John McCain has been battling glioblastoma, which is brain cancer, but unfortunately, he has lost his fight against the disease, leaving behind a wife and family. Almost forty years ago, John McCain met heiress Cindy Lou Hensley, according to People, and the two married just a year later. When McCain and Hensley first became acquainted, he was actually married to his first wife Carol Shepp. Get to know more about McCain’s love life, his family and his wife of 38 years below.
McCain Was a Married Man With Children When He Met Cindy Lou Hensley
John McCain was married to first wife Carol Shepp, who was a former model, when he first met Cindy Lou Hensley at a party in Hawaii, as reported by People. At the time, McCain had a daughter named Sidney and he had adopted Shepp’s two sons from a previous marriage – Douglas and Andrew. According to The Washington Post, McCain and Shepp had a rocky marriage and were close to calling it quits when he “fell instantly in love” with Hensley. Just six weeks after divorcing Shepp, McCain married Hensley on May 17, 1980.
When McCain tied the knot with Hensley, he moved to Arizona and was taken under the wing of his new wife’s father. The Washington Post reported that McCain started working for Jim Hensley’s beer distribution company.
A Lie Was Discovered When McCain and Hensley Applied for Their Marriage License
McCain and wife Hensley had a 17-year age gap, but both lied about their ages to each other when they met. It wasn’t until they applied for their marriage license that they each found out the truth, which later became a running joke. In an interview with Ryan Seacrest on KIIS-FM Radio in 2008, Hensley revealed that, “In Arizona when you apply for a marriage license, it’s published in the newspaper. Of course when they published the application, we both found out together our true ages … It didn’t matter anyway. I felt like he wouldn’t be interested in someone as young as me – and he felt I wouldn’t be interested in someone that was older, like he was … And it’s been a funny joke for our kids ever since.”
In addition to having secrets from each other about their ages, the couple has their own secrets together as well. For example, “a friend” told People that Hensley would often comb her husband’s hair because he couldn’t reach up, as the result of his war injuries.
The Couple Overcame Addiction
During the 1990’s, Hensley had back surgery and became addicted to painkillers as a result. According to News One, Hensley even stole drugs from her own charity at the time. A former employee named Tom Gosinski tipped off the DEA, which audited the charity and initiated an investigation. Fortunately, News One reports that Hensley ended up coming clean and received professional treatment. The Huffington Post reported that Hensley had become addicted to Vicodin and Percocet.
People reports Hensley discussing her husband’s response to her addiction, “I kept it from him because I didn’t want to let him down … He sat down next to me and said, ‘You should come to me first with whatever it is — I love you, I’m here for you, I will get through this with you.’ And he did.” During an appearance on Access Hollywood, Hensley said that overcoming her addiction made her a better parent and she tries to talk about the situation so that it helps others to avoid having their own issues.
Together, McCain and Hensley Had Four Children
After McCain and Hensley married, they created their own family and raised their kids in Arizona. Meghan McCain, Bridget McCain, James McCain, and John Sidney McCain IV re their four children and man know Meghan from her hosting gig on The View. In 1991, Cindy and John McCain adopted their fourth child, a daughter named Bridget, who had a cleft lip and palate. She was from Bangladesh and her cleft palate was so severe that she reportedly could not be fed. Wes Gullett, a former aide to Mr McCain, told Telegraph that Hensley chose Bridget from approximately 160 abandoned babies at a center that was run by the late Mother Teresa in Dhaka.
Gullett said that McCain was unaware that Hensley was bringing Bridget to live with them until meeting her at the airport. In 2000, when John McCain was running against George W. Bush for the Republican presidential nomination, Bridget was at the center of speculation that she was an illegitimate child who McCain had fathered.