The Truth About Andrew Cuomo And Kerry Kennedy's Marriage

When it comes to his love life, New York governor Andrew Cuomo was most recently in a 14-year relationship with Food Network star Sandra Lee. The pair split in September 2019 but remain on good terms. Prior to his relationship with Lee, Cuomo was married to a member of America's most famous political dynasty: Kerry Kennedy, the daughter of Robert F. Kennedy and Ethel Kennedy.

Cuomo and Kennedy tied the knot in 1990, but the Kennedy family had reservations about Cuomo, as reported by Vanity Fair. "Andrew refused to do anything fun, anything without a clear benefit to his career," a family acquaintance of the Kennedys noted. The Kennedy clan enjoyed a good time, and they saw it as a serious red flag when Cuomo took charge of wedding planning and banned toasts at both the wedding reception and the rehearsal dinner.

Nevertheless, the couple married and had three daughters: Twins Mariah and Cara (born in 1995), and Michaela (born in 1997) (via People).

The tension between Cuomo and the Kennedy family intensified after the wedding

The media dubbed the political pair "Cuomolot," but the union was never a fairytale. The Kennedy family's issues with Cuomo continued, and even intensified, after the wedding.

On December 31, 1997, Kerry's brother Michael died in a tragic ski accident in Aspen (via The Washington Post). According to Marie Claire, the family was furious when Cuomo began giving on-air interviews about his brother-in-law's death without consulting them first.

According to Vanity Fair, Cuomo's personality didn't match well with the Kennedy clan's "work hard, play hard" mentality. Furthermore, the Kennedys were laid-back about ex-boyfriends and ex-girlfriends remaining friends and being included in family activities — but Cuomo barred his wife from remaining in touch with any exes, even those who were close with her own tight knit family.

Cuomo also disliked attending the famous Kennedy gatherings in Hyannis Port. Vanity Fair observed that he was wound too tight to let loose and join in the fun, and he eventually stopped going to the compound altogether. However, he always seemed to be around when media attention was present.

"He would always find the exact perfect place to stand so he could be in the newspaper the next day," a Kennedy relative told the outlet.

Cuomo and Kennedy began discussing divorce in 1997

By the time Michaela was just two months old, discussions of divorce had turned from not "if" but "when," as reported by The New York Daily News. The outlet noted that in his biography of Cuomo titled The Contender, Michael Shnayerson wrote that Cuomo was controlling and critical of Kennedy and disliked her family and friends. A family friend told Shnayerson that he criticized his wife's style as "dowdy" and found fault with her housekeeping.

According to the New York Daily News, Kerry Kennedy was ready to call it quits by the time Andrew Cuomo launched his failed bid for governor in 2002. She reportedly thought he didn't spend enough time with the family and was horrified when the Rolling Stones song "Sympathy for the Devil" was played during a campaign event. The song contains the lines "I shouted out, 'Who killed the Kennedys?' / When after all, it was you and me" — a decidedly insensitive choice in the presence of a family that has suffered so much tragedy.

The couple's divorce was finalized in 2005

Kennedy and Cuomo's divorce was finalized in 2005. A decade later, the New York Post reported that Cuomo and Kennedy were still battling in court over child support for their daughters' education and healthcare costs. In response, the pair issued two joint statements denying any financial disputes, but a source told the outlet that Kennedy only signed the statements because Cuomo had finally agreed to make certain payments and she hoped to shield her daughters from the drama as much as possible.

Today, Cuomo and Kennedy appear to have reached a détente (via Marie Claire). While Cuomo is currently in office as governor of New York, Kennedy is a prominent human rights activist and serves as president of the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights nonprofit. Their paths have crossed professionally, like when Cuomo signed into law the Farm Workers Bill which Kennedy had championed for years (via North Country Public Radio).

Kerry Kennedy has an impressive career out of the spotlight

Although Kennedy isn't in the media as much as her ex-husband, she has an impressive career of her own. Her biography on the official Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights website describes her as a "human rights activist and lawyer" who has also authored three books: the New York Times bestseller Being Catholic Now, as well as Speak Truth to Power and Robert F. Kennedy: Ripples of Hope.

According to Kennedy's biography, she works on a wide variety of human rights issues including "child labor, women's rights, disappearances, indigenous land rights, judicial independence, freedom of expression, ethnic violence, criminal justice reform, immigration, impunity, and environmental justice." She is a recipient of the Humanitarian award from the Congress of Nobel Peace Prize Laureates.

Kennedy is active on social media, particularly Instagram, where she uses her platform to post about political and human rights issues. She also amplifies causes that her daughters have taken on, such as Michaela's work to raise awareness about sexual violence.

After being lauded by the media and the public for much of 2020, Cuomo is currently engulfed in two major scandals: altering reports of COVID-related nursing home deaths to bring down the state's death toll (via The New York Times) and three separate allegations of sexual misconduct (via The Guardian). Kennedy has not publicly commented on either.