Strange Things About Rachael Ray's Marriage

Celebrity chef Rachael Ray and her husband, entertainment lawyer and The Cringe frontman John Cusimano, have never hesitated to share how head-over-heels in love they are with each other. These two wed at an Italian castle in 2005 and renewed their vows there ten years later. But if you dig a bit deeper into this fairy tale romance, you'll realize their relationship isn't as traditional as it appears. 

For starters, not every meet cute starts out with confusion about sexual orientation and some shared genetics, and not all lovers keep the flame alive with boozy nicknames and poems about whiskey. We'll fill you in on their intimate vacations (that include hundreds of friends) and their cooking adventures (Ray isn't the only one who knows her way around a kitchen). And what about all those oh so nasty battles with the tabloids and rumors about a swingers club and escorts? 

We've got the dirt on that too. Here are some of the strangest things about this high-profile marriage.

They bonded over their height...or lack thereof

Lots of couples initially bond over shared interests in music, food, or movies, but Rachael Ray and John Cusimano bonded over shared genetics. The couple reportedly met at a mutual friend's' birthday party. Ray, who stands 5 feet 1 inch tall, noticed that everyone at the party was rather tall, except for Cusimano, who is 5 feet 7 inches. 

"We walked directly across the room to each other," Ray told AOL in 2014, and that was that. "My husband and I have been together on the phone or in person every single day since the night we met." Their meeting on that fateful day wasn't exactly love at first sight, however. More on that in a moment. 

Rachael Ray thought John Cusimano was gay

John Cusimano and Rachael Ray reportedly hit it off right away, but she didn't think she had a shot. Why? Let's let them tell the story: 

"[Ray] asked me if I cooked anything," he told People. "She thought I would just say chicken parm or something boring and I said, 'Yeah, I made this talapia with a tomatillo-jalapeno-cilantra reduction with a little bit of Negro Modelo beer with a maque choux on the side. And she said, 'Are you gay?'" 

Meanwhile, Ray added, "I was going to hook him up with some of my gay friends and then when he said he wasn't, I said, 'Alright I'm going to be eating some of that food, and we've been together ever since." 

She doesn't make time for him...and that's a good thing

In 2007, People asked Rachael Ray how she manages to make time for her husband while juggling such an insanely busy schedule as a celebrity chef and talk show host. Her answer: she doesn't!

"I can't give a man an enormous amount of attention," she told the mag. "And John is totally down with that. When men I have dated over the years whined about, 'Oh, you make no time for me' — see ya! I just dumped them. I don't need that pressure in my life." On her talk show, Ray explained that she and Cusimano were very independent people before they joined their lives together, and they've held onto that freedom since marrying. "He has his music, I love to cook, so we're not on each other all the time," she said.

You also won't catch Cusimano sitting down and banging his utensils on the kitchen table hollering, "Me want food!" According to Ray, he's the least demanding person ever. "He doesn't care if he gets dinner at 8 o'clock or 10 o'clock or 6 o'clock," she said. "He's actually very easy to be married to, but you can't have him!"

Rachael Ray says they're both 'volatile'

By Hollywood standards, this marriage is considered a unicorn of sorts. Rachael Ray and John Cusimano's union has surpassed the ten-year mark, and their affection for each other still seems red hot. What's the key to their longevity, you ask? Date nights? Roses? Deep conversations?

Nope, a pinch of turbulence is their secret ingredient. "We're very volatile," Ray said during a Q&A on her website. "My husband's an Italian, I'm an Italian. We blow up and then it's gone. We don't hold grudges with each other. And he's just really easy to hang out with." It also sounds like friends may need to don a suit of armor before dropping by the Ray-Cusimano household. And speaking of friends...

Are they buying their friends?

One tradition this couple looks forward to every year is its annual vacation with a few of their closest friends. And by "few," we mean hundreds! Each year, Rachael Ray and John Cusimano whisk their family and friends away on a trip so they can all bond and reconnect. "We've done this celebration every year for 10 years," Ray told People in 2015. "We're very busy; I have five jobs. We don't see everybody often enough, and we probably take them and their friendship for granted. But they make us better people for knowing them." 

At this point, you're probably secretly wondering if there's an opening available in this inner circle. Don't worry, so are we. However, we can't help but wonder just how much money these two are shelling out every year just to keep their friendships intact. 

Rachael Ray constantly has to defend her 'rocky marriage'

In 2007, lasagne wasn't the only thing cooking in Rachael Ray's life. Drama was also simmering as numerous publications piled on with gossip-filled stories about the couple's so-called "rocky marriage." Ray got fed up with all of the rumors and finally decided to address them during an episode of her television show. "Everybody gossips ... but this stuff is hurting people's feelings who are in our families and friends of ours," she told her audience (via People). "They worry about us." The celebrity chef also encouraged her fans to stop purchasing tabloid magazines. "The tabloids won't stop printing this junk until people stop buying it," she said.

Sure, plenty of celeb couples face scrutiny in the press, but Ray and Cusimano clearly felt like they're circumstances had crossed a line. "There's always someone that's going to be telling stories behind your back, but this is too much," she said.

Was John Cusimano busted at a swingers club?

A rich and famous marriage may sound appealing, until you consider the strange stories that play out about one's personal life on a worldwide stage. 

Case in point: in 2013, the National Enquirer (via Fox News), claimed that John Cusimano was "spotted at a Manhattan swinger's club without Ray." The salacious story alleged that Cusimano visited an establishment called Checkmate six times with a female escort. The club described itself as an "exclusive alternative lifestyle venue for 'couples and single ladies only,'" reported the Daily Mail.

Once again, the couple was forced to fight back. "This is yet another pack of lies printed by the National Enquirer who have been targeting John and Rachael for several years with no merit," a spokesperson for Ray told Fox News.

Rachael Ray says she loves her husband more than liquor

Rachael Ray and John Cusimano renewed their wedding vows to mark their 10-year anniversary in 2015. The lovebirds celebrated their anniversary at Castello di Velona — the same Italian castle where they tied the knot. While most couples exchange vows steeped in flowery language and romantic symbolism, Ray likened her prince charming to whiskey.

On the surface, that may sound like something a frat boy in his twenties might do, but Ray's words, borrowed from poet Charles Bernstein's "All the Whiskey in Heaven," were actually quite sweet. The 1950 piece reads, "Not for all the whiskey in heaven ... No, never, I'll never stop loving you."

"It basically says, 'Under any circumstance, I would still choose you and I would still be with you," she told People

She has a special pet name for him

Most lovers use terms of endearment to express affection: honey, baby, sweetheart. Rachael Ray calls her guy "Johnny Walker," a play on the popular whiskey brand, Johnnie Walker, because her beau loves Scotch. (Those booze-themed wedding vows make a little more sense now, don't they?) We're not sure what Cusimano calls Ray, but considering she enjoys a cup of ginger tea and claims she was bottle-fed wine as a child, he's got some options.

Multiple cheating allegations have rocked Rachael Ray's marriage

Before they could even celebrate their one-year wedding anniversary, the rumor mill was ablaze with cheating allegations when the National Enquirer alleged that John Cusimano had engaged in a five-year relationship with a woman named Jeaninne Walz of Florida. Their alleged affair "continued even after he married Rachael," the tabloid reported.

And that wasn't all. The gossip rag (via Good Housekeeping) also claimed there was a second woman whom Cusimano had paid to "satisfy his weird fetishes with acts too degrading to print." Yikes. And while reporting on Cusimano's alleged swingers club spotting in 2013, the National Enquirer attributed Rachael Ray's 37-pound weight gain to supposed issues in her marriage. "She's been pigging out to cope with the stress," a source cited by the outlet claimed, before adding that Ray was reportedly experiencing "trust issues."

Hm, is this a case of "where there's smoke there's fire," or simply a bunch of hogwash? We're not sure. But between these two continually hitting back against this ongoing marital trouble hearsay, and an insider telling the Enquirer that Cusimano had "assured" Ray he had been faithful, we're hoping for the best!