New York State

Notable New York political exes

It’s better to have loved and lost – not including elections.

Sandra Lee and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Sandra Lee and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. lev radin/Shutterstock

Billy Joel’s ex-girlfriend and current Islip Councilwoman, Trish Bergin Weichbrodt, appears to be in a New York state of mind, as she just announced her bid for Rep. Peter King’s seat.

The Republican councilwoman and the legendary singer-songwriter began dating in the late 1990s – back when she was a local newscaster – until she turned down his marriage proposal in 2000. Despite their breakup, Joel has remained a big supporter of Bergin Weichbrodt’s political aspirations. “I would vote for Trish Bergin in a heartbeat,” Joel told Page Six in 2009, when Bergin Weichbrodt was considering a run for the Suffolk County legislative district seat. “She’s always had the best interests of Long Island in mind, and she was always very well-informed about our important local issues.”

Bergin Weichbrodt’s freshly launched congressional campaign, got us thinking about other New York politicos’ famous exes, from television personalities to acclaimed authors. Here are a few of the most notable past relationships you may or may not have forgotten about: 

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Sandra Lee

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and celebrity chef Sandra Lee broke up this summer after more than a decade together. Rumors of their split began to swirl when the pair put their Westchester home up for sale in May. 

Lee is the host of the Food Network’s “Semi-Homemade Cooking with Sandra Lee,” “Sandra’s Money Saving Meals” and “Restaurant Remakes.” Lee has also authored 27 cookbooks and has her own self-titled lifestyle magazine.

Former Rep. Anthony Weiner and Huma Abedin

Top Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin stuck by her husband, disgraced former Rep. Anthony Weiner throughout numerous sexting scandals, until 2017, when Weiner was charged with sending obscene materials to a minor, after he was caught sexting with a 15-year-old in 2016. Weiner plead guilty to the charges in May 2017 and Abedin filed for divorce that same month. 

Junot Diaz and Elizabeth de Leon – and former state Sen. Marisol Alcantara

The Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Junot Diaz is the ex-boyfriend of not one but two New York politicos! 

It’s rumored that Elizabeth de Leon, who worked as Melissa Mark-Viverito’s first deputy chief of staff while she was on the New York City Council, was the inspiration for his award-winning, semi-autographic short story collection “This Is How You Lose Her.” De Leon was engaged to Diaz, but reportedly broke off their engagement in 2012. 

Former state Sen. Marisol Alcantara was also engaged to the writer, with whom she was involved from the late 1990s until the mid-2000s, shortly after Diaz won his Pulitzer in 2008. Following their split, the pair ended up in a five-year court battle over a Hamilton Heights townhouse they purchased while together in 2002, which they eventually sold for $2 million in 2016. 

Former Gov. Eliot Spitzer and Lis Smith

News of the disgraced former Gov. Eliot Spitzer and Lis Smith’s relationship was revealed in 2013, after photos were leaked of Smith and Spitzer entering her apartment building together. 

At the time, Smith was working as New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s spokeswoman but resigned from her post shortly after photos of her and Spitzer surfaced. 

The couple made eyebrow-raising headlines for two years until they split in 2015. Smith is currently working as a senior advisor to presidential candidate and South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg. 

Queens District Attorney-elect Melinda Katz and Curtis Sliwa

Queens District Attorney-elect Melinda Katz and Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa share two sons. The former couple say they were romantically involved from 2011 until 2014 – though the details depend on who you ask.

According to Katz and Sliwa, Sliwa was Katz’s sperm donor and their sons were conceived through in-vitro fertilization. However, Sliwa’s ex-wife Mary Galda alleged that the two had a decade-long affair and conceived their children au naturale

It’s surprising that these two ever ended up together, considering Sliwa created a beret-ed, tough-on-crime vigilante group – and went on to be a conservative talk radio host – and Katz just ran for Queens District Attorney as a progressive criminal justice reformer. 

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Kerry Kennedy

Cuomo married Kerry Kennedy, the daughter of Robert and Ethel Kennedy, in 1990. Their relationship, which had reportedly been rocky due to Cuomo’s controlling habits, began to dissolve after Kennedy had a highly publicized affair with New York businessman Bruce Colley in July 2003. Kennedy’s lawyer announced that she intended to separate from Cuomo and would be seeking a divorce that same year. The pair officially divorced in 2005.

Linda Rosenthal and Scott Stringer

New York City Comptroller and 2021 mayoral hopeful Scott Stringer and New York Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal dated over three decades ago, a spokesperson for Stringer told New York magazine in 2006. 

Pete Hamill and Jackie Kennedy Onassis – and Shirley MacLaine

In the 1970s, best-selling author and longtime local tabloid columnist Pete Hamill dated some high-profile women, including former First Lady Jackie Kennedy Onassis and movie star Shirley MacLaine. Hamill and MacLaine famously broke the gender barrier at iconic blue-collar Brooklyn bar Farrell’s, in Windsor Terrace – near Hamill’s childhood home in Park Slope – which only served men until the couple went in together and MacLaine ordered a drink.


Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated Elizabeth de Leon's title in the New York City Council and the name of the businessman involved with Kerry Kennedy. Also, Eliot Spitzer and his now ex-wife Silda were no longer together by the time he was seen out with Smith.