Andrew Cuomo's Ex Says To 'Knock Off' All The Piercing Speculation

These days, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is busy giving New Yorkers the latest updates on COVID-19, holding daily briefings on the latest news about the virus. The governor — whose younger brother, CNN anchor Chris Cuomo, is battling the coronavirus – is seen as a beacon of hope and calm amidst the storm.

However, the more public appearances Andrew makes — and the more he steps into the spotlight — the more he is under a magnifying glass. That has translated into the general public endlessly scrutinizing photos of the politician — including, oddly enough, pictures of his nipples. Specifically, whether or not he has the body parts pierced.

Speculation began after images of the governor emerged in a tight white polo shirt, his nipples, uh, fairly prominent (we're cringing just writing this). But it appeared that more than just nipples were on display through his shirt — two slight bumps were also shown, which many thought looked like a nipple ring or barbell.

At the height of the questioning, Andrew's ex, celebrity chef Sandra Lee, spoke out about the, shall we say, nipple situation — and she didn't mince words.

Sandra Lee slams the piercing investigation as 'body shaming'

Sandra Lee, who dated Andrew Cuomo for 14 years, took to her Instagram Story in April 2020 to let the public know that the focus on Cuomo's nipples was unnecessary and rude. Furthermore, she claimed that it is straight-up bullying. She also dismissed the articles about the possible piercings as "nonsense."

"I just want to take a moment and say I woke up this morning to a lot of stuff going online. A lot of stories being written, and a lot of nonsense being said," Lee told her followers in the Instagram video (via Just Jared). "And I just want to say, body shaming is not okay. It's never going to be okay."

Lee went on to praise Cuomo for his hard work amid the coronavirus pandemic, doubling down on her stance against body shaming. She explicitly admonished those who focused on his body, telling them to "knock it off." Lee also encouraged people to take their minds off Cuomo's nipples and instead focus on the important issues at hand.

"When people are out in the front lines and working so hard for all our benefits, to turn around and body shame, shame on you. Knock it off," Lee said. "Do something to uplift people and make the world a better place. Not take cheap shots that are unnecessary."

Andrew Cuomo's rep gave the internet a definitive answer

Despite Sandra Lee's attempt to end the speculation, the internet frenzy surrounding Andrew Cuomo's potential piercings didn't let up. In fact, on April 2, 2020, news outlets like Gizmodo launched a deep dive into the query, going as far as to conduct their own experiment featuring tape, nipple covers, and Band-Aids. The site did so in order to see potential causes of Cuomo's protruding nipples, other than piercings.

Vice even went so far as to call up multiple professional piercers to get their takes on the situation. Some were convinced Cuomo had barbells through his nipples, while others were sure that there was no jewelry on his chest, and he was wearing something under his shirt.

As it turns out, according to Cuomo's spokesperson, the governor's nipples are piercing-free. Rich Azzopardi flat-out told New York Magazine's Intelligencer that Cuomo does not have his nipples pierced. "Of course not," he said, adding, "Sorry, internet!"

A former congressman came to Andrew Cuomo's defense, too

Many people have come to Governor Andrew Cuomo's defense in the wake of this nipple controversy, but for former congressman Barney Frank, the buzz feels personal. After all, Frank experienced the same sort of scrutiny when he appeared on the House floor wearing a blue sweater that exposed his nipples to the entire C-SPAN audience back in 2011.

"I'd gone to work not expecting to be on the floor, but somebody got sick, and something had to be done on the floor and I had to do it, and I had my arm in a sling, and there wasn't a jacket that fit me, so that's why I was bent out of shape," Frank told New York Magazine's Intelligencer.

Donald Trump tweeted at the time that the congressman "looked disgusting" and "very very disrespectful," but Frank described these comments as silliness — and that's precisely how he feels about the New York governor's current circumstance. "In some ways, it makes you feel good because it means you have people who are trying to attack you and they can't find anything substantive," he said of Cuomo's critics. "It reflects badly on them."

And when you stop to appreciate Cuomo's unmatched leadership during this difficult time in our nation's history, nipple piercings seem so trivial. Live and let live!