Sam Champion officially came out of the closet and announced he is engaged to longtime boyfriend Rubem Robierb. Champion, who has been a personality and anchor on “Good Morning America” for years, will marry Robierb, a New York-based Brazilian fine arts photographer, before celebrating in Miami later this year.
“We are thrilled and so excited and thank everyone for their good wishes,” Champion told ABC.
Champion is just the latest television personality to reveal his sexual orientation, joining a list that most recently added CNN’s Anderson Cooper and Anne Burrell of the Food Network. The news has some fans reexamining a rumor that the “GMA” anchor was in a relationship with former New York Mets catcher Mike Piazza.
OutSports.com reports that Piazza has always said he is heterosexual, but the questions were rampant even before his playing days ended in 2008. Piazza has been married to his wife since 2005.
A 2002 issue of the New York Post didn’t buy it, though.
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“There is a persistent rumor around town that one Mets star who spends a lot of time with pretty models in clubs is actually gay and has started to think about declaring his sexual orientation,” the Post wrote in a veiled insinuation about Piazza.
Three years later, Gawker published an unconfirmed rumor that Piazza and Champion were not only together but investing in their own “love nest.” The tip from the Gawker reader read:
“My family's hairdresser claims that he was walking his dogs along the beach in Jersey and noticed an ENORMOUS house being built. After checking it out a few times, he noticed the contractor there one day and questioned him about it. Contractor claims the house is being built for Sam Champion and Mike Piazza.”
The New York Times reported that Champion had never made an attempt to hide his sexuality and showed off his engagement ring to his “Good Morning America” co-workers. The news has only bubbled to the surface because Champion was among the 170 guests at the wedding of MSNBC anchor Thomas Roberts, where he was spotted dancing with his fiancé. There was no mention of Piazza’s presence.