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Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, Sandra Lee announce split

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Sandra Lee arrive for

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Sandra Lee arrive for a state dinner at the White House in Washington, D.C., Oct. 18, 2016. Photo Credit: AP/Alex Brandon

ALBANY— Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and Food Network star Sandra Lee announced Wednesday they have broken up after more than a decade together.

Cuomo, 61, and Lee, 53, confirmed the split in a joint statement. It came five months after the New York Post reported the two were no longer living together and Lee put their Westchester County home up for sale. 

A source close to the governor said Wednesday that the couple had begun telling friends that "while they remain best friends, they are no longer a couple."

"Over the recent past, we have realized that our lives have gone in different directions and our romantic relationship has turned into a deep friendship," Cuomo and Lee said in the statement. "We will always be family and are fully supportive of each other and dedicated to the girls. Our personal lives remain personal and there will be no further comment."

The "girls" referred to Cuomo's three adult daughters from his marriage to Kerry Kennedy, daughter of Robert F. Kennedy. Lee and Cuomo first began seeing each other 14 years ago, according to multiple reports.

Rumors of a breakup began earlier this year when Lee put the home she shared with Cuomo in the Westchester County suburb of New Castle on the market.

Since then, Cuomo, a third term Democrat, has spent much of his time in the governor’s mansion in Albany. Media outlets recently have posted photos of Cuomo out and about in Albany, for instance, driving to a local Dunkin' Donuts in one of his vintage cars.

Lee is a TV host and cookbook author famous for her “semi-homemade” approach to cooking. She largely avoided politics, but emerged as a vocal advocate for cancer screenings after her successful treatment for breast cancer in 2015.

Though they weren't married, Lee often played the role of first lady, appearing at Cuomo functions and co-hosting the once-annual open house at the governor's mansion. But she noticeably missed the governor's State of the State address earlier this year.

With wire reports

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