KEY POINTS

  • Andrew Cuomo allegedly cheated on ex Sandra Lee with at least one staffer, a report claims
  • Cuomo said the claims that he had been unfaithful to Lee during their 14-year relationship were "false"
  • He also denied claims that an aide has spent the night at his and Lee's former residence

Gov. Andrew Cuomo allegedly cheated on ex Sandra Lee during their 14-year relationship, and his infidelity was an "open secret," a report claims.

Prior to his split with the TV chef in 2019, Cuomo had an affair with at least one staffer, the New York Post reported, citing several unnamed former staffers of the New York governor. International Business Times could not independently verify this report.

"It was an open secret," one ex-aide claimed to the outlet. "Andrew was sleeping with at least one other woman who wasn’t Sandra."

Cuomo has denied the claim, telling the New York Post, "Any suggestion that I had a sexual relationship with any member of my staff or that I was unfaithful to Sandy is false."

Meanwhile, the outlet said Lee refused to talk about her relationship with Cuomo.

Another former staffer also claimed in the report that State Troopers who picked up Cuomo at the Westchester County home he shared with Lee once saw him leaving the residence with a staffer early in the morning. 

However, Cuomo, through a spokesman, also shut down any suggestion that an aide has spent the night at his and Lee's former residence, per the outlet. He explained that occasionally staffers would meet him at the house in the morning so they could join his entourage for a ride to an event or meeting.

Some ex-staffers, according to the report, questioned the governor's travel arrangements. One former staffer claimed Cuomo and a female staffer were booked into linked, adjoining rooms when he traveled to Jerusalem in March 2017, but official logs were changed to show a State Police officer stayed in the adjacent room.

Cuomo insisted that this was accidental. Steve Cannon, who was the lead advance person in the March 2017 Israel trip, told New York Post that he occupied the adjoining room because he switched rooms.

Lee and Cuomo began dating in 2005 after his divorce from Kerry Kennedy, with whom he shares three daughters. The governor stayed by her side during her battle with breast cancer in 2015, when she underwent a double mastectomy.

Cuomo and the Food Network star announced their split in 2019, and the breakup was apparently amicable. "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," they said in a statement, per The New York Times.

Cuomo earlier gushed over Lee in his 2014 book, "All Things Possible: Setbacks and Success in Politics," calling his then-girlfriend a "godsend." 

"Why she got involved with me I don’t know. I was not much of a catch. But Sandy was. Smart, successful and gorgeous, she had launched her flagship show, ‘Semi-Homemade Cooking with Sandra Lee,’ a few years earlier. She has enormous appeal to viewers and to readers of her books and magazine, who lead busy lives and to put good food on the table quickly," he wrote.

In December last year, Lee shared photos on Instagram of her last day in the Mount Kisco house she once shared with Cuomo. She considered it "bittersweet" and one of "the saddest days" of her life.

Lee and Cuomo put the house on the market in May 2019, months before they announced their split. It was sold in October 2020 for $1.85 million, Page Six reported.

Governor of New York Andrew Cuomo Governor of New York Andrew Cuomo speaks during a news conference at the Jacob Javits Convention Center during the Coronavirus pandemic on March 30, 2020 in New York City. The Army Corps of Engineers constructed the temporary hospital with nearly 3,000 beds in the convention center to serve patients not seeking medical attention for coronavirus (COVID-19) but for other ailments. (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images) Photo: Noam Galai/Getty Images