Weird Things About Rob Gronkowski & Camille Kostek's Relationship

Sports Illustrated swimsuit model Camille Kostek is the biggest cheerleader of four-time Super Bowl champ Rob Gronkowski these days, and there was a time when she was actually shaking her pom-poms for him on the sidelines. While a cheerleader and a football player might seem to go together like peanut butter and chocolate, we've noticed a few oddities about the longtime couple.

The beauty and the Gronk first entered each other's orbit when Kostek was a cheerleader for the New England Patriots and Gronkowski was the team's tight end. But according to Kostek, the star player didn't really stand out to her on the field at first. "I always knew who he was before I was even a cheerleader. I knew who he was on the roster. I just never paid any mind," she told Fox News in 2018. 

Now, she and Gronkowski regularly attend events together and talk about each other during interviews, but Kostek wasn't quite as comfortable with the interest in their relationship when it first became public knowledge. "It was hard at first when people would send articles with my name on it. It's an overwhelming feeling to read something that you have no control over," she said.

During their relationship's early days, Kostek had another reason for not wanting the media to know that Gronk was romancing her; he was supposed to be off-limits. However, Gronk decided that he wasn't going to play by the rules when it came to love.

Their forbidden romance began with a nametag

In April 2015, Camille Kostek spoke to The Boston Globe about what seemed to be a nascent romance with Rob Gronkowski. "We're both super busy right now. Obviously, he does a lot and I do a lot," she said, possibly in an effort to explain why they weren't being spotted together publicly often.

Kostek would later reveal that Gronk tried to shoot his shot with her at a 2013 Thanksgiving charity event for Goodwill. "He ripped off his 'Hi my name is Rob Gronkowski' sticker ... he had written on the back of it his phone number," she recalled on SiriusXM's "This Is Happening with Mark Zito and Ryan Sampson." Gronkowski then had teammate Jermaine Wiggins sneak the nametag to her. Gronk had also written "Shhh!" on it. This is because Kostek was still a New England Patriots cheerleader at the time, and it was a big no-no for players and cheerleaders to date. Kostek was so worried about losing her spot on the squad that Wiggins had to convince her to accept his special delivery.

On "Live with Kelly and Ryan," Gronkowski confessed to trying to impress Kostek by holding a bunch of turkeys at once during the charity event, but it was his good looks and charming demeanor that she found attractive. "Yes I broke the @patriotscheerleaders rules at the time and called him up ... but it was worth it," Kostek wrote in a 2022 Instagram post.

The role an injury played in their relationship

It took Rob Gronkowski getting hurt pretty badly for him and Camille Kostek to realize that their casual relationship had evolved into something more. A few weeks after they first met, the New England Patriots were playing the Cleveland Browns when safety T.J. Ward hit Gronkowski low and hard. This resulted in a serious, season-ending knee injury. During a SiriusXM Sports interview, Kostek revealed that she didn't consider Gronkowski her boyfriend at the time, but she struggled not to react like he was. "I wanted to throw my pom-poms and go on the field and rip his helmet off and do something," she said.

After Gronkowski learned the bad news about the extent of his injuries, he and Kostek built the foundation of a solid relationship during his recovery period. "I was helping him take his clothes off, helping him bathe. Doing things that allowed us to really get close and become very serious very quickly," she said.

This early experience with the stresses of dating an NFL player forced her to decide whether it was something she really wanted. On top of being concerned about Gronkowski's physical and emotional state, she had to be ever-vigilant about their relationship being discovered. Kostek told SiriusXM Sports that she and Gronk secretly dated for two years before she quit cheerleading. During this time period, the Patriots won the 2015 Super Bowl. "We couldn't even run in each other's arms on the field," said Kostek.

Camille Kostek's rumored romance with an American Idol winner

A year after Camille Kostek told The Boston Herald that she and Rob Gronkowski were dating, there was a flurry of reports claiming that the couple had called it quits. In January 2016, Page Six reported that Kostek had moved on with singer Nick Fradiani, the winner of "American Idol" Season 14. "Nick met Camille when he was doing 'Idol' promos last year. She was even seen with him at the tapings last May. They have seen each other several times during the past year," a source said. That May date fell just one month after Kostek's Boston Herald interview.

In February 2016, Gronkowski confirmed that he was single when E! News asked if he had any Valentine's Day plans, so it seems that his picture-perfect romance with Kostek hit a snag at some point. A year later, sources close to Gronk told TMZ that the NFL player and Kostek were "100% NOT dating, period" and had only had a short "fling," not the two-year-long secret romance Kostek would later tell SiriusXM Sports about. 

The TMZ report seemed to upset Kostek somewhat, as she told the New York Post, "When I talked to the people that are important to me, I was like, everyone knows the real truth." So, did members of Gronk's camp orchestrate a smear campaign against Kostek to discredit her dating claims? And did Kostek really date Fradiani? This chapter in the couple's romance remains rather murky.

Their dog has his own Instagram account

In 2021, Rob Gronkowski and Camille Kostek became the proud dogparents of a gray French bulldog named Ralphie. They created an Instagram account for their pet pooch, and as of this writing, over 50,000 fans keep up with his adorable exploits, from eating ice cream to chilling in the pool with his pops.

In a 2023 interview with Hello!, Gronkowski praised Kostek for taking excellent care of their canine son and revealed that Ralphie was making him think about taking a big step with Kostek in the future. "For me, that fatherly side is coming out on me, even with just a dog," he said. "Everyone says a dog gets you ready for parenthood and so, eventually down the road, I believe that I'll be ready for a kid now." But first, they have to get Ralphie to stop interrupting when they're perfecting the crucial first step of getting that kid. 

During an appearance on SiriusXM's "Faction Talk," Kostek was asked if Ralphie has ever jumped on the bed at an inopportune time. Kostek confirmed that this is an issue and said, "Listen, animals are people's shadows. All Frenchie owners who are listening will know, they are your shadow. They do not leave at all!" While she believes that Ralphie gets desperate for attention, maybe the real issue is that he just really doesn't want a sibling.

Gronk enjoys processed meat, but Camille Kostek is a vegetarian

When Camille Kostek and Rob Gronkowski appeared on the E! Game show "Celebrity Game Face" in 2021, one of their challenges was for Gronk to fit nine hot dog wieners in his mouth. Host Kevin Hart told Gronk that he had just 20 seconds to complete the challenge. Kostek was clearly eager to win, as her strategy was to start by grabbing five of the wieners and stuffing them in Gronk's gaping maw all at once. She managed to find space for two more and got the final pair of processed meat tubes tucked in with the rest just before their time ran out. "I love wieners, Kevin!" Gronk said after Kostek removed them.

While Gronk might be a hot dog fan, he and Kostek are one of those odd couples composed of one omnivore and one herbivore. In a post on her Instagram Story, Kostek revealed that she's a vegetarian who tries to avoid eating processed foods as much as possible. Gronkowski's diet isn't as restrictive; he shared that he's also a big fan of Polish sausage on "Top Chef." But Kostek told Forbes, "I definitely think he's learned a lot more from me from my eating habits. Surprisingly, he enjoys some of my vegan and vegetarian meals. He used to call it 'bunny food' and now he's like, 'Wow. You can get full off of some of the meals that you're eating.'"

Gronk claims they're too busy to get engaged

At the time of this writing, it's been almost a decade since Rob Gronkowski gave Camille Kostek his phone number while handing out turkeys, and the couple has talked about the possibility of getting engaged often over the years. When Kostek appeared on SiriusXM's "This Is Happening with Mark Zito and Ryan Sampson" in 2021, she admitted that she's been putting some thought into what she wants her engagement ring to look like and dropped a huge hint for Gronk when she said that wants him to consult her or those closest to her before he picks one out.

The following year, Kostek sent a message to Gronk in big flashing lights when she told Us Weekly, "If he were to get down on one knee, I'd be excited." But according to Gronk, he just can't find the time to put a ring on it. "We're both super busy with our careers right now," he told People in 2023. "She's right in the middle of hers, shooting for Sports Illustrated once again, and then we got the Super Bowl." By the way, he wasn't even playing in the Super Bowl in question, and guys find time to propose to working women all the time. Gronk could even show up in the middle of a photo shoot and get some amazing free engagement pics. So, yeah, it's definitely a strange excuse for his failure to make Kostek his fiancée.