Andy Cohen has many talents, especially when it comes to interviewing celebrities. As evidenced by his successful late-night talk show, Watch What Happens Live, this former Bravo exec always knows the right questions to ask and is an expert at digging up the dirt. While many viewers are well-versed in the Missouri native’s on-air achievements, little is known about his personal background. From Cohen’s mysterious love life to rumors that he’s allegedly sexist, there are a lot of unknowns regarding the longtime Real Housewives executive producer’s life.
Now that Cohen is a dad — fans are most likely aware that he welcomed his adorable son, Benjamin, into the world in February 2019 — public interest in the TV star’s story has reached a fever pitch. Not only are people curious about his journey to fatherhood, but there are also lingering questions about who this media mogul is outside of #DadLife. If you fall into either camp, then there’s a good chance you’ll want to accompany us as we explore the untold truth of Andy Cohen.
All about Andy Cohen’s coming out mishap
Andy Cohen is an out and proud gay man, who’s known to advocate for LGBTQ acceptance and rights. But before this television personality came out, he struggled to open up about his sexuality, especially where it concerned his parents, Evelyn and Lou Cohen. « I felt like I could never come out and be accepted, » he said while interviewing The View co-host Joy Behar on Say Anything! in 2012 (via The Daily Dish). « I did not think it was an option for me. »
After Cohen went away to college, he mustered up the courage to come out to his friends and eventually his parents. However, the entertainment guru’s plan hit a snag after his mother accidentally discovered one of his coming out letters before he had the chance to tell her personally. « She came and said, ‘I think you have something to tell me,' » Cohen recalled. « I said, ‘I don’t want to tell you,’ and she said, ‘You have to,’ and I said, ‘Well, you know.' » Cohen’s mom pressed him to say the words out loud, which he did amid tears. But rest assured the moment wasn’t completely heavy: « About an hour » after Cohen told his mom he’s gay, she quipped, « You know I would have hated your wife anyway. » Now, that’s a one-liner for the history books.
Cohen reportedly didn’t trust the Housewives with this big secret
During a December 2018 episode of Watch What Happens Live, Andy Cohen made a very special announcement about his personal life: With various Real Housewives stars in attendance, including Vicki Gunvalson, NeNe Leakes, Kyle Richards, and Teresa Giudice, he shared that he would be expecting a baby boy following the New Year. Since the ladies appeared genuinely blown away by Cohen’s big reveal, we couldn’t help but wonder: Did the Bravo exec not trust his legion of Housewives with this exciting secret?
According to a source cited by Radar Online, Cohen reportedly kept his surrogate’s pregnancy private because he was worried that one of the reality TV stars would spill the beans. « None of the Real Housewives knew, » the insider alleged. « They can’t be trusted and gossip too much. Plus, he knew one of them would leak it on social media to get more followers! » Of course, Cohen was under no obligation to tell anyone about his baby news. However, he did reportedly share the info with a few close pals. « Anderson Cooper and Sarah Jessica Parker knew along with his family and a few close friends, » the source continued. « But he kept the secret by telling almost nobody! » Fair enough.
What Andy Cohen really thinks about dad-shaming
Unfortunately, new dad Andy Cohen is no stranger to criticism when it comes to his parenting. Just one example? Things got heated when his beloved dog, Wacha, chewed up one of son Benjamin’s toys. « Did you just eat my son’s stuffed Torah that the Rabbi gave him, Wacha? And now you’re exhausted? » Cohen joked while documenting the situation on his Instagram Stories (via People). « That was my son’s Torah. Did you want to explain to my son what you did? And what do I tell the Rabbi? Wacha? Wacha! »
Although some fans found the ordeal to be funny, others were appalled the Bravo star supposedly let the allegedly jealous pup tear up the gift (insert eye roll here). For his part, Cohen had no time for the dad-shaming. « Hey, I’ve been a dad for 12 days, » he told Wacha in a follow-up video. « People are judgy as f**k. We gotta be careful, okay? » Cohen went on to tell his critics, « It’s not that deep. Stand down. »
We don’t know about you, but we’re happy to see Cohen standing his ground, because parent-shaming is never okay.
Andy Cohen lobbied for this important cause
Many people might not be aware of the fact that Andy Cohen has a political side — a trait he put on full display when advocating for the passage of the Child-Parent Security Act in New York. The law, which was unfortunately not brought to a vote in the 2019 legislative session, would have repealed « the prohibition and criminalization of compensated gestational surrogacy arrangements, » according to the New York Law Journal, while making it easier for parents who conceived with the help of another party to establish paternity.
Cohen worked alongside New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to advocate for the bill. « Practiced safely, ethically, and legally, surrogacy is about hope, » he wrote in a joint op-ed for BuzzFeed News. « It’s about the freedom to form a family and experience the joy of parenthood. It’s about ensuring that any of us can meet one of the most basic human needs: to pass on our wisdom, history, and culture to a new generation. » The celeb aficionado also emphasized its potential impact for LGBTQ families and people who struggle with fertility issues, explaining on Instagram: « This is about letting women choose what they want to do with their bodies while giving the ultimate gift to people who need help having children. »
Considering the NYC-based Cohen had to use a surrogate in Los Angeles, we understand why this issue is near and dear to his heart.
The real reason why Andy Cohen split from Clifton Dassuncao
When it comes to Andy Cohen’s love life, he tends to plead the fifth. This was the case for his reported relationship with Harvard graduate Clifton Dassuncao, a New York native 19 years his junior. Cohen first revealed he was taken in October 2016, telling The Daily Dish: « You know when you get into a relationship, you start mellowing out a little bit. I’m not a bachelor about town anymore. I’m an old man. » However, the Bravo exec never revealed his beau’s name — a supposedly conscious choice.
« Andy cannot love anything but fame, » a source cited by Radar Online previously claimed. « The couple split shortly after it was exposed that Andy was dating. He refuses to share the spotlight with anyone that isn’t a bigger star than himself. » The relationship was so low-key, in fact, that Dassuncao’s dad wasn’t aware of the romance at first. But wait — that’s not all. The timeline of Cohen and Dassuncao’s reported romance has remained unclear. While Radar Online reported their split in May 2016, Cohen didn’t publicly discuss his relationship status, presumably with Dassuncao, until months later. Meanwhile, he only confirmed the breakup news to Entertainment Tonight in March 2018. Cohen’s rep denied the rumors outright, but we do find it interesting that the producer’s next boyfriend can’t be a Real Housewives fan. Hmm.
Will besties Andy Cohen and Anderson Cooper ever date?
It’s no secret that CNN news anchor Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen are very close. From their joint live shows to taking vacations together, these two friends are tight. But has their friendship ever veered into romantic territory? It’s a fair question to wonder given their easy rapport and shared interests.
Although we ship this pairing to the moon and back, fans shouldn’t hold their breath for a love connection. That’s because Cohen apparently broke one of Cooper’s top dating rules by bringing up his famous mother, the late socialite Gloria Vanderbilt, within minutes of their first conversation. « Andy and I were first set up on a blind date, which never happened because we had a phone call and after two minutes I said, ‘I’m not dating this guy,' » Cooper shared during a 2016 appearance on Watch What Happens Live (via Vanity Fair). « He broke my cardinal rule … He mentioned my mom within the first four sentences of meeting me. »
Whoops! It sounds like Cohen squandered that dating opportunity right off the bat. All that being said, we think these two work best as friends in the long run.
Wait, does Andy Cohen hate women?
It’s not uncommon for television personalities to be the subject of an unflattering rumor, and Andy Cohen is unfortunately no exception to this phenomenon. Want some proof? Look no further than the ongoing suggestion that Cohen allegedly hates women. If you Google « Andy Cohen sexist, » for instance, you’ll find various articles questioning whether he’s misogynistic, with many writers arguing how the Real Housewives franchise doesn’t do any favors for female empowerment.
« While it is good for business, this probing of conflict by Cohen fuels argument and violence between women, which perpetuates stigma that women are ‘catty’ and ‘dramatic,' » a 2015 op-ed for Feministing read. Meanwhile, Biggest Loser star Jillian Michaels echoed this sentiment in 2018, telling Life & Style: « I hate that s**t. I never watch it. I hate watching women tear each other apart. Anybody who watches it, shame on you. It’s like [the franchise] was created by someone that hates women! I mean, the guy hates them. He’s an a**hole. »
As for Cohen’s take? « I love women, » he told The Hollywood Reporter in 2018. « Housewives is a show about women and it’s predominately for women. » Not to mention, numerous Housewives have come to his defense, with Real Housewives of Atlanta star Kandi Burruss telling TMZ: « He’s very supportive of women … he’s a good guy. » We have a feeling this debate won’t die down anytime soon.
Did Cohen play a role in Kathy Griffin’s demise?
The history between Andy Cohen and Kathy Griffin runs deep, as the latter once had two shows on Bravo: Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List and the talk show Kathy. Griffin became close to the Bravo exec during this time, but everything fell apart after the comedian lost Kathy in 2013. Griffin later opened up about their relationship in July 2019, telling People: « Andy Cohen treated me like a dog. And also, you know, the guy … He decides the entire slate at Bravo, and yet he gave himself a talk show [Watch What Happens Live] that magically gets renewed every year. » Yikes. Griffin continued, « So you know, I had a talk show at Bravo for two years that got cancelled. And I thought yeah … It’s sort of competition for Andy. So, no has not been very kind. »
Wait, did Griffin just imply that Cohen is to blame for her show getting cancelled? Let’s just say that the man himself didn’t take these remarks lightly. « She’s made up a lot of stuff about me in the past few years that has just been untrue and sad, » Cohen fired back via USA Today. « I hope she finds some peace. » Ah, another classic case of he said, she said.
You may remember Cohen’s surprise Sex and the City cameos
Many fans are already well-versed in Andy Cohen’s longtime friendship with Sarah Jessica Parker, but some people might not know that he had a few cameos on the actress’ hit show, Sex and the City. Cohen casually opened up about his roles on Instagram in 2018. « You may know that I was a Barney’s shoe salesman in the last season of #SATC but were you aware I appeared in Season 4 (I think) shirtless in a gay bar standing next to Carrie Bradshaw? (Sounds about right!!), » he captioned a still from said SATC scene. « The shot is cut out of the TV version and now only lives on DVD & Amazon. #TBT. » Color us surprised! We need this DVD stat.
Plenty of SATC diehards shared our surprise and enthusiasm, with one fan commenting on the shot: « I was bringing on this the other night and I actually saw this clip. I was pleasantly shocked to see you there Andy!!! Big kisses!!! » All we have left to say about this cameo? It must be nice to have friends in high places.
Andy Cohen’s mom keeps him humble
Given Andy Cohen’s impressive net worth and A-list connections, we wouldn’t be surprised if fame might just get to his head every once in a while. But if you’re worried about the Bravo star’s ego getting too big, don’t be, because his mom, Evelyn Cohen, apparently isn’t afraid to knock him down a peg when need be. Evelyn put this trait on full display after Cohen shared an Instagram photo of himself sporting a very tiny speedo in April 2019.
« Mykonos, pre-Lohan Beach Club! (1992), » the TV mogul captioned the throwback look, adding the hashtags, « #fbf #getthelook #ponytail #90sfashion . » As of this writing, the post has garnered close to 200,000 likes. While many followers were impressed with Cohen’s flashback bod, Evelyn wasn’t too taken with her son’s fashion choice, commenting (via People): « Get a grip. » Ha! Mama Cohen really went there. Needless to say, Cohen was surprised his mom gave him the business. « My own mother is trolling me?! » he hilariously responded. Yep, we think it’s safe to say Evelyn is all about that tough love.