As Talk Gets Louder About Possible Separation or Divorce Between Bryan and First Lady, Governor Says Official Statement Will be Made in Time

  • Ernice Gilbert
  • October 16, 2023

Governor Albert Bryan Jr., and First Lady Yolando Adams at Gov't House. By. GOVERNMENT HOUSE, U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS

The status of the relationship between Governor Albert Bryan Jr. and his wife, First Lady Yolanda Bryan, is deteriorating, with the two having essentially separated, though the First Lady still lives at Government House, say people with knowledge of the strained marriage. Things are so bad, according to the people, that private issues are spilling over into the public, and many are concerned about the governor's ability to effectively lead the U.S. Virgin Islands as his relationship with his wife takes a turn for the worse.

Mr. Bryan — who ran for office as a family man bringing a sense of decorum to Government House —  firmly asserts that personal matters do not impede his leadership capabilities. And while he initially emphasized in a recent interview with the Consortium that his personal life remains private, he later acknowledged that constituents may be concerned about whether such matters are affecting his official decisions.

"I think that when there is an official statement to be made, I will make a statement," Mr. Bryan told the Consortium during an interview on Thursday at Government House in St. Thomas. "Because to your point, the people not only need to know, but there are people who are concerned about what's going on in my personal life. But what I'm saying to people is that that's not the issue with me, I think we're moving along at a good pace, we're having a good year."

Earlier in the interview, he stated, "Am I being affected by personal matters in my life? I don't think so. I'm in a good place mentally. I think I'm getting my rest; I'm doing a lot of the stuff that I couldn't do in my first term because of Covid. Remember, two and a half years, building relationships for the Virgin Islands in the tourism sector as well as in the political arena."

He added, "I've been married for 27 years, and I always tell Yolanda I'm married to the people of the Virgin Islands for the next 8. That's my first priority. Everyday that I wake up I'm thinking about them, so that's what I'm working on now."

Regarding his leadership in the face of relationship difficulties, Mr. Bryan expressed his belief that critics often aim to find weaknesses in his governance, "but at the end of the day we come out smelling like roses," he remarked. The governor compared his two terms in office, noting that while the first term saw many "quick wins," the current term is characterized by "a lot of hard work for bigger goals."

"You don't build a school in a night; you don't get a hospital done in an evening," he said, highlighting ongoing projects such as the establishment of two horse race tracks and cricket fields. He also addressed critical issues like Medicaid challenges in Washington and the pressing need to improve the lives of seniors in the Virgin Islands.

Governor Bryan firmly stated his dedication to the energy crisis, a long-standing problem in the Virgin Islands. He asserted, "I made a commitment... I'm committing to fixing the energy problem in the Virgin Islands." He concluded by stressing his administration's focus, saying, "We're doing a lot of the hard work to get the work done for the people and I think that's what's important."

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