Gloria Vanderbilt Reveals She Had a Lesbian Relationship At Age 13

Gloria Vanderbilt just dropped a bombshell secret that even her son Anderson Cooper didn’t know about. In an interview with People, Vanderbilt revealed that she had a same-sex relationship while attending boarding school as a teen, a fact she didn’t even reveal to her son when they were working on their joint book, The Rainbow Comes and Goes, and their documentary collaboration, Nothing Left Unsaid. Turns out there was something Gloria left unsaid!

“I, myself, when I went to [Miss Porter’s School in] Farmington, [Connecticut] I went through a brief so-called lesbian relationship with a girl in school.”

After Gloria mentioned her secret love affair, a shocked Cooper revealed that the story was news to him, saying, “What? Hello. this is news to me. You didn’t mention this in the book, Mom.”

Gloria Vanderbilt elaborated on the relationship, which occurred when she was 13 years old. The iconic 92-year-old heiress reflected on how taboo a same-sex relationship was at the time, and ultimately decided to end it.

“Cynthia, her name was, and she came once to visit my aunt in New York on holiday. We had this sort of lesbian relationship and it felt so great. It felt so good and yet I thought, ‘There’s something about this,’ and this is before the thing I knew about my mother. I thought, ‘No, this is something that’s not really what I want.’ It was very brief.”

Gloria Vanderbilt’s views on homosexuality were shaped early on. After her wealthy father died when she was an infant, Gloria was the center of a sensationalized child custody trial between her widowed mother, Gloria Morgan Vanderbilt, and her paternal aunt, Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney. During the nasty 1932 custody battle over the future fashion icon, Gloria’s mother was “accused” of being a lesbian, and “Little Gloria” ultimately was taken from her mom and placed in her aunt’s custody. While a young Gloria Vanderbilt didn’t know what the word meant at the time, she later came to view homosexuality as a terrible thing due to the stigma surrounding it at the time.

“Then of course, when I heard what it meant, it affected me so much because I thought this is something so terrible. This is like a terrible brand, like a terrible stamp. Is it something that maybe I have inherited? That was very difficult for me growing up to try to figure it out.”

Gloria Vanderbilt later let go of her negative views on homosexuality, and now has a much greater understanding of same-sex love. Her son Anderson came out as gay years ago.

“Of course, the thing is, now we realize there’s no difference. Love is love…It has nothing to do with whether it’s two men or two women, it’s love. And it’s just like being married, it’s what it is.”

Gloria Vanderbilt was married four times. When she was 17, she married movie producer and alleged mobster Pat DiCicco, whom she later claimed abused her. At age 20, she married Fantasia composer Leopold Stokowski, who was 43 years her senior. Vanderbilt was later married to director Sidney Lumet, and after their divorce in 1963, she wed writer Wyatt Cooper, whom she remained married to until his death in 1978.

The trailer for Vanderbilt’s upcoming Nothing Left Unsaid documentary shows her and her son looking through an archive of letters and memorabilia from her past. In the clip, Vanderbilt says there are many family secrets locked away. Now it seems that Gloria kept a few secrets to herself. Until now.

Gloria Vanderbilt’s amazing life will be featured in the HBO documentary, Nothing Left Unsaid, on April 9, and on CNN on April 29. Vanderbilt and Cooper’s Book, The Rainbow Comes and Goes: A Mother and Son Talk About Life, Love, and Loss, is due out April 5.

Take a look at the video below for more on Gloria Vanderbilt’s surprising secret.

[Photo By Keystone/Getty Images]

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