McCain's divorce strained relationship with Reagans
Contrary to McCain's public statements about his divorce, public records show that he began dating his current wife, beer heiress Cindy McCain, while he was still married to Carol. He married Cindy just weeks after divorcing Carol.
Outside her Bel-Air home, Nancy Reagan stood arm in arm with John McCain and offered a significant - but less than exuberant - endorsement.
"Ronnie and I always waited until everything was decided, and then we endorsed," the Republican matriarch said in March, in the only words she would speak during the five-minute photo-op at her home on the west side of Los Angeles. "Well, obviously, this is the nominee of the party."
In a written statement, she described McCain as "a good friend for over 30 years." But that friendship was strained in the late 1970s by McCain's decision to divorce his first wife, Carol, who was particularly close to the Reagans, and within weeks marry Cindy Hensley, the heiress to a lucrative Arizona beer distributorship.
The Reagans rushed to help Carol, finding her a series of political and White House jobs to ease her through that difficult time.
McCain, who is about to become the GOP nominee, has made several statements about how he divorced Carol and married Hensley that conflict with the public record.
In his 2002 memoir, "Worth the Fighting For," McCain wrote that he had separated from Carol before he began dating Hensley, who is 17 years younger.
"I spent as much time with Cindy in Washington and Arizona as our jobs would allow," McCain wrote. "I was separated from Carol, but our divorce would not become final until February of 1980."
However, an examination of court documents tells a different story. McCain did not sue his wife for divorce until Feb. 19, 1980, and he wrote in his court petition that he and his wife had "cohabited" until Jan. 7 of that year -- or for the first nine months of his relationship with Hensley.