Newsom pops question

Those weren’t champagne flutes breaking last night, but thousands of dreams shattering with the news that San Francisco’s most eligible bachelor — Mayor Gavin Newsom — is engaged to be married.

Newsom, 40, asked his girlfriend of more than a year, actress Jennifer Siebel, 33, to marry him on Saturday as they vacationed in Kailua-Kona on the big island of Hawaii, and she accepted, according to the Mayor’s Office.

“We love the girl; she’s a wonderful person,” said the mayor’s father, William Newsom, a retired state appeals court judge.

The mayor traveled to Hawaii in November, but the trip was cut short due to fallout from the Cosco Busan oil spill Nov. 7. He returned to Hawaii last week, and was due back Monday night, his father said.

The mayor called his sister Hillary before calling his father to relay the good news, but further details on the pending nuptials were still being hashed out, such as a date, said William Newsom, adding that Newsom has been wanting to marry Siebel.

“I think he was pushing hard and she was not resisting hard. It’s a perfect combination,” he said.

Newsom’s personal life has always been a hot topic of conversation, given his youthful rise to Room 200 in City Hall and his good looks.

He married Kimberly Guilfoyle in 2001 at St. Ignatius Church; when they met, she was an assistant district attorney for The City and he was a member of the Board of Supervisors.

Guilfoyle became a major television legal personality, taking her career to New York City. The couple divorced in 2005, two years into his first term as mayor, citing marital strain from a bicoastal marriage.

Newsom’s father said he believed the marriage to Guilfoyle had been annulled, which would allow the mayor to remarry in the Catholic Church.

“Either way, a rabbi could do it and I’d be happy,” he said.

Last February, just months into Siebel and the mayor’s relationship, the mayor confirmed reports that he had carried on an affair with Ruby Rippey-Tourk, his appointments secretary and the wife of his best friend and campaign manager Alex Tourk, during his divorce proceedings. Days later, he also confessed that he was seeking help for a drinking problem.

Siebel, in published reports, stood by her beau’s side during that time.

The actress was raised in Ross and earned an undergraduate degree from Stanford before taking a job with Conservation International, a global environmental organization. After working at the organization she went back to Stanford and received her master’s degree in business administration, according to her Web site.

As an actress, she has had roles in 2003’s “Something’s Gotta Give,” 2005’s “Rent” and 2007’s “In the Valley of Elah.” She is also fluent in Spanish and, an active athlete throughout her life, she is familiar with Wushu, a form of Chinese martial arts.

She is currently cast as “Barbie” in “April Fool’s Day,” a horror film currently in production, according to her Web site.

Neither her manager nor agent could be reached for comment.

With a wedding in the works — as well as a second term for a nationally observed administration — there may even be a mayoral baby in the future, according to Siebel’s future father-in-law.

Said William Newsom, “They’ve just indicated they want to have children.”

dsmith@examiner.com 

Bay Area NewsLocal

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