Meet Benjamin Maisani, Anderson Cooper's Ex-Partner Who Joined Him at Gloria Vanderbilt's Burial

Benjamin Maisani never left Anderson Cooper’s side during his mother’s funeral as they remained “the best of friends” after their split almost a year prior.

The pair first got linked after several appearances together in New York City in 2009, the same year Anderson and Benjamin purchased a renovated firehouse in Greenwich Village wherein the reportedly still live in together.

The desire to study filmmaking is what brought Benjamin to New York after high school. He graduated from Hunter College and got his first job working at the Morgan Library at Madison Avenue.

But then Benjamin started looking for other work that paid better and decided on a job at a gay bar in Chelsea, Barracuda. 

“I’ve always been a night person. The bar got me out of my books and the cozy atmosphere of the Morgan. And working in a social environment forced me to work on my timidity. It gave me self-confidence,” he told Frenchly. 

That confidence contributed to his following success as the owner of three popular bars across New York City. First, he opened two gay bars, Easternbloc and Bedlam Bar & Lounge. The third bar, Atlas Social Club he only opened in 2013.

Atlas Social Club’s opening event had some celebrities like Kelly Ripa, Whoopi Goldberg, and Alan Cumming join celebrations, while Anderson also attended in support of Benjamin. 

Their relationship lasted nine years before they split up on good terms, as Benjamin told Us Weekly on March 15, 2018, “Benjamin and I separated as boyfriends some time ago. We are still family to each other, and love each other very much. We remain the best of friends, and will continue to share much of our lives.”

The public attention is something Benjamin didn’t enjoy navigating as he told French Morning, "Like most people, I never really thought about it, and I never wanted to be a celebrity. I knew I'd have to be careful right from the start before it had a chance to get out of hand."

However, public attention was the last thing on Benjamin’s mind when he showed up at Gloria Vanderbilt's funeral in support of Anderson. The CNN host lost his father at the age of ten in 1978, while his brother, Carter, committed suicide in 1988 at the age of 21. 

When Gloria passed on June 17, 2019, it left Anderson without any immediate family close to him as a child. The following day, Anderson posted a moving tribute to her as he wrote:

“In her final week my mom liked me to play a video of Peggy Lee on YouTube singing, ‘Is That All There Is?’ We’d hold hands and sing the chorus, pretending we were dancing. My mom would giggle while singing, ‘it’s so Marvelous…’ she’d say, with a sound of delight, and mischief, knowing that she was on the cusp of discovering if that really is all there is.”

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This was taken in 1969 for @townandcountrymag

A post shared by Gloria Vanderbilt (@gloriavanderbilt) on

According to reports by DailyMail in 2018, a spokesperson for Anderson confirmed his split from Benjamin after Anderson had taken several trips to Dallas, where he went to see Victor Lopez, a radiologist. 

Victor had joined Anderson on a business trip to New Orleans, traveled to watch him perform, and the pair also got spotted eating out on several occasions. The doctor had since set all his social media accounts to private.

With the recent death of his mother, Anderson is also reminded of the loss of his father and his brother, Carter, whose tragic death is what Anderson Cooper revealed to have shaped his life.

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