Benjamin Maisani – Anderson Cooper’s Partner

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For years, Anderson Cooper kept his private life to himself, but in 2012, he made the decision to be openly gay to the public. An email of his was published and it stated:

I’ve begun to consider whether the unintended outcomes of maintaining my privacy outweigh personal and professional principle. It’s become clear to me that by remaining silent on certain aspects of my personal life for so long, I have given some the mistaken impression that I am trying to hide something—something that makes me uncomfortable, ashamed or even afraid. This is distressing because it is simply not true. … The fact is, I’m gay, always have been, always will be, and I couldn’t be any more happy, comfortable with myself, and proud.

Cooper reportedly first considered coming out to the public in 2011, when same-sex marriage became legal in New York. Cooper started dating his boyfriend, bar owner Benjamin Maisani, in 2009 and the two have been together since. Maisani is the co-owner of the bar Eastern Bloc and Gawker had a lot to say about him when he first started dating Cooper:

Nearly everyone who talks about Maisani—whose real name is Antoine—mentions what a nice guy he is. He and spends a lot of time working out at the Crunch on Lafayette newly-opened David Barton Gym on Astor Place—someone even said “obsessively”—and is frequently spotted spotting Andy himself while doing squats. He likes horror movies, is an amateur photographer, and doesn’t go out much, other than the work at his own bar. He broke up with his last boyfriend last winter and started dating Cooper shortly thereafter.

Apparently, Maisani comes from an upper-middle-class Parisian family and originally came to New York in 1995 to study film for just a year, but made a home in the state. He graduated from Hunter College in 2000 as valedictorian and nine years later he met Cooper.

On an interesting note, Cooper recently revealed that he had once been set up on a date with Andy Cohen. Check out the video about it below.

Cooper stated:

When we were set up … we had a phone call to talk before we actually went out on a date. And I don’t know how, but both of us sort of decided, based on that one phone call, ‘We’re not going to go on a date.’

He also joked:

I know a lot of secrets about Andy, but I guess the one that would surprise people the most is that he’s a top. Believe me, there’s nothing wrong with that, but I’m just saying, I think that would surprise people.