Kelley is a San Francisco socialite, and is an heiress with ties to the Getty fortune. Gavin grew up being best friends with Billy Getty. Gavin & Kelley, and Billy Getty and then girlfriend Vanessa were regulars in the San Francisco gossip columns. Kelley and Gavin were engaged and bought a house together. However, just as Gavin`s political career was beginning in earnest in 1997, Kelley dumped Gavin abruptly after meeting bad boy actor Don Johnson. Don joined the San Francisco social scene while filming the tv series Nash Bridges in the city. It was a bitter breakup that left Gavin blindsided. He told sfgate.com that one casualty of his relationship was the dog he and Kelley shared:
"I had a wonderful golden Labrador named Romeo, but I lost him in the messy "Don Johnson divorce." The last I heard about Romeo, he was running free on the DJ Ranch in Aspen. He`s probably happy. (Editor`s note: Newsom is referring to his separation from socialite girlfriend Kelley Phleger, who married "Nash Bridges" actor Don Johnson in 1999, soon after her breakup with Newsom.)"