Did Sandra Lee Move to California Because She Broke up With Andrew Cuomo?

Sandra Lee and Andrew Cuomo ended their 14-year romance in 2019. Since the public announcement of their split, a lot had happened. Cuomo has busied himself with the Coronavirus pandemic, and Lee has spent her time dealing in real estate. The celebrity chef recently packed up her New York life and transported it to California. Lee’s fans are curious. Did she leave New York because of her recent breakup?

When did Sandra Lee and Andrew Cuomo breakup?

Cuomo and Lee met in 2005 at a dinner and quickly started dating. The pair never married and never had children together, but their lives were deeply intertwined. They shared a home in Westchester County for more than a decade, splitting time between Mount Kisco and Albany, where Cuomo serves as the governor of New York.

Andrew Cuomo and Sandra Lee attend Gotham Magazine's 11th Anniversary Celebration at the Four Seasons Restaurant in 2012
Andrew Cuomo and Sandra Lee | Taylor Hill/Getty Images

Rumors that their romance was on the rocks began in the summer of 2019. Initially, Lee and Cuomo denied the rumors. In September 2019, they officially announced the end of their relationship. The end of their relationship was amicable. Lee spoke lovingly of Cuomo shortly after the announcement and has praised his response to the coronavirus pandemic in the months since.  

Sandra Lee purchased her Malibu home just two months after her split from Andrew Cuomo

Shortly after the long-term couple announced their split, Lee started to make some serious real estate moves. Lee, who has owned a Beverly Hills Estate for some time, plunked down over $3 million on a Malibu residence. According to The New York Post, the celebrity chef also bought a home in Lake Balboa, California. The house belonged to her aunt and uncle.

Sandra Lee arrives at The Hollywood Reporte's Power 100 Women in Entertainment party in December 2019
Sandra Lee | Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for The Hollywood Reporter

To fund her new real estate ventures, she unloaded several of her East Coast properties. According to the publication, she listed her Westchester County home just a few months after the breakup and spent most of the pandemic in her Manhattan apartment. She also listed a Georgia condo for sale around the same time.

Did Sandra Lee move to California because of Andrew Cuomo?

While Lee made New York her permanent residence for the duration of her relationship with Cuomo, she was raised in California. The celebrity chef has always spoken fondly about her time in California and has been honest that she feels most at home and at peace on the West Coast. Did she leave the northeast because of her breakup, though?

Andrew Cuomo and Sandra Lee attend the premiere of 'RX: Early Detection, A Cancer Journey With Sandra Lee' at the Sundance Film Festival 2018
Andrew Cuomo and Sandra Lee | Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for HBO

While Lee has never publicly stated that the breakup was the catalyst for her cross-country move, the timing is certainly interesting. She purchased her Malibu estate in November 2019, two months after the split. Her Mount Kisco home went on the market in May 2019 and sold in October 2020. While the breakup might not have been the only factor, it would seem her relationship was the only thing tying her to New York. Once it ended, she was free to head out, and that’s exactly what she did.