New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and Partner Sandra Lee End Their Shacking Up Relationship

FILE- In this Jan. 1, 2015 file photo, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his girlfriend Sandra Lee smile during an inaugural ceremony at One World Trade Center in New York. The couple have announced their break up after more than a decade together. Cuomo and Lee said in a statement Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2019, that their lives have gone in different directions but that they remain close friends. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle, Pool, File)

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and his longtime girlfriend Sandra Lee have ended their relationship after more than 14 years together.

The couple confirmed their split in a statement on Wednesday.

‘Over the recent past, we have realized that our lives have gone in different directions and our romantic relationship has turned into a deep friendship,’ the statement said.

‘We will always be family and are fully supportive of each other and dedicated to the girls. Our personal lives remain personal and there will be no further comment.’

Lee, who shot to fame in the early 2000s as the host of ‘Semi-Homemade Cooking With Sandra Lee’ and went on to build a cookbook, magazine and TV empire, acted as a stepmother to Cuomo’s three daughters from his previous marriage to Kerry Kennedy.

Rumors of a breakup have swirled for months after the couple put the home they shared in Westchester County on the market for $2million in May.

Reports claimed that they were living apart as Cuomo, a third-term Democrat, spent most of his time at the governor’s office in Albany and Lee divided her time between Manhattan and California.

The couple denied the rumors and said they were downsizing because Cuomo’s daughters – Michaela, Cara and Mariah – were grown up and had moved out.

Cuomo was by Lee’s side when she was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent a double mastectomy in 2015.

Lee praised Cuomo for being incredibly supportive during her cancer battle and subsequent reconstructive surgeries in 2016.

Serving as New York’s de facto first lady, Lee held a low-profile during most of Cuomo’s first two terms as governor but emerged as an advocate for cancer screening after her own diagnosis.

The couple were introduced at a party in the Hamptons in 2005 by political adviser Alexandra Stanton, one of Lee’s best friends and Cuomo’s former aide.

At the time Cuomo, son of former New York Governor Mario Cuomo, was fresh off a failed run for governor and a very public bitter divorce from Kerry Kennedy, daughter of Robert F Kennedy.

Lee had also recently divorced from KB Home CEO Bruce Karatz after four years of marriage.

With Lee in his corner, Cuomo rebounded and was elected New York Attorney General in 2006. He was elected governor four years later in 2010 and has held the office ever since.

In a 2011 interview with Vogue, Lee gushed about Cuomo, calling him ‘loyal’, ‘dedicated’ and ‘a good one’.

Asked about the possibility of marriage, Lee said: ‘Right now I’m happy being a girlfriend, but someday Andrew and I will get there. When his kids say we need to, we will.’