Inside Giada De Laurentiis' Secret Life

The prenup wasn't the only thing that helped Thompson get all that moolah out of De Laurentiis, allegedly. According to Reality Today, Thompson blackmailed her in order to get his big divorce pay day. Apparently, the dirt he has on her is connected to an affair she had. Some sources allege that it's Bobby Flay, who comes up the most often in these allegations. While she's dealt with such rumors in the past and denied them, a confirmation from her ex-husband would fatally tarnish her image as a sweet, home-cooking lady, and compromise her culinary empire. But then again, if it's not true, this just goes to show the level of disturbing rumors she has to endure and how often she has to deal with them.

Giada De Laurentiis has built herself a little empire based on home cooking and her wholesome appearance. But not everything in her life is as wholesome as it looks. We did a little digging and found out that she's as messed up as the rest of us.

The Mysterious "Dump Bucket"

With all of the food that she cooks on her show, we've often wondered how Giada De Laurentiis stays so petite. The answer's simple: she never actually eats any of the food that she cooks. According to a Page Six article from 2014, an unnamed source revealed that Giada chews the food for the cameras, then spits it out into a "dump bucket." A representative for De Laurentiis has denied this, but it could simply prove the old adage: never trust a skinny chef.

She basically eats nothing all day

With her specialty being Italian food, De Laurentiis frequently made mouthwatering, but carb-filled, cheese-covered pasta dishes on her shows Everyday Italian, Giada at Home, and Giada in Italy. And yet, she somehow maintains her trim figure. We already covered the questionable claim that she uses a "dump bucket," but there's an even simpler explanation for how she keeps the pounds off: She doesn't eat that stuff — or anything, for that matter.

In an interview with Delish, De Laurentiis laid out what a typical day of meals is like for her. For breakfast, she has "Brown rice with olive oil and salt." Yep, we're not making that up. For lunch, it's "a salad with grilled chicken." Of course. No word on the dressing, but if we had to guess, we'd say she opens a bottle of ranch and smells it for five seconds. Her snacks are Triscuits — after all, she does work with them — with various toppings, like "ricotta, mascarpone cheese, and a few chocolate chips" in the morning and "provolone cheese, mortadella sausage and piquillo peppers" in the evening. For dinner, she claims "the world is my oyster," although she then admits that's usually "pasta, a panini or soup and a salad."

And when she's "feeling bloated" it's even crazier. She scales all the way back to a tiny green smoothie for breakfast, "brown rice and scrambled egg whites" for lunch, and for dinner, her "homemade Detox Broth," which is basically "chicken broth with ginger and cinnamon in it." Yum!


Though no concrete evidence has ever surfaced, De Laurentiis has been the subject of more affair rumors than probably any other celebrity chef. Her touchy-feely camaraderie with Today host, Matt Lauer, has led to rampant speculation that the two have been carrying on an affair for years. The same goes for Bobby Flay, De Laurentiis' kitchen contemporary and frequent collaborator. Their affection for each other became so obvious, WWHL host Andy Cohen even asked De Laurentiis about it during an appearance on his show. "We're very good friends. We've worked for many years together, uh, but I don't think that's ever going to happen. Because I'm smarter than that," De Laurentiis responded.

She was also accused by Star of an affair with John Mayer, which she went out of her way to refute. "I have never ever been romantically involved with John Mayer. I met him twice at least 5 or 6 years ago at public events along with hundreds of other people. The small amount of face time with John was in rooms filled with other attendees at these events. I have not seen or even heard from him since. The allegation of an affair was a fabrication back in 2010 and remains so today," De Laurentiis told Gossip Cop. Guess that settles that. Or doth the lady protest too much?

She's been dating Shane Farley for longer than she's said

Soon after finalizing her divorce from fashion designer Todd Thompson in September 2015, De Laurentiis started stepping out with a new guy, TV producer Shane Farley. However, rumors and allegations surfaced that the two had actually started dating while Giada was still married to Thompson. And those rumors didn't come out of thin air. Farley's been in the biz for a long time, having worked on shows like Rachel Ray and Big Morning Buzz. A quick look at both Farley's and De Laurentiis' IMDb pages shows that De Laurentiis made appearances on both of those shows while Farley would have been producing them, so they presumably knew each other as early as 2011.

Plus, according to E! News, Farley was even the showrunner for De Laurentiis' failed 2012 talk show that she hosted for CBS with Bobby Flay. Of course, none of this is a smoking gun for infidelity, but it sure casts some seeds of doubt that these two didn't develop feelings until after their marriages ended.

Is she cheating on Shane Farley already?

Since De Laurentiis has unfortunately gained the reputation of not exactly being a one-man woman, the rumors are already flying that she's going behind Farley's back, too. According to the admittedly questionable Radar Online, De Laurentiis was seen having dinner at "a swanky private club in NYC" with model/actor Kevin Navayne. They supposedly shared "the smallest table near the bar," and were "speaking very closely together, and whispering in each other's ears," according to an eyewitness. Nothing else ever came of the random gossip tidbit, and as of this writing De Laurentiis and Farley are still going strong.

Cooking can make you rich

In addition to her television shows Everyday Italian, Giada at Home, and her appearances on The Next Food Network Star, the mogul has authored numerous cook books, contributes to The Today Show, and has a range of cooking products available only through Target. How much money does all of this earn her? Well, her net worth ranges somewhere between $15 to $20 million, depending on the source. And it's a good thing she has all that money because...

Her divorce cost a lot of dough

According to TMZ, she and her ex-husband never signed a prenuptial agreement, so Thompson gets half the money she earned from various book advances that are still in the works. Also, Thompson gets to keep their $3.2 million Pacific Palisades home, which contains $300,000 in furnishings and art, and $9,000 a month in child support, along with numerous other financial windfalls. Fortunately for her, she kept her brand, GDL Foods, Inc., and doesn't have to pay spousal support. That settlement still might've been a bit hard for her to swallow. Maybe she had the dump bucket handy?

She's afraid of navigating life post-divorce

In November 2015, De Laurentiis opened up to Dr. Oz's magazine, The Good Life, saying, "It was a very difficult time. I don't have the answers; I'm figuring them out as I go. I'm also afraid, like many other women who go through this, and men, too, for that matter."

Regardless of just how her split with Todd Thompson went down, that's definitely one sentiment that everyone can agree with.

Target had to recall her lasagna pans

If you've ever strolled through the housewares section at Target, then you know that De Laurentiis has a large presence there. In 2010, everyone's favorite not-Walmart store announced they would exclusively carry a full line of cookware and specialty foods with the De Laurentiis brand. But three years later, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a recall of almost 150,000 of her Ceramic 9x13-inch lasagna pans, due to "39 reports of the pan or its handles breaking or cracking during normal use," which resulted in "cuts and lacerations" in six of those incidents. Granted, this is not the most scandalous thing that could happen to a celebrity, and it's not like De Laurentiis herself was on the assembly line, cranking out her faulty cookware. But making lasagna is enough of a headache without having to worry if you're serving your family an unintentional layer of chipped ceramic.

Did she know anything about Mario Batali's allegedly crude behavior?

Mario Batali was one of the first of the culinary giants to fall in the post-Weinstein reckoning of powerful male figures being held to account for allegations of sexual misconduct. In December 2017, three former employees came forward to accuse Batali of groping and inappropriate touching, which eventually led the Croc-wearing superchef to announce that he would be stepping away from his restaurants and TV obligations. Naturally, this has led to the media scrambling for reactions from Batali's peers, a group in which De Laurentiis is obviously included.

TMZ was the first to get a reaction from the Italian cuisine queen, who said, "It's all very sad...but you know what? What has to happen...happened, and I hope that everybody feels better." She also added, "It's obviously a time of cleansing."

Asked whether she was shocked over the claims against Batali, having known him for years, De Laurentiis walked away, but then turned, gave a toothy smile, and outstretched both of her arms in a gesture that usually means something to the effect of "I don't know what to tell you."

She's a sore loser

In 2006, De Laurentiis partnered with Bobby Flay to take on Mario Batali and Rachel Ray on the intense cooking competition, Iron Chef. It didn't go so well for them and they lost, with De Laurentiis lamenting afterwards, "That was awful. That was the worst feeling."

Eight years later, she was still talking about it during an interview with Hamptons Magazine. She literally refers to the loss as her "one regret" in life. "Everybody, including my husband and my agent, said, 'Do not do that show. The odds are against you,'" De Laurentiis said. "I knew whom I was going up against, and Bobby convinced me that we would win. And I don't know how the hell I thought that, and it's a regret because people still bring it up! It's been eight years and people still ask, 'How did it feel to lose to Rachael Ray?'"

She's not saying this in good fun either. "It will bother me until the day I die," De Laurentiis added, "And Bobby knows that. He thinks I'm ridiculous, but it is what it is. I'm a fighter, and I like to win; I'm not a good loser."

She wishes she could tell her fans not to touch her

We kind of feel for her on this one, but De Laurentiis didn't do herself any favors in the way she phrased it when she expressed her discomfort with fans who have boundary issues. Speaking with The New York Daily News about being more readily accessible to fans who dine at her Las Vegas restaurant, she said, "It's the only place that people expect to see me and sort of be able to touch my brand. I wish I could say no touchy-touchy, but it doesn't work that way."

Oof, that's a clunky statement if we ever saw one, since it could be interpreted as De Laurentiis suggesting that celebrities need to put up with unwanted physical touching in order to appear affable to fans. "Since I am a female chef they are a little less intimidated to come up to me," she added, digging the hole even further. Oh, so there's a sexist element to this now? Yikes. There had to have been a better way to handle that subject.