Rachael Ray met husband actor and producer John Cusimano 20 years ago, and their love story is an inspiration.
Lovely celebrity chef and author Rachael Ray has been married to actor and singer John Cusimano for 14 years, but they met 20 years ago.
A mutual friend, who thought they were just right for each other had been trying to set them up for over a year, but Rachael and John had refused.
According to the Enquirer, John had a 5-year-long relationship with another woman
Rachael Ray and John Cusimano at Entertainment Weekly's "Must List" party in 2006 in New York | Source: Getty Images
A TALL ORDER
But their friend, a persistent woman, made a cunning plan that would see her friends find the happiness they deserved.
She threw a birthday party, and invited them both, without telling them it was a "set up" for romance. John revealed:
"This person was a tall person, and she invited all of her ex-boyfriends (...) we're not all that tall. So I like to say we saw each other among a sea of knees."
Rachael Ray at the Grand Tasting at The IKEA Kitchen in 2019 in New York City | Source: Getty Images
LOVE ACROSS A CROWDED ROOM
"We crossed a crowded room and started talking and we have talked every day since the night we met."
The two immediately found common ground: cooking. John expounded on his culinary skills and Rachael revealed:
"I assumed that (...) he was gay. So I was going to set him up with a friend of mine—another handsome Italian man."
John quickly disabused her of the notion and told her he was most definitely not gay, despite his interests and abilities -- he is a trained mixologist -- and was interested in her. They talked until 4 am, and that turned out to be their first date.
Rachael Ray at FOX Studios in 2016 in New York City | Source: Getty Images
"I don't think either of us planned on spending the rest of our lives with anyone else. It all changed when we met."
Rachael Ray and John Cusimano at the Food Network & Cooking Channel New York City Wine & Food Festival in 2016 | Source: Getty Images
A ROMANTIC TUSCAN WEDDING
After dating for 5 years, John and Rachael tied the knot in romantic Tuscany, in a castle in the picturesque hill town of Montalcino, surrounded by vineyards. It was an auspicious beginning but was quickly followed by pain and scandal.
Rachael Ray and John Cusimano at the 36th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards in 2009 in Los Angeles | Source: Getty Images
Like so many celebrities, John and Rachael were under constant scrutiny from the media, and two years after their wedding, the tabloid, the National Enquirer exposed John's alleged infidelity with a blaring headline:
"Rachael Ray's secret pain, husband caught cheating."
According to the Enquirer, John had a 5-year-long relationship with another woman, Jeaninne Walz, and one which had continued after their marriage. Furthermore, the tabloid claimed, John paid another unnamed woman:
"To satisfy his weird fetishes with acts too degrading to print."
The tabloid further claimed that John's position as the lead singer of the rock band The Cringe offered him endless opportunities for stepping out on his wife when on tour.
“Everybody gossips … but this stuff is hurting people’s feelings who are in our families and friends of ours.They worry about us.”
Unfortunately, in 2013 there was a new round of accusations, and claims that John had been seen at a notorious swingers club in Manhattan called Checkmate numerous times -- always accompanied by different women.
Ten years after their marriage, Rachael and John returned to Tuscany to renew their vows in the very same place where they had said their first vows. Rachael's new vows were heartfelt and unusual. She said:
"Under any circumstance, I would still choose you and I would still be with you. And I love you more than all the whiskey in heaven.'”
y Rachael Ray and John Cusimano and their dog Isaboo at the North Shore Animal League America's 2nd annual DogCatemy Awards in 2007 in New York | Source: Getty Images
John and Rachael are closer than ever, and even collaborated on one of the chef's cookbooks, "My Year in Meals," to which the singer added a section titled "My Year in Cocktails" with over 100 ideas for drinks to complement his wive's delicious recipes.
Two busy people -- Rachael manages an $80 million empire based on her talents as a chef, and John's demanding career as a singer and an actor -- the couple opted not to have any children, and dote on their furbaby, Isaboo.
Close to celebrating their 15-year anniversary in September 2020, John and Rachael have demonstrated their love for each other again and again.