Andrew Gillum told Tamron Hall during an interview on Monday that he identifies as “bisexual.” The revelation came on the season premiere of “The Tamron Hall Show” during a line of questioning centered on an incident at a Miami Beach hotel in March when the former Florida gubernatorial candidate was found unconscious in a room with two other men, including one who overdosed from drugs.
“I don’t identify as gay,” he also told Hall.
Gillum’s wife, R. Jai Gillum, joined her husband on the talk show but was interviewed separately first. She spoke openly when Hall asked her about Gillum’s sexuality.
“Love and sexuality sits on a spectrum,” R. Jai told Hall. “All I care about is what’s between us.”
Gillum was once considered a rising star within the Democratic Party and even had President Barack Obama campaign for him ahead of the 2018 midterm election that he barely lost to current Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
He frequently exchanged pointed barbs with Donald Trump on Twitter and endeared himself to the liberal political structure until that fateful early morning of March 13 when Gillum was found inebriated and unresponsive in a compromising position with two other men in a Miami Beach hotel room where a police report indicated there was suspected drug use. A series of graphic photos purportedly of Gillum from inside the hotel room showed drugs. Gillum quickly released a brief public statement apologizing and saying he had too much to drink before he voluntarily entered rehab days later.
The interview was conducted from the Tallahassee hotel ballroom where Gillum accepted the Democratic nomination to run for Florida governor a little more than two years ago.
After losing the mid-term election by less than half of 1 percent, Gillum told Hall in the interview that he had aid to “numb” himself by drinking.
That included, he said, “a level of drinking that I had never done before.”
Describing his father as an alcoholic, Gillum said spoke about drinking whiskey in the mornings after he lost the race.
He said he was hiding his drinking problem from his wife.
“Everything was fraudulent” for him at that time, Gillum said, describing his mindstate as “crushed.”
When the interview turned to the night of the hotel incident, Gillum suggested something may have been put in one of his drinks that he said was “prepared for me” while he was drinking alone for hours at the hotel bar.
“The next memory I have is I was in a bathroom with no clothes on and five police officers,” he told Hall, who never asked too many questions about Gillum’s “friend” who overdosed in the hotel room.
That “friend” was ultimately identified as Travis Dyson, a male escort in the Miami area.
During Hall’s show on Monday, Gillum’s wife said what was most important to her in this moment.
“Those people who love us and care about us and wish us well — no matter what did happen — that is the energy we need and receive,” she said.
Gillum told Hall that he “revealed this to [his wife] so many years ago.”
When Hall asked him if he felt like a weight had been lifted off his back by making the revelation about his sexuality, he said he has “mixed emotions” but that he feels “more whole.”
When Gillum was asked if he still has political ambitions, the former mayor of Tallahassee didn’t rule it out.
“Maybe it will be,” he said while also admitting that he understood his life could also take a completely different course.
Hall then turned to the topic of “the photo,” a reference to the image of Gillum lying naked and unconscious in his own vomit that went viral in the days after the hotel incident.
Offering a nervous chuckle, Gillum said he was stunned by the photo. when he learned about it after enrolling himself in a rehab facility.
“That picture was a whole other story because I didn’t know that picture was out there,” he said.
He said the photo was “not a sex act” and described it as “not anything more than a person being at his most vulnerable state unconscious having given no consent and someone decided to use a moment when I was literally lying in my own vomit.”
Gillum said he “cried every day” he was in rehab.
Gillum also used the interview as an opportunity to set the record straight on other aspects of the hotel incident, including “the rumors” -of drugs, a tryst and a threesome.
“All of those things are untrue,” he said, adding that his drug test upon arriving at rehab “came back completely clean.”
He said it was only “the grace that I received from my wife” that got him through rehab.
Prior to Gillum’s interview with Hall, he previously broke his silence in July to offer a “personal update” and address “rumors” in a candid video testimonial about the trials and tribulations he’s faced since that hotel incident.
Specifically addressing his bouts with alcoholism and depression since losing the 2018 midterm election, Gillum spoke openly and honestly about the personal demons he said he was forced to confront while in rehab.
“I had to do something about it and I had to do it now,” he said.
However, when it came to addressing what exactly led him to enter rehab, Gillum was light on details and instead lamented how ashamed he was.
“While my stuff had to be public and cause great embarrassment, lots of rumors, false, some true — the shame that I felt from all of that, from the harm that I had caused was tearing me up,” he said at the time. “I needed real help to try to unpack that.”
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