From the daughter of RFK, to a celebrity chef to his swooning army of self-described ‘Cuomosexuals’, the love life of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has long been tangled and – at times – down-right cringe-worthy.
Earlier this week, Cuomo, 63, was accused of sexual harassment by a former aide. It was the second allegation of harassment in three months.
Charlotte Bennett, 25, told the New York Times that Cuomo asked her questions about her sex life, whether she had monogamous relationships and if she ever had sex with older men – all during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
While Cuomo denies the accusations, they’re claimed to have occurred during a time in which he briefly became the heartthrob of thousands of adoring liberals – dubbed ‘Cuomosexuals’ – who religiously tuned into his daily coronavirus briefings.
His apparent inappropriate advances also came just months after his break-up with girlfriend and celebrity chef Sandra Lee, whom he dated for 14-years until the fall of 2019.
And before Lee, Cuomo was married to a member of America’s most famous political dynasty: Kerry Kennedy, the daughter of former Attorney General and Senator Robert F. Kennedy and Ethel Kennedy.
The pair were together for 15 years, however became embroiled in a bitter divorce in 2005, amid claims of infidelity.
The love life of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has long been tangled and, at times, down-right cringe-worthy
Cuomo and Kennedy tied the knot in 1990, but the Kennedy family are said to have had reservations about Cuomo,
‘Andrew refused to do anything fun, anything without a clear benefit to his career,’ a family acquaintance of the Kennedys noted in a report by Vanity Fair.
Nevertheless, the wedding went ahead and the couple had three daughters together: twins Mariah and Cara in 1995, followed by Michaela who was born in 1997.
But just two months after Michaela’s birth, discussions of divorce between the pair had reportedly turned from not ‘if’ but ‘when’.
Kennedy suggested the couple seek marriage counselling, but Cuomo was said to be too consumed with work.
According to the New York Daily News, Kerry Kennedy decided she could be with Cuomo no longer following his failed governor bid in 2002.
Kennedy is said to have believed Cuomo didn’t spend enough time with the family and was horrified when she heard the Rolling Stones song ‘Sympathy for the Devil’ play during a campaign event – an insensitive score selection, considering its line: ‘I shouted out, ‘Who killed the Kennedys?’ / When after all, it was you and me.’
Kennedy also allegedly had an affair with a close friend, Bruce Colley, according to reports from the time.
Cuomo was married to a member of America’s most famous political dynasty: Kerry Kennedy (left), the daughter of Robert F. Kennedy and Ethel Kennedy
The divorce was finalized in 2005, and within months Cuomo began dating Food Network host Sandra Lee.
The pair first met at a cocktail party in the Hamptons after being introduced by a mutual friend.
Over the course of the 14-year courtship, they moved in together and regularly spoke lovingly of one another in the press.
Lee has been quoted as saying that she and Cuomo never fought and that he was especially laidback and mellow – a stark contrast to the way he was described during his bitter divorce from Kennedy.
However, in September 2019, the couple issued a joint statement to announce they were breaking up.
The end of their relationship came as somewhat expected, as for more than a year before, the media had speculated about the demise of their longstanding romance, with Lee skipping two major gubernatorial events in the months leading up to the announcement.
One of the skipped events was Cuomo’s State of the State address – the first time Lee was not by his side for an address since he was elected governor of New York.
‘Over the recent past, we have realized that our lives have gone in different directions and our romantic relationship has turned into a deep friendship,’ the pair wrote in their statement.
‘We will always be family and are fully supportive of each other and dedicated to the girls. Our personal lives remain personal and there will be no further comment.’
Within months of his divorce from Kennedy, Cuomo began dating Food Network host Sandra Lee (above)
Cuomo and Lee reportedly ended on amicable terms, however the chef spoke out about her heartbreak in December last year, when hers and the governor’s home in Mount Kisco sold.
‘Today will be one of the saddest days of my life,’ she wrote on December 14. ‘Today is the day that I do the final move out from Lily Pond. I love that house and I have a personal relationship with every single room of that home. I hope the new owners take care of it as well as I did and I will love it forever. #thehousethatbuiltme.
In a later posting she wrote, ‘My last moments on Lily Pond were very BitterSweet. I walked around the outside of my beautiful home —I wanted to drink in every angle and remember the beautiful moments that were spent in every place.’
Despite their separation, Lee says the pair remain close. Lee is also still in regular contact with Cuomo’s three daughters, she said.
‘He’s still my guy,’ she told the Today Show in April last year. ‘Neither one of us, well as far as I know, has had a date.’
Lee has been quoted as saying that she and Cuomo never fought and that he was especially laidback and mellow – a stark contrast to the way he was described during his bitter divorce from Kennedy (Cuomo and Lee, to his immediate left, are pictured with his three daughters)
Since splitting with Lee, Cuomo has repeatedly intimated publicly since then that he was looking for love.
‘Do you think you are an attractive person now because you’re single and ready to mingle?’ the governor’s brother, Chris, teased him on his CNN show, Cuomo Prime Time.
When asked by radio host Alan Chartock last summer whether he was dating anyone, Cuomo quipped: ‘No. What happened to the women you are recommending?’
Cuomo continued through laughter: ‘Am in a serious relationship with anyone now? I am not.’
When asked if he was in an ‘unserious’ relationship, he responded: ‘Depends on how you define unserious.’
Cuomo has also previously attracted the attention of comedian Chelsea Handler, who joked last October that Cuomo ghosted her after she asked him out online.
While apparently flattered by her advances, Cuomo put down his lack of interest down to distance.
‘I’m a big fan of Chelsea’s and she is great and we have fun, but on my dating life, you know, I am only dating at this point in-state residents,’ he said during an appearance on The View in October, making a seeming reference to the ongoing pandemic.
Cuomo also joked to Daily Show host Trevor Noah the same month that, ‘On a human level, on a social level – nobody wants to have dinner with me.’
Among his army of admirers was LA-based comedian Chelsea Handler, who joked last October that Cuomo ghosted her after she asked him out online
However, just months on, Cuomo is now facing accusations of on-the-job sexual harassment from two former aides, Lindsey Boylan and Charlotte Bennett.
Boylan — a Democratic candidate for Manhattan borough president —claimed in an emotional essay published to Medium that New York’s top elected official kissed her ‘on the lips’ without warning inside his Manhattan office in 2018.
She also claims he asked her to play strip poker on a flight in 2017.
‘I should have been shocked by the Governor’s crude comment, but I wasn’t,’ Boylan wrote of the governor’s request. ‘I tried to excuse his behavior. I told myself ‘it’s only words.’
But that changed after a one-on-one briefing with the Governor to update him on economic and infrastructure projects.
‘We were in his New York City office on Third Avenue. As I got up to leave and walk toward an open door, he stepped in front of me and kissed me on the lips. I was in shock, but I kept walking.
‘After that, my fears worsened. I came to work nauseous every day,’ Boylan wrote.
Lindsey Boylan (above)— a Democratic candidate for Manhattan borough president —claimed in an emotional essay published to Medium that alleging New York’s top elected official kissed her ‘on the lips’ without warning inside his Manhattan office in 2018
Charlotte Bennett then followed Boylan’s allegations with harassment claims of her own on Saturday.
Bennett, who was an executive assistant before she resigned in November, claims on numerous occasions, the governor asked her questions about her personal life.
The questions in early June included those that pertained to a romantic relationship between two people of different ages.
Bennett said Cuomo also made comments stating he was open to dating women in their 20s, which she took as overtures to a sexual relationship.
The former aide did state that Cuomo never made an attempt to touch her but added that he was lonely and ‘can’t even hug anyone’.
Bennett says she said she missed hugging her parents, to which she claims he said: ‘No, I mean like really hugged somebody?’
Charlotte Bennett then followed Boylan’s allegations with harassment claims of her own on Saturday. Bennett, who was an executive assistant before she resigned in November, claims on numerous occasions, the governor asked her questions about her personal life
Bennett told the New York Times: ‘I understood that the governor wanted to sleep with me, and felt horribly uncomfortable and scared.
‘And was wondering how I was going to get out of it and assumed it was the end of my job.’
Cuomo, 63, said he ‘never intended to act in any way that was inappropriate’ with Ms Bennett and his press secretary said Ms Boylan’s claims were ‘false’.
The governor yesterday promised a review by former federal judge – appointed by Bill Clinton – Barbara Jones into the allegations against him.