OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
The wife of California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom made a stunning revelation this week regarding the death of her sister in Hawaii decades ago.
Jennifer Siebel Newsom discussed how she accidentally ran over her sister with a golf cart during a family vacation, an incident that has plagued her for years with “survivor’s guilt,” the UK’s Daily Mail reported.
She “admitted that days before her seventh birthday, she had been playing on the carts with several other children, including her sister Stacia, in Hawaii in 1981,” the outlet reported.
“The second-eldest of five daughters, Siebel Newsom, 48, had been on a family vacation when the cart reversed and killed her sibling who she hadn’t seen hiding behind her buggy,” the report continued.
While speaking with the Los Angeles Times, she emotionally recounted the story, hugging herself tightly as she shared the profound impact her sister’s death had on her. She said the tragic loss compelled her to strive for excellence in every facet of her life as a way to compensate for the void left by the accident.
“I felt the pressure to be perfect, to make my parents forget, by being two daughters instead of one,” she said.
“I’m sure there was survivor’s guilt, and I’m sure, in my subconscious, it’s like I have to make up for that loss. And I have to do something to improve other people’s lives or have an impact, double my own, which is a little crazy. I don’t use the word ‘crazy.’ But you know, it’s aspirational,” Siebel Newsom told the Times. “I realized that I’m really hard on myself. I realized that you can’t blame a 6- [or] 7-year-old. You can’t ask them to understand things.”
The Daily Mail added:
Siebel Newsom attended Stanford, where she received her MBA, and played for the college soccer team and the US Soccer’s youth team for women under 23. She also opened up about having her case against disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein dismissed in 2022.
Jurors could not reach a verdict, meaning that the disgraced movie mogul has been facing the possibility of a retrial.
She said that the disgraced movie mogul sexually assaulted her during a 2005 meeting, during which he allegedly told her: “Relax, this is going to make you feel better.”
During her testimony, Siebel Newsom revealed that Weinstein had raped her when she was 31 years old as she pursued a career in the entertainment industry as an actor and producer. Recounting the incident, she described how she ended up in a private suite at the Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills, where she had initially agreed to meet with Weinstein for a professional discussion.
During the trial, Siebel Newsom recounted the traumatic experience, saying that she had thought others would be at the meeting as they discussed her career. However, she said, Weinstein emerged from the bathroom wearing only a robe and nothing underneath, the Daily Mail noted. She said he proceeded to grope her while he masturbated. Siebel Newsom said that she resorted to faking an orgasm to end the ordeal.
“It was a horrific experience. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. I felt I could hopefully be helpful and shine a light on, you know, what’s wrong in our society when you have serial perpetrators getting away with rape, sexual assault, and harassment for decades,” she said.
“And so this was just, I felt like, one way I could contribute because I [had] stayed relatively silent except for with friends and peers,” she noted.
She embarked on her acting career in the late 2000s and managed to break through by securing guest-starring roles in multiple episodes of the television series “Life” alongside Damian Lewis.
She also landed a memorable appearance as party girl Juanita Carson in an episode of “Mad Men,” along with numerous other minor roles spanning almost a decade.