Washington Examiner

Gavin Newsom’s wife shares about tragic accident that claimed her sister’s life.

Jennifer Siebel Newsom: Using Tragedy to Drive Change

Jennifer Siebel Newsom, the wife of Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-CA), recently opened up about a devastating loss that occurred over four decades ago. In a candid interview with the Los Angeles Times, she reflected on the mental health implications of the accident and how it has shaped her work in California.

“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,” Siebel Newsom told the LA Times. “I don’t use the word ‘crazy.’ But you know, it’s aspirational.”

Back in 1981, Siebel Newsom was on a family vacation in Hawaii, just before her seventh birthday, when tragedy struck. While playing with other children, she was involved in a golf cart accident that took the life of her older sister, Stacey.

The accident had a profound impact on Siebel Newsom, leading her to take on academically rigorous challenges in sports and the arts. She went on to graduate with honors from Stanford University, earning a bachelor’s degree in Latin American studies in 1996 and a master’s degree in business administration in 2001.

As a passionate advocate for gender equality, Siebel Newsom channeled her experiences into filmmaking. She created multiple documentaries, including the award-winning “Miss Representation” in 2011, which shed light on gender bias in the media. Her subsequent films, such as “The Mask You Live In” in 2015 and “Fair Play” in 2022, continued to explore important issues like toxic masculinity and the gender pay gap in the United States.

In November 2022, Siebel Newsom testified at Harvey Weinstein’s rape trial, bravely sharing her own experience of assault. Reflecting on the aftermath, she expressed her shock at the prevalence of sexism and misogyny in our culture.

“It was a horrific experience. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone,” Siebel Newsom said. “I felt assaulted all over again.”

Despite the jury’s deadlock on her accusations in December, Weinstein was ultimately found guilty of rape and sexual assault in another case in February 2023, receiving a 16-year sentence for his crimes.

Using her traumas as fuel for change, Siebel Newsom is now focused on advocating for more funding in women and children’s mental health. She founded the Representation Project in 2011, a movement that uses film and media content to address gender inequality. Her ultimate goal is to make California a safe haven for gender equality, where women have equal representation and opportunities.

“A place where we’ve achieved equity and women have seats at the tables of power, where there’s no more wage gap, less violence against women, where we’ve institutionalized in government and in the private sector family-friendly workplace policies, recognizing that people have lives outside of work, and where your children are known to have the best start in life,” Siebel Newsom said.

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