We know Sandra Lee for her work on the Food Network, most notably her "Semi-Homemade" concept, involving a mix of pre-packaged and fresh foods. This food and lifestyle expert was dating governor Andrew Cuomo for 14 years when the two decided to part ways.
Sandra Lee has hosted TV series on Food Network, Cooking Channel, HGTV and Great American Country, along with writing 27 books. She met gov. Andrew Cuomo, a member of the Democratic party, back in 2005, after both had ended relationships with their spouses. Andrew had been married to Kerry Kennedy, with whom he had daughters Cara, Mariah and Michaela Kennedy-Cuomo.
A Fateful Cocktail Party
During this time, the celebrity chef was married to Bruce Karatz, a successful businessman. However, once both Lee and Cuoso were single, they met at a cocktail party in the Hamptons. The couple moved slowly, as they were both in the middle of ending their previous marriages.
Eventually, Sandra Lee and Andrew Cuomo moved in together in Westchester, New York, which Sandra nicknamed Lily Pond, as explained by The New York Times. The duo has supported each other through thick and thin. The Food Network star was there when Andrew first became governor of New York City, and many considered her to be the "First Lady" of New York State.
Sandra Lee was more than just a devoted partner to Andrew; she also worked to help the millions of New Yorkers facing food insecurity. As she told The New York Post, "It's not just the poor and the homeless that are suffering. It is the middle class, too."
A Few Rough Patches
Sandra Lee and Andrew Cuomo also shared personal burdens, as she helped to raise Cuomo's daughters while pursing her food and television career. The couple hit a bump in the road in March 2015, when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. New York governor Andrew Cuomo supported his partner through this time, telling People, "Sandy's experience with breast cancer was one of the hardest things I have ever gone through personally. It opened my eyes, and I learned a lot."
Sandra Lee got a double mastectomy in 2015, and was fortunately declared cancer-free a few months later. Because of the traumatic experience, Sandra and Andrew worked to improve access to breast cancer screening, as reported by the New York State Department of Health.
Although the couple had gotten through the difficult times of Sandra's breast cancer, they hit another rough patch a few years later in 2018. This time, their distance was noticeable to the public eye, as Andrew removed Sandra's picture from his campaign website when he ran for re-election. She also skipped his State of the State address in 2019, claiming she had a prior engagement.
The Surprising Announcement
Then, in fall 2019, the couple publicly announced that they were breaking up. Their followers were surprised and saddened, many believing that the two were a pair for life after weathering so many storms together. They released a joint statement on social media, saying that their "romantic relationship has turned into a deep friendship."
Sandra Lee and Cuomo ended amiably, sharing " 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."
Sandra Lee left her beloved "Lily Pond" in December of last year, in the midst of the covid-19 pandemic, shaping on Instagram "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."
Sandra and Andrew remain good friends after their relationship ended. When allegations of sexual harassment surfaced, a number of former Cuomo staffers told The Post that his infidelity had been an "open secret" throughout the relationship. However, Sandra has made no comment about the allegations.
After the split, Sandra moved to Malibu, California and bought an amazing house. She seems to be taking some time for herself, posting a lovely pic of a sunset on a Malibu beach in February. A few days ago, she made her first red carpet appearance at a UNICEF gala in Italy.