donald Trump Jr. at this time. Her star was clearly on the rise until it was abruptly announced that she would be leaving the network in 2018. Fox remained vague about the circumstances of her departure. The New York Times quoted their brief statement saying they had "parted ways with Kimberly Guilfoyle."

But the true nature of her dismissal may be more sinister. Guilfoyle denies any claims of wrongdoing and maintains she left Fox voluntarily, but others report she was fired. According to an investigation by The New Yorker, a former assistant accused Guilfoyle of workplace misconduct, leading to her sudden departure. The assistant wrote a 42-page draft complaint about Guilfoyle, which was never legally filed, but, if true, paints a grim picture of Guilfoyle. Among other things, the draft complaint accuses Guilfoyle of being naked in front of her assistant, showing her assistant sexually explicit photos, and demanding a massage of her bare thighs. The assistant also claims that when outside lawyers were brought in to investigate sexual misconduct at Fox, Guilfoyle offered hush money. These allegations never went to court, but Fox did pay the assistant an undisclosed sum, presumably to avoid trial.

It's rumored the Trumps disapprove of Kimberly Guilfoyle

Kimberly Guilfoyle and Donald Trump Jr. began dating in 2018 and were engaged in 2022 (via People). The couple seems like a perfect match especially considering what a loud supporter Guilfoyle has been of the Trump administration. But sources say the feeling has not always been mutual, and there are many rumors the Trumps disapprove of the relationship.

The Trumps' distaste for Guilfoyle may go back to before she and Don Jr. started dating. Guilfoyle reportedly was in talks for the White House press secretary role in 2017. But a former White House aide told The Atlantic in 2019 that Guilfoyle wasn't seriously considered for the position. "Even [Donald Trump] can tell the difference between the attractive women on Fox who have a little bit of substance, and those who will be derided as airheads," the aide said.

Another source told The Atlantic that there was continued disapproval after Guilfoyle attended a White House Fourth of July party with Don Jr. The couple drew so much press attention that Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump felt overlooked. Don Jr. was told he would need approval for guests in the future.

But, from all appearances, Guilfoyle and Don Jr. are in it for the long haul, and the rest of the family will have to adjust. With rumors circulating about the family's disapproval, Eric Trump spoke to Page Six to put them to rest. "I completely disagree with the narrative and happen to think the world of Kimberly," he said.

She came under fire for her role in the January 6 insurrection

As a die-hard Trump supporter and partner of Donald Trump Jr., Kimberly Guilfoyle was heavily involved in the 2020 reelection campaign. She was appointed the president's national finance chair and gave an impassioned speech at the 2020 Republican National Convention, which quickly became a political meme. It seems her fervor for Trump's presidency remained even after he lost the 2020 run. In March 2022, Forbes reported that Guilfoyle was being subpoenaed for her role in the January 6 insurrection.

The deadly insurrection occurred on January 6, 2021, when Trump supporters stormed the Capitol while Congress was in the process of affirming Joe Biden as the president of the United States. Directly preceding the riot, Trump supporters gathered for a "Stop the Steal" rally. Many point to this rally as inciting the riot, and Guilfoyle's role in planning the event was called into question. The January 6 committee tweeted that Guilfoyle was subpoenaed due to evidence that she was "in direct contact with key individuals, raised funds for the rally immediately preceding the violent attack on the Capitol, and participated in that event."

Guilfoyle also gave a short introductory speech at the rally, for which she was reportedly paid $60,000. Before President Trump took the stage, Guilfoyle told the crowd, "We will continue to stand for President Trump, stand with him and for this country. We will not allow the liberals and the Democrats to steal our dream or steal our elections."