Nadia Lockyer, a former elected official and wife to State Treasurer Bill Lockyer, is from Southern California. She grew up in Orange County and graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles and Loyola Law School.
But now, after a scandal that forced her out of office, Lockyer says in an interview with KGO-TV that she's trying to move on with her life.
Nadia Davis was a political rising star in 2002 -- president of the Santa Ana School Board, a lawyer, the daughter of a renowned immigration attorney -- when she met Bill Lockyer, the state attorney general at the time. Nadia says their 30-year age difference didn't seem to matter.
"We could talk for hours, just the policy things, and he always had great stories," she said.
They married, settled in Hayward, and had a son. After Bill became State Treasurer, he transferred $1.5 million from his campaign accounts into Nadia's 2010 run for Alameda County supervisor. She won the primary, and then spent a month in rehab.
"I started thinking, you know, 'You're starting to drink a little bit too much.' I admitted myself," said Nadia.
That's where she met Steve Chikhani, a San Jose construction worker dealing with his methamphetamine addiction.
"I believed that he was a genuine person when I first met him and made the stupid mistake of believing that I had to save him," said Nadia.
After rehab, Nadia won the election for supervisor, the high point of her career. But on the personal front, she said that arguments with her husband led to an affair with Chikhani and to her own addiction to meth.
"When did you start using?" I asked Nadia.
"Mr. Chikhani is the one who introduced me to smoking meth. And I was an elected official and I was a mother and I was a wife. I made that terrible, bad choice. I'm responsible for making it," she replied.
Chikhani refused to be interviewed for this story and emailed me, saying, "I have been completely clean and sober since January. I am staying focused on my sobriety and continuing on the path of rebuilding my life. I have made too much progress to bring up the past."
Nadia says she first used meth parked in Chikhani's car.
"When the smoke filled your lungs, was it clear to you that 'uh-oh, I'm in trouble, this is addicting' or 'I'm hooked?'" I asked.
"It wasn't like a thought. That wasn't a thought in my head 'cause I think I would have stopped. It was, 'I enjoy this. I like it,'" she replied.
"Was it a powerful attraction to it?" I asked.
She replied, "...it was immediate."
Nadia and Bill began living apart. She said she tried to break up with Chikhani several times, but he threatened to expose her secret life and revealed he had a sex tape.
"But did you consent to him taking the video? Was it something you two wanted to do?" I asked. "No, he didn't ask me. Oh, God, no," she said.
Nadia said she did not see the camera.
"I would always check his...phone a lot to just see if he, if he had, because he had recorded us before," she said.
Bill Lockyer found a copy of the sex video, left in the mailbox at their Hayward home.
"The pain that he must have felt and he had asked me if I was involved with someone and I said, yes," said Nadya.
The pressure on the Lockyers continued to build until Feb. 3, 2012. Nadia said someone was trying to access their bank accounts online and that when Bill questioned her, she answered it could be Chikhani. Nadia said Bill exploded.
"He immediately said, 'Why don't you just go ahead and commit suicide?' having known that I had become suicidal in treatment and was really, really on the edge," said Nadia.
Bill Lockyer declined to be interviewed for this report. Last year, his spokesman told the Mercury News he wouldn't "get into the details, but suffice to say they had a heated argument and they both said hurtful things that they regret."
After the argument, Nadia left with their son, bought a few days' worth of food from Target, and got a room at a Newark hotel. Late that night, Chikhani arrived. Nadia says she questioned him about his plans to expose her drug-use and their affair, and that he attacked her.
"And I remember waking up on the floor and he was bashing my head against the floor. I couldn't move my body and I just like gave up...like I thought if I fought, you know, I would, I was going to die," she said.
Chikhani's attorney denied he assaulted Lockyer, telling the Los Angeles Times last year, "I think she has issues. I think she is struggling. We're watching somebody fall apart in the public eye."
Nadia suffered bruises to her head and neck, and a concussion. Because she had worked for the Alameda County District Attorney, the case went to the State Attorney General's Office, which declined to charge Chikhani saying, "There was insufficient evidence to support criminal charges."
"I'll never understand it, why they didn't prosecute. I have to accept it to recover," Nadia said.
Nadia and Bill Lockyer are back together. Bill withdrew his divorce papers after seeing how much progress Nadia was making in rehab. They're living together in Long Beach, where Nadia has family she can lean on for support.