Kimberly Guilfoyle has undergone a stunning transformation. From a young girl growing up in California to a famous member of the Republican party, Guilfoyle has ascended the ranks to claim her spot as a political heavy-hitter. As an adviser to the White House, Guilfoyle has shown that with hard work and nurtured ambition, anything is possible.
But Guilfoyle was not born with a silver spoon in her mouth, and she’d be the first person to tell you that. The child of an Irish father and a Puerto Rican mother, Guilfoyle has humble, middle-class roots that, she says, have played a major role in shaping who she is. If ever there was a story that sounded like the American dream in action, it would be hers.
So just how did Guilfoyle become the powerful and wealthy woman that she is today? What steps did she take in her life to ensure that she’d be successful in all of her endeavors? And who are the people in her life that have always been the most important? Read on to find out!
From the start, Kimberly Guilfoyle didn't let her gender hold her back
On March 9, 1969, Kimberly Guilfoyle was born in San Francisco, California. Her earliest days were spent in the Mission District of the city, until her father, who worked for an electric company, was able to buy his family a home in Westlake. By all accounts, Guilfoyle’s upbringing was happy and full of opportunities. “I remember feeling safe and happy and like there was nothing in the world a boy could do that a little girl couldn’t,” she recalled in an interview with SFGate.
One of the first barriers that Guilfoyle broke was trying out for a boys’ soccer team in second grade and making the cut. That moment set the tone for her life, and showed Guilfoyle that her gender should never hold her back. “Looking back on it, I think that was exactly the principles my parents tried to teach to me,” she continued. “Everyone should have an equal chance to show their ability.”
As a child, Kimberly Guilfoyle spent her summers in Ireland
While Kimberly Guilfoyle was a California girl through and through as a child, she also spent her summers across the pond with her father’s family. “I grew up partly in Ireland,” she said, as shared by Irish Central.
While that sounds idyllic, for Guilfoyle it was a chance to spend time with her family and learn some life lessons. “Every summer from the age of five, I lived in Ennis where my Guilfoyle relatives had businesses on O’Connell Street — a gift shop called Dalcassian House, and Dalcassian Printers,” she continued.
Guilfoyle first started working at the gift shop when she was about 11 or 12, selling fine china and Waterford Crystal. She noted that it gave her “a sense of responsibility,” as she learned to put in the work to earn a paycheck. Clearly you can take the girl out of America, but you can’t take the America out of the girl.
Kimberly Guilfoyle was only 11 years old when her mother passed away
While Kimberly Guilfoyle was surrounded by love growing up, she was especially attached to her mother, who was a huge inspiration in her life. “My mother was just everything to me, I loved her so much, I always wanted to be around her,” she revealed in an interview with Mediaite. “I loved how I saw people react to her.” Given that her mother was an educator who taught students with emotional challenges, Guilfoyle learned a lot about giving back at a young age.
Sadly, tragedy struck the little family when Guilfoyle was only 11 years old (via Irish Central): Her mother got sick with a terminal disease. “I had to go through a lot to be able to heal, going through her illness,” she continued, noting that her mother had battled Leukemia. We’re so sorry for your loss, Kimberly.
After that, it was just Guilfoyle, her father, and her younger brother, whom she helped raise despite being young herself. But even that was not without its merit, said Guilfoyle. “It made me a better mother, better person,” she added.
Kimberly Guilfoyle loved her high school experience
For some people, their high school years aren’t exactly the best years of their lives for a variety of reasons. But for other folks, that time is a formative period during which they grow, develop, and discover who they really are. The latter was the case for Kimberly Guilfoyle, who attended Mercy High School, a Catholic school in San Francisco. “This is where I learned so much and was empowered to be the born free American woman that I am today,” she wrote in a post on her Instagram page. That’s quite the endorsement!
Mercy High School was also an all-girls institution, which taught Guilfoyle about the power of women. “I always have cherished the power of that sisterhood,” she continued. “I loved my time at Mercy and hope each of those young girls go on to change the world — I know that they can!”
Sadly, Mercy High School shuttered its doors for good in 2020, a loss that Guilfoyle laments.
Kimberly Guilfoyle became a model to fund her education
After Kimberly Guilfoyle finished high school, it was off to college at UC Davis. But since tuition isn’t cheap, Guilfoyle had to burn the candle at both ends in order to pay the bills. As she shared with Cosmopolitan, she worked three jobs while enrolled at UC Davis. “I was working at the district attorney’s office as an intern, I worked at the clothing store Clothestime, and I was modeling and doing different jobs in and around San Francisco and Sacramento,” she said.
It was while she was at Clothestime that she was approached about the possibility of lingerie modeling, a lucrative endeavor that would sometimes pay $300 per hour, according to SFGate. To that end, Guilfoyle stripped down and strutted her stuff for brands like Macy’s and Victoria’s Secret. But as she said, that “was a means to an end, period.”
Guilfoyle graduated from UC Davis magna cum laude, as noted by Business Insider. Then she was off to law school at the University of San Francisco, where she nurtured her ambitions of becoming an attorney.
Kimberly Guilfoyle became a prosecutor for this reason
Once Kimberly Guilfoyle was finished getting her education, she briefly taught for the school district for which her mom had worked and then had a stint at a civil law firm. But it was when she got a job as a San Francisco prosecutor that she felt she’d truly arrived. “I was ecstatic,” she told SFGate. “I had achieved my dream.”
There was a good reason that Guilfoyle had longed for that position, too. “I became a prosecutor because I got my greatest joy in working with victims of violent crimes,” she explained in an interview with Mediaite. “I understood that profound sense of loss, and I could relate to it, and I wanted to do anything to help them heal by seeking justice.”
Guilfoyle lost that job in 1996, when the next election didn’t go in her boss’ favor, so she headed down to Los Angeles for a few years to be a prosecutor there. After winning many cases, Guilfoyle returned to San Francisco when she was re-hired three years later.
In 2001, Kimberly Guilfoyle got married… and became the First Lady of San Francisco
While Kimberly Guilfoyle may be a conservative powerhouse today, she wasn’t always the face of the GOP. In fact, she was once the First Lady of San Francisco, after she married now-Governor of California Gavin Newsom in 2001 and he was elected mayor of the city two years later. “One of my fondest memories from that exciting time in my life was hosting Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla for one of their first official visits to the United States,” she gushed in an interview with Metropolitan Magazine. Impressive!
Guilfoyle was active in her then-husband’s career, and she supported his decision to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples all the way back in 2004, according to the Los Angeles Times. “I told him he was like Robert Kennedy,” she shared with the San Francisco Chronicle at the time. “He will be remembered for his work in civil rights.”
Guilfoyle did have more conservative views on issues such as the death penalty, but the pivot she’s made politically since then is a pretty significant transformation.
After her divorce from Gavin Newsom, Kimberly Guilfoyle started working in television
For as happy as Kimberly Guilfoyle and Gavin Newsom were for a time, they couldn’t quite make things work in the end. So Guilfoyle decided it was time for a change. “I decided to move across the country,” she explained to The Daily Signal. “And at the time, I was first lady of San Francisco and going through a few challenges with marriage like many people do, sadly.”
Part of the reason Guilfoyle, who divorced Newsom in 2006 (via Los Angeles Times), uprooted her life was also because she’d received several offers to be on television after she won an especially high-profile case. “I ultimately moved to New York and began a new life … and started working for Court TV,” she continued. “I accepted that offer; I had my own show.” After that, she appeared on Good Morning America as a legal analyst, as well as on CNN.
Guilfoyle also started working for the Fox News network, hosting a show called The Lineup.
Kimberly Guilfoyle's son is her "greatest treasure"
On May 27, 2006, Kimberly Guilfoyle decided to give love a second shot, and she married furniture mogul Eric Villency, according to The New York Times. The pair welcomed their son, Ronan Villency, into the world on October 6 of that same year, as noted by SFist.
Unfortunately, Kimberly Guilfoyle divorced her second husband three years later in 2009. However, that hasn’t prevented the former couple from being great parents to their son. “Kimberly is loyal, generous, and an amazing mom,” Guilfoyle’s friend Susan Shin told Metropolitan Magazine. “Ronan is so sweet-natured, and he really looks up to his mother and father.” She added that she knew Villency first, but she’s incredibly impressed at how well they’re co-parenting.
Guilfoyle has taken to Instagram on several occasions to compliment her second ex-husband. She also uses the social media platform to regularly post pictures of her son, whom she truly adores. “I’m thinking about how blessed I am and lucky that God gave me my greatest treasure… you Ronan,” she wrote in a caption.
At Fox News, Kimberly Guilfoyle was one of The Five
In 2011, after Kimberly Guilfoyle had joined the team at Fox News, she became a co-host on the popular panel show The Five. Named for the five personalities it features at any given point, Guilfoyle was a huge fan of the program. “That’s one of the things I love is that no two shows are the same,” she revealed in a chat with The Daily Signal. She said, “We really try to mix it up and we have incredible producers.”
Additionally, the camaraderie between the co-hosts was legit, as Guilfoyle tells it. “It’s like sitting around the dinner table on Thanksgiving or something with your family,” she continued. “You never know what anybody is going to say about a particular issue, which I think makes it interesting for us as well, and it keeps it really fresh and vibrant.”
Interestingly enough, Guilfoyle abruptly left the show in 2018, according to The New York Times. Sources told the paper at the time that she’d been accused of “inappropriate workplace behavior.”
In 2018, Kimberly Guilfoyle started dating Donald Trump Jr.
Perhaps the third time is the charm when it comes to love for Kimberly Guilfoyle; in May of 2018, Page Six broke the news that the pundit was dating one of Donald Trump’s sons. “Don Jr. and Kimberly are seeing each other, and are having a great time,” a source told the outlet.
The pair became an item at a time that wasn’t exactly without its own controversy, too, as the younger Trump was in the process of splitting up with his longtime wife, Vanessa Trump. “While he wants to respect the privacy of his family, he is getting divorced, and he enjoys Kimberly’s company,” the source continued.
Guilfoyle frequently posts snaps of herself with her sweetie on her Instagram page, doing everything from enjoying the outdoors, sharing meals, and attending sporting events. Guifoyle pops up on Don Jr.’s feed from time to time as well. Things are definitely looking pretty serious for the couple!
Kimberly Guilfoyle left Fox News to work for Donald Trump
Dating Donald Trump Jr. isn’t Kimberly Guilfoyle’s only association with the first family. On July 24, 2018, she announced that she was going to work for a pro-Trump super PAC. “I’ve decided to leave Fox News Channel and dedicate myself full time to joining America First as Vice Chairwoman, campaigning across the country and firmly standing with President Trump,” she wrote in a tweet.
The following year, Guilfoyle once again took to social media for another important announcement. “I am absolutely THRILLED to announce that I’ll be joining the Trump campaign as a Senior Adviser,” she gushed in another tweet. Clearly Guilfoyle is a big fan of the Trump family — perhaps she’ll become a member of it someday?
Guilfoyle’s work keeps her quite busy, traveling around the country and hosting events, as noted by Metropolitan Magazine. She says it’s important to reach out to those who live outside urban areas, something she is proud to do.
At the 2020 RNC, Kimberly Guilfoyle gave a fiery speech
In 2020, Kimberly Guilfoyle was one of the featured speakers at the Republican National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina. There, both she and her boyfriend took to the stage to warn people what they think would happen if their Democratic opponents win the election. “Biden, Harris, and the rest of the Socialists will fundamentally change this nation,” she claimed in the speech. “They want open borders, closed schools, dangerous amnesty, and will selfishly send your jobs back to China while they get rich.”
Guilfoyle also cautioned her audience about additional perils, citing California as an example of the worst that can happen. “It is a place of immense wealth, immeasurable innovation, and immaculate environment, and the Democrats turned it into a land of discarded heroin needles in parks, riots in streets, and blackouts in homes,” she alleged.
Guilfoyle ended her speech by claiming that electing Trump will keep America safe and would protect the American Dream.
Kimberly Guilfoyle will always have thick skin
Kimberly Guilfoyle has certainly become a celeb in her own right, thanks to all that she’s accomplished in her life, so she’s no stranger to criticism. “I’ve been in a lot of tough businesses: First Lady of San Francisco, working as model, actress, TV host,” she explained in an interview with Mediaite. “You better have thick skin, for sure, but you also need to laugh at yourself.” She added that she does that on a regular basis, which helps keep her grounded.
Guilfoyle also doesn’t mind that people write about her — as long as they’re not attacking her personally — as she knows she’s often on a soapbox. “I’m putting myself out there on a daily basis,” she continued. “I’m giving my opinion. So it only makes sense that others might differ and will criticize me.”
No matter what the future holds for Guilfoyle, it sounds like she’ll be ready for it.
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