Anderson Cooper Inches Out of the Closet

by Kilian Melloy
Friday Feb 5, 2010

CNN's silver fox, Anderson Cooper, has long been rumored to be gay, but has never publicly confirmed it, although it has been an open secret in New York media circles. Now the national tabloid press has revealed to the rest of America that Cooper and a gay bar owner are living together.

The two reportedly bought and renovated an old firehouse in New York's West Village. Tabloid stories also claim that the pair was planning to adopt a Haitian orphan. Cooper was among those journalists who reported from Haiti in the direct aftermath of the devastating earthquake.

Cooper himself denied the latter rumor. A Feb. 4 tweet read, "while the plight of children in Haiti has touched us all, stories about me adopting a baby are completely false."

Gossip site Gawker noted in a Feb. 5 article that when the story broke in tabloid weekly The National Enquirer, the main focus was on the rumored adoption, with Cooper's alleged relationship with hunky enjamin Maisani "casually" referred to in the course of the article. Gawker noted that rumors about Cooper and Maisani have been in the media at least since last October 29, when the New York Post ran an article claiming that Cooper and "muscular friend" Maisani had taken a trip to India together. Maisani owns Eastern Bloc, a popular, if slightly louche, gay bar in Manhattan's East Village.

In an article from last October, Gawker offered a biographical sketch of Maisani, saying that he's from Paris but attended school in the U.S. before becoming a bartender and eventually opening Eastern Bloc. The article also claimed that Maisani's real first name is Antoine, and pinpointed the start of his and Cooper's relationship as taking place in the winter of 2008, just about a year ago.

Right-wing commentary site, where gay-themed stories frequently excite intense interest and commentary, saw posts that expressed mixed views about the rumored adoption. Some praised Cooper for helping alleviate suffering, and for his reportage in Haiti; others dissed him for allegedly being gay.

One post referred to an incident in which a church group, without official permission, attempted to transport a number of Haitian children across the border, only to be detained by Haitian authorities. "Let me get this straight - a Church group is arrested for trying to help Haitian orphans, but a single, unmarried homosexual is going to be allowed to adopt one?" the posting read.

"All the right NYC people will have a Haitian baby and one of those faggy little dogs," another wrote.

Some seem not to have heard rumors regarding Cooper's orientation before now. "This is the first time I have heard that Cooper was gay," wrote one, adding, "My objection to him is simple due to the fact that he is a poor excues [sic] for a journalist."

Wrote another, "As much as I disagree with the lifestyle he has chosen, I give him props for the earthquake coverage he provided. He was there early on and saw and smelled misery most of us can't even comprehend. I'm sure seeing first hand the misery and suffering those children were enduring tugged at his heart strings. Having watched a lot of his coverage on CNN, I believe it is a sincere gesture."

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Assistant Arts Editor. He also reviews theater for WBUR. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.


  • FUNNY GUY, 2010-02-05 19:30:39

    That photo has been going around the net for at least a year!!!!!

  • , 2010-02-05 20:59:28

    ^^ Well, yes, it has. But fact is, most people in Middle America didn’t notice it before.

  • , 2010-02-05 21:26:06

    Anderson Cooper does excellent work and what goes on in someone’s home is their business and no one else’. Keep up the good work and good luck with your new addition to your family.

  • , 2010-02-05 22:17:19

    Gawker was asleep on this one and made some false claims as a result of doing no research. The story about AC and the boyfriend being together and moving in together, etc wasn’t the focus of this article because it had already been the focus of a previous cover page article featured in the NE. The previous article was even advertized on the cover as "Anderson Cooper is Moving in with his Boyfriend!". The NE has also outed him over the years in their "who is really gay and who isn’t?" articles.

  • , 2010-02-05 23:17:33

    Gay or not! Is none of our business! The man is freaking amazing in his profession. Leave him the hell alone!

  • jsicolts, 2010-02-06 06:55:44

    Come out come out where ever you are. ESPICALLY is you’re a famous nice guy celeb. It does matter. And it’s rubbing the noses of the lunatic right wing in it. Look at weirdos like "anonymous". Why do you this this religious kook called himsoelf Anonymous? He is ashamed of his hate and his future in a special place in hell.

  • , 2010-02-06 15:18:59

    First, we should be at a place in this country where no one has to make an "announcement" about their sexuality. Many have chosen to go about their lives honorably and don’t try to force their personal behavior on others. AC is one of those dignified, honorable, types who deserves his privacy. He is not a "public figure" because of anything to do with his sexuality, and until he makes his sexuality a part of his public life, it is part of his private life. As it is for everyone. That makes him admirable in my book.

  • , 2010-02-08 02:04:14

    anderson cooper is amazing news host.who cares if he is gay. he helps out alot in charity causes and is wonderful with children.

  • NYC Gay Activist, 2010-02-08 16:59:00

    The fact that someone’s sexuality makes headlines and some of the postings here that point out his excellent carreer at the same time that mention something like who cares if he is gay is the reason why successful gay men need to be out in the open. Cooper is just another example of many great and successful professionals who are gay and the real point is that sexuality just doesn’t matter period. It only does to "uneducated people" who don’t understand that sexuality is just another part of someone’s life. Did they think that bcs someone is gay, they cannot be successful professionals in fields like the one Cooper excels at? Glad to see that great role models like him that are going to show the uneducated and homophobic world out there that we, gay men, can be found in great professional jobs with proven and successful carreers are coming out and I hope that when he finally does come out, he does it with the integrity and professionalism that we are used to receive from him so the whole world that’s been trying to make a big deal out of his sexuality gets the "slap in the face" it deserves for being so stupid about sexulity in general at this late time in the game.

  • , 2010-10-30 20:51:05

    Anderson Cooper is a honest, hard working, news agent. His work is unquestionably accurate, in depth,and concise. He tells it like it is showing what people have to deal with just to see another day of life and hope. Most of his work has been done putting his life on the line. If he is gay its no ones business but his. He has had enough heartache and problems in his life and does not need anyone poking their noses into his private life. I hope he is gay, in my view point only makes him more sensitive to the needs of others. So all those people who are filled with hate and are missing the intelligence to put purpose in their lives. Just shut up! Contend with the imperfection of your lives and leave those alone who are striving for happiness.

  • , 2011-01-05 13:44:55

    AC is just great. People need to leave him alone. Who cares who he lives with...I mean really are you his girlfriend and is he cheating on you? People need to pay more attention to their own personal lives and leave others, especially ones they don’t even know, alone.

  • , 2011-01-15 15:54:05

    i am dissapointed that Anderson is lowering his program by interviewing guest lookin for publicity.I watch his show 2x daily.i quickly turn it off as he was talkng with 2 guest promoting their shows. Shame on U Anderson. Pls return your show to: Keeping Them Honest.

  • , 2011-08-14 07:41:58


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