Wife of Oregon’s first lesbian governor offers timely admission that she’s a mentally-ill alcoholic

The wife of Oregon Gov. Tina Kotek announced that she is in recovery from alcoholism and lives with mental illness.

The statement from Aimee Kotek Wilson comes amid a staff shakeup in the governor’s office and accusations of nepotism as Wilson’s role in the Democrat’s administration has come under scrutiny and criticism.

“I share this information about myself now, and have in the past, in the hopes it will make a difference and reduce stigma,” Wilson said in a statement shared by her spokesperson on Tuesday, OregonLive reported.

“Far too often, individuals have remained silent about their experience because of shame, pain, and fear,” she said. “And, that is why it is so important for me to do my part to reduce the stigma around addiction and mental health.”

Wilson did not specify what kind of mental illness she struggled with or how long she has been in recovery.

“To all individuals who are living with a mental illness, struggling with addiction, or are in recovery, I want you to know that you matter and should have hope,” she said.

The statement comes on the heels of questions to the governor about her wife’s elevated role in the administration as well as a security detail.

OregonLive reported:

The governor has brought on a state-funded adviser to explore the possibility of forming an Office of the First Spouse and announced this week that she had ordered the Oregon State Police to provide her wife with a security detail while attending events on her behalf. The state-funded adviser, Meliah Masiba, will be paid $72,000 during the six-month rotation, the same rate that she has earned at the Department of Administrative Services. The governor’s office did not say how much the upgraded security protection will cost, but said the money would come out of the governor’s existing budget.


Meanwhile, top staffers in the governor’s office – including Kotek’s chief of staff – exited amid the reported tensions as media outlets focused on the recent questionable decisions.

“I was surprised to see her doing that, you know, trying to make her that special person and giving her an office and giving her state police detail,” said Jeff Barker, a former Democratic lawmaker from Washington County. “It looks too much like nepotism.”

The Oregon Government Ethics Commission revealed Monday that it has opened a review of a complaint and, if warranted, will vote on whether to follow up with an investigation.

Frieda Powers


We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, profanity, vulgarity, doxing, or discourteous behavior. If a comment is spam, instead of replying to it please click the ∨ icon below and to the right of that comment. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain fruitful conversation.

Latest Articles