California Gov Skips Climate Conference, Attends Oil Heiress’ Lavish Wedding

California Governor Gavin Newsom didn’t make public appearances for nearly two weeks after receiving a Moderna booster, and abruptly canceled his trip to COP26, a UN-led climate change conference. 

The mystery around where Newsom was has launched a thousand conspiracy theories, with the governor saying he canceled his trip because of an unspecified “family obligation” that turned out to be Halloween. And just days after canceling his trip to one of the most important climate change conferences, he attended the lavish San Francisco wedding of billionaire oil heiress Ivy Getty, according to an event piece from Vogue.


Newsom was supposed to return from the conference a few days before the wedding, but the timing and optics couldn’t be worse from the governor who oversees the world’s fifth-largest economy and spent much of the year explaining why he attended a maskless dinner with donors at one of the country’s most expensive restaurants during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Newsom was set to attend COP26, which runs from October 31 to November 12, with plans to fly out on November 1. He cancelled the plans citing an unspecified “family obligation” on October 29 after receiving a COVID booster two days earlier. On Halloween, he was spotted dressed as a pirate trick-or-treating with his kids. 

The governor blamed his children for making him miss the climate conference. “I had that dinner—a lot of you know this dinner with the family—and the kids literally, they kind of had an intervention, they said, they couldn’t believe that I was going to miss Halloween,” Newsom said Tuesday at the California Economic Summit in Monterey, his first public appearance in weeks. “I woke up that next morning with something that’s probably familiar to a lot of parents, that knot in your stomach, and I had no damn choice, I had to cancel that trip.”


The California delegation to COP26 returned from Scotland on Thursday, November 4. On Monday, November 8, the same day President Barack Obama was speaking at COP26, Newsom attended the wedding of Ivy Getty, an heiress to the Getty oil fortune. Founded in 1942 by J. Paul Getty, the Getty oil business exploded in the 20th century making the family one of the richest in the world. The company went bankrupt in 2011 and was sold to Lukoil, but the family still has a massive fortune.

The 26-year-old’s wedding was expensive and strange. Sen. Nancy Pelosi officiated and actress Anna Taylor-Joy was the maid of honor. She wore a haute couture dress of broken glass designed by famed Italian stylist John Galliano.

Newsom sat on the bride’s side of the aisle. The Newsom and Getty family have deep ties that go back a generation. Gavin’s father Bill Newsom was close friends with Gordon Getty, Ivy’s grandfather. Bill later managed the Getty family trust (valued at $2 billion) and was the bag man who handled the ransom money when John Paul Getty III was kidnapped in 1973.

According to The Los Angeles Times, 18 different Gettys have all contributed money to Newsom’s business ventures and political career. The total public contributions are around $516,925. Newsome grew up with the Gettys and Ann and Gordon Getty repeatedly said they considered Newsom a son.

Deep connections or not, skipping a massive conference about the climate crisis, one of the most pressing threats to the state you run, only to soon after attend the lavish wedding of an oil heiress is a bad look.

Gavin Newsom’s office did not immediately return Motherboard’s request for comment.