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John McCain's Ex-Wife Recalls Him Leaving Her For Sexy Cindy

May. 27 2018, Updated 9:56 p.m. ET

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Senator John McCain, who is dying from a brain tumor, will see his skeletons come out of the closet in a new HBO documentary about his life.

For the program, McCain's former wife Carol, whom he left to marry much younger second spouse Cindy, and his oldest daughter Sidney, have revealed the pain he caused.

As PEOPLE has reported, Carol, 81, tells the cameras for the doc John McCain: For Whom the Bell Tolls, airing tomorrow, Memorial Day, on HBO, that her then-husband's introduction to Cindy "was about the time our marriage was falling apart.

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"He was looking for a way to be young again, and that was the end of that. I didn't know anything about it, I had no idea what was going on, I was pretty much blindsided and it broke my heart," Carol said.

McCain, now 81 and fighting brain cancer at home in Arizona, was married to his first wife from 1965 to 1980. According to a Daily Mail report from 2008, the year McCain ran for President (he lost to Barack Obama), he had callously left Carol behind years earlier.

Carol was a successful swimwear model when she walked down the aisle with McCain in 1965. Military man McCain said he dreamed of his beautiful wife and their kids after he was captured in Vietnam and tortured in the infamous "Hanoi Hilton" prison.

But while McCain was a POW in Vietnam, Carol suffered a horrible car accident in 1969 and was disfigured. She was confined to a wheelchair and was forced to use a catheter. As gutsy as her brave husband, Carol learned to walk again. But when McCain came home in 1973 to a hero's welcome, Carol looked unrecognizable.

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McCain romanced much younger Cindy while still married to Carol, who was reportedly stunned when he asked for a divorce.

McCain and Carol's daughter, Sidney, 51, said to the documentary filmmakers, "We were all shocked and heartbroken. It caused quite a rift within the family."

Cindy recalls meeting Senator McCain when he attended a reception in Arizona.

"What I saw was this incredible human being that was a lot of fun to be around," Cindy, now 64, says in the upcoming HBO film.

Within a year of meeting Cindy, the still-married McCain, then 43, asked the 25-year-old teacher to marry him!

"I really didn't think he'd propose," Cindy says. "He was older. I knew he cared very deeply for me."

Sidney and her brothers Doug, 58, and Andy, 56, didn't attend their father's second wedding in 1980, but they learned to accept Cindy.

"Cindy was very young too, and you can't help who you fall in love with," Sidney notes. "I truly believe that my dad is very much in love with Cindy, and I think she is very much in love with him, and I think there is something very beautiful about that."

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Still, Sidney added, "At the time it was really awful."

Carol has apparently forgiven McCain, saying in the doc, "I love the man….I am very sad that he is going to be leaving us in the next year. It's heartbreaking."

A source exclusively told RadarOnline.com that in the midst of his health crisis, the Vietnam War hero has been reaching out to a secret flame, actress Connie Stevens!

They first met in 1997 while Stevens, 79, was making a Vietnam documentary and "just hearing her voice brings happy tears to John's eyes," the insider revealed.

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