Gingrich denies asking wife for an 'open marriage'

January 19, 2012 - 8:35 PM

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — Newt Gingrich is denying that he ever asked his ex-wife for an open marriage and is angrily denouncing the moderator of Thursday night's Republican debate for raising the issue.

Gingrich blasted what he called the "destructive, vicious, negative nature of much of the news media."

The former House speaker slammed CNN moderator John King during the debate, saying that he was "appalled" that King would begin a presidential debate on such a topic. Gingrich called the question about his ex-wife's allegations, in his words, "as close to despicable as anything as I can imagine."

The former speaker's second wife, Marianne Gingrich, says in an interview with ABC News that when she discovered Gingrich was having an affair he asked her for an open marriage.