U.S. Senator Cory Booker, who has announced he’s running for president in 2020, is not married but, according to various news reports, he’s had a string of rumored girlfriends, from Oprah’s best friend to an Instagram poet. Actress Rosario Dawson confirmed on March 14, 2019 that she is in a relationship with Booker.
He called her an “incredible girlfriend” during a March 27, 2019 town hall. She’s spoken about Booker before.
“I am just grateful to be with someone that I respect and love and admire so much,” she told TMZ.
Who are his previous girlfriends? It’s not a very long list, though, at least when it comes to what’s publicly known. On February 1, 2019, Booker, U.S. Senator from New Jersey, became the latest Democrat in a quickly filling up field to announce that he was running for president in 2020. The video announcement came on the first day of Black History Month:
On February 5, 2019, Booker confirmed he has a girlfriend, but he didn’t name her. “I’m dating somebody that’s really special… I’ve got a boo,” he revealed. When asked if he planned to marry the woman, he said, according to ClickOnDetroit, “Please, what have we gotten myself into right now, man! All the issues we’ve talked about, this is the most uncomfortable part of this interview.”
Cory Anthony Booker was born on April 27, 1969, making him age 49 at the time of the campaign announcement. Can a single man become president? He’s got a lot of company. According to the Census Bureau, in 2016, 110.6 million people in the United States were single. “This group made up 45.2 percent of all U.S. residents age 18 and older,” the bureau reported. (James Buchanan was the only true bachelor president, although another president married in office and one was a widower.)
Here’s what you need to know about Cory Booker’s rumored girlfriends:
In 2017, they attended an art event together. In 2018, The Washington Post called Cleo Wade Cory Booker’s “close friend.”
According to The Post article, the 20-years-younger Wade, a poet, and Booker, “have been circling one another for nearly two years.” For her part, reported The New York Times, Wade has described Booker as “family.” However, reported the Post, Wade once set off a fire alarm in Booker’s apartment by burning sage.
The New York Times reported in April 2018 that Wade once wrote in a book acknowledgement: “To my partner, Cory, for being a constant source of light and inspiration in my life. You have truly been my rock during this process.” But she wouldn’t say whether they were dating.
In 2017, NewJersey.com reported that Booker had been dating Cleo Wade “for the past year” and quoted him as saying that Wade is “a special person,” and he was “hopeful” they might end up married.
“I’ve been a bachelor too long,” he said to the newspaper. Wade is extremely private about her romantic life.
Rosario Dawson and Cory Booker went to a movie together, according to Page Six, which also reported in January 2019 that she sang “I love you” to him at a Broadway play. The site called them a “couple.” She also sang the word in Spanish.
Dawson’s daughter and Booker’s niece also attended the performance, Page Six reported. As noted, she’s now confirmed they’re an item.
Has he had girlfriends? Buzzfeed says yes. Booker “is only known to have been in a handful of long-term relationships,” the site reports, listing Oprah’s best friend Gayle King among them.
However, Booker has described Gayle King as a friend. In 2013, he told Extra of his relationship with Gayle King: “I wish there was a different word than friend [to describe our relationship] because she’s really one of the best things that’s happened to me. On my lowest days, she’s the one that picks me up and calls me, checks in on me, she’s been an incredible friend — that’s it.”
It’s not hard to see why the rumor started, though, as Booker has squired King to many public events over the years, including a 2010 state dinner at the White House. According to USA Today, Booker and King attended the ‘Selma’ and the Legends Who Paved the Way gala at Bacara Resort in Goleta, Calif. in 2014. There are many other examples of Booker and King attending events together.
In 2017, Vanity Fair referred to Gayle King as Booker’s “friend.”
The Washington Post reports that King attended Booker’s swearing in as Senator. The story identified her as his “close friend.”
Booker and Mindy Kaling set tongues briefly wagging when they flirted with each other on Twitter and seemed to be setting up a dinner date. In March 2017, Booker wrote Kaling on Twitter, “You are making my day! Thanks for the clarification. And If the ❤️is really mutual… Come have dinner with me in Newark? #PleaseSayYes 🤞🏾”
She responded: “yes. Now let me get the PATH train schedule.” The exchange started with Booker teasing Kaling for dissing Newark on The Mindy Project.
A month later, Vanity Fair asked Booker whether the date had occurred. “Well first of all, don’t read too into it about ‘asking out,’” Booker said to the magazine. “I want to sort of take the romantic aspect out of it and talk more about how she’s amazing. Her show gave a little dis to Newark, and I’m a big defender of cities, and so I called her out on it. Not only did she say, hey, this is her character, not [her personal insult], but then she agreed to come over to Newark, New Jersey. She hasn’t yet. I mean, she’s a busy person . . . so we’ll see what happens in the future.”
Page Six reported through a source in October 2018 that Booker was allegedly secretly dating Chanda Gibson, executive director of the Council of Urban Professionals. According to Page Six, they met on his campaign for Newark, New Jersey mayor, but Booker wouldn’t comment on the report.
“He’s been dating her on and off for years . . . No one could understand why he told her their relationship is secret,” Page Six reported, while noting that “the exact nature of their personal relationship is unclear.”
Gibson spoke to Forbes about working on Booker’s campaign, saying, “Cory became a kind of spiritual adviser on those days when I would say ‘What am I doing with my life?’ One day, he said: ‘If you want to do something you believe in, quit your job and come help me run for Mayor.'”
In 2013, Vanity Fair reported that Booker was supposedly dating “36-year-old Bianca J. Levin, exceedingly photogenic Yale Law School graduate, entertainment lawyer, and Los Angeles resident.”
That same year, Page Six claimed that Booker had been seeing Levin since “she co-hosted a June fund-raiser for his Senate campaign at the Rooftop by Gordon Ramsay in West Hollywood.”
Booker Has Been Asked by Reporters About His Sexuality
Booker thinks America is ready for a single president.
In December 2018, he told Philly.com, “Clearly the norms of family relationships have been changed dramatically as you’ve seen people across this country being elected to offices with all different kinds of family situations, including the president who has had three spouses. So I think a lot of that conventional thought on that doesn’t apply.”
The Philadelphia newspaper asked Booker whether he was gay (he’s faced gay slurs before). “I’m heterosexual,” Booker responded to the newspaper. “Every candidate should run on their authentic self, tell their truth, and more importantly, or mostly importantly, talk about their vision for the country.”
He told Buzzfeed that being unmarried made it difficult to date sometimes, saying, “It puts a big damper on your personal life. It’d be much easier if I was married already and I didn’t have to go on a first date and have people coming up to your table.”
Booker told Page Six: “People who think I’m gay, some part of me thinks it’s wonderful. Because I want to challenge people on their homophobia . . . I say, ‘So what does it matter if I am?’”
Two American President Were Not Married When They Were Elected
Grover Cleveland and James Buchanan were America’s bachelor presidents. In a way, though, Buchanan stands alone. That’s because, according to The Root, Grover Cleveland, while a bachelor at the time of his election, married while he was in the White House. The Root also reports that Chester Arthur was a widower when he was elected president.
Buchanan’s niece filled the role of First Lady.
According to White House.org, Harriet Rebecca Lane Johnston “acted as First Lady of the United States, or ‘Hostess,’ for her uncle James Buchanan, who was a lifelong bachelor and the 15th President (1857-1861). Unique among First Ladies, Harriet Lane acted as hostess for the only President who never married: James Buchanan, her favorite uncle and her guardian after she was orphaned at the age of eleven. And of all the ladies of the White House, few achieved such great success in deeply troubled times as this polished young woman in her twenties.”