It was 2005 when Rachael Ray tied the knot with John Cusimano after four years of dating. The couple said "I do" in Tuscany at Castello di Velona, which the TV personality called "a cozy, peaceful place" with "beautiful 360-degree views" in her magazine, Rachael Ray In Season. They’ve been happily married ever since, and although they don’t have any kids (Ray previously called her late pup, Isaboo, her "daughter") and their marriage has been considered strange at times, their union appears to be bursting with love.
Ray and Cusimano even renewed their vows in 2015 and, as People reported, they returned to Castello di Velona to do so. During the ceremony, Ray chose to recite Charles Bernstein’s poem, "All the Whiskey in Heaven," in place of more traditional vows. As she explained to the outlet, "It basically says, ‘Under any circumstance, I would still choose you and I would still be with you. And I love you more than all the whiskey in heaven.’" But despite sharing much of their union with Ray’s fans (and Cusimano regularly appearing on the Rachael Ray show), the Emmy Award winner’s hubby has managed to keep a pretty low profile.
Here’s what most people don’t know about Rachael Ray’s husband, John Cusimano.
Rachael Ray’s husband is a lawyer with a very Hollywood job
John Cusimano has become a regular fixture on the Rachael Ray show (as of this writing, he’s appeared on 73 episodes and counting), but despite his relaxed on-air demeanor, his background isn’t in broadcasting. That said, Cusimano does have a very Hollywood day job.
As Cusimano revealed during a Q&A session on the show in July 2020, "I used to practice in New York City as an entertainment lawyer, primarily in film." With a laugh, he went on to explain, "Then I met this one, and now I only have one client and her name is Rachael Ray. So I just work on our businesses all the time." Beaming at her hubby, Ray added that Cusimano specializes in entertainment licensing and joked, "Smartest thing I ever did was marry an entertainment lawyer. Saved me a bundle."
Speaking with Us Weekly the following month, the famed TV chef elaborated that, "John focuses on the business dealings and all of the different facets of our brand while I make TV shows in the studio all day." Sharing how quarantine (and shooting the show at home) had given them "a better understanding of the role each of us has played, behind the scenes," Ray explained, "I don’t normally get to hear what he does during all the business calls that would happen in a day, and he doesn’t see how much work goes into making TV shows."
Why Rachael Ray was sure John Cusimano wouldn’t be interested
John Cusimano and Rachael Ray are adamant that they experienced love at first sight, but their initial encounter wasn’t perfect. To start, when they met back in 2001, Ray confessed to People, it was "at a point in my life when I had decided, I’m not going to chase [marriage]."
Recalling the unusual circumstance that first got them talking, Ray later told People, "We were at a party with a lot of really tall [people] and we are both so short. We saw each other right away." As she revealed to Steve Harvey in 2014 (via AOL), "We walked directly across the room to each other." In order to break the ice, the celeb chef asked if Cusimano had a go-to dish — and his answer threw her off. "She thought I would just say chicken parm or something boring and I said, ‘Yeah, I made this talapia with a tomatillo-jalapeno-cilantra reduction with a little bit of Negro Modelo beer with a maque choux on the side,’" Cusimano explained to People. "And she said, ‘Are you gay?’"
Ray confessed to the same outlet in 2018, "I assumed that if you’re not a chef and you made what he told me he made, that he was gay. So I was going to set him up with a friend of mine — another handsome Italian man — and he said, ‘Oh, I’m not gay!’" After that, they "stayed out until 4 in the morning," with Ray adding, "That really was our first date."
John Cusimano is a musician at heart
As Rachael Ray told viewers during a 2020 Q&A session on her show, John Cusimano "went to law school because his parents told him cautiously that it’s better to have a trade." However, his real passion is music. "He wanted to go to Berklee College of Music and was accepted and he’s a terrific musician and he plays 57 different instruments," Ray gushed, telling her audience, "He really is a master of keyboards, every stringed instrument, he’s especially great with percussion."
Although he may not have pursued music professionally, Cusimano plays and records with independent rock band The Cringe, which, according to Spotify, released its sixth studio album, Everywhere You’ve Never Been, in 2019 and has toured with Mötley Crüe, Alice Cooper, Tesla, and Ratt. In 2012, The Cringe actually performed on Rachael Ray. And, as he told viewers during that same 2020 Q&A session, the pandemic slowed the band down, but didn’t stop them. "My band and I do record songs remotely and do videos," he noted. " … We used to tour quite a bit … I want to get back out there."
Music is also something that helped the couple bond. As Ray told Forbes in 2013, "My husband and I are big music junkies and we have an enormous vinyl collection with around 1,500 to 2,000 records. That’s probably our favorite family pastime: to listen to music." She also joked on her show, "I didn’t legitimately seal that deal until I heard his music."
Rachael Ray’s husband is also a producer, actor, and mixologist
Just like his famous wife, John Cusimano likes to wear many hats. In addition to being a lawyer and passionate musician, Cusimano’s IMDb page reveals he has two acting credits to his name — in 1982’s World War Mud and in 2017’s TV series, Crashing — as well as an associate producer credit on 1996 TV show Rurouni Kenshin: Wandering Samurai. He’s also appeared on Biography, Entertainment Tonight, and E! True Hollywood Story.
What’s more, the multi-talented Cusimano is quite the master mixologist. He has regularly shared cocktail recipes on Rachael Ray, including for his Negroni, Rosé Champagne Spritzer, and Lost In The Woods cocktails. When his chef wife decided to publish My Year in Meals and My Year in Cocktails back in 2012, she enlisted his help for the drinks section. As the book’s official snippet reads, he’s "no stranger to the cocktail shaker" and "whether shaken or stirred, straight up or on the rocks, with a cherry or a twist, John’s creations — like his Strawberry Velvet featuring honey liqueur, strawberries, and lime — are always fresh, fun, and certain to make any gathering more memorable." The excerpt also made sure to note that "these fabulous concoctions are the perfect complement to Rachael’s year of great eating."
John Cusimano is cool with not getting all of Rachael Ray’s attention
It may sound odd, but as Rachael Ray told ABC News in 2006, John Cusimano "is the only guy in the world [she] could have married" because he’s okay being ignored. Noting that her "workload is too great," the TV personality explained how Cusimano is "the only man that can possibly exist that doesn’t mind eating dinner at midnight, you know. I mean, he’s a really easy going guy."
She shared a similar sentiment with People in 2007, admitting, "I can’t give a man an enormous amount of attention. And John is totally down with that. When men I have dated over the years whined about, ‘Oh, you make no time for me’ — see ya! I just dumped them." She added, "I don’t need that pressure in my life."
Sharing just how busy a typical (pre-pandemic) day can be for her, Ray told Forbes in 2010 that she likes to start her mornings with a workout — she and Cusimano "go to the gym six days a week and run" — then she’s off to the studio and doesn’t see her hubby till late in the evening. "I get home from taping between 6:30 and 8. I cook dinner every night, and my husband and I eat between 8 and 10 o’clock," she shared, before gushing, "John, God bless him, does the dishes."
The couple has been plagued by nasty cheating rumors
Just one year after Rachael Ray and John Cusimano said "I do," the National Enquirer published a November 2006 cover story claiming that the celeb chef was suffering a "secret pain" because her husband was "caught cheating" in their NYC apartment. According to the tabloid, Cusimano allegedly began a relationship with a Florida woman named Jeaninne Walz in 2000 and continued it after marrying Ray in 2005. The woman reportedly told the outlet (via Grub Street) that she was paid between $20 and $500 to "spit on him and commit other degrading acts on him," which the National Enquirer claimed were too racy to describe.
When People asked Ray about the rumors in 2007, she slammed, "I’ve known where he is every night since we’ve been married." Jump to 2013 and the National Enquirer (via the Daily Mail) was reporting on Cusimano’s alleged infidelity yet again, this time citing a source who claimed he was a regular at Checkmate, which calls itself "NYC’s best private adult membership swingers club," and had brought at least one unidentified female with him each time he visited.
A spokesperson for the couple was quick to shut down the rumors, telling the Daily News, "This is yet another pack of lies printed by the National Enquirer who have been targeting John and Rachael for years without any merit whatsoever." The spokesperson added that "John’s lawyers … are exploring legal action against the publication for defamation."
Rachael Ray’s romantic gesture for John Cusimano went horribly wrong
Rachael Ray and John Cusimano love spoiling each other. As the celeb chef told People in 2018, they take romance very seriously and have a decade-long Valentine’s Day tradition, in which he makes her a playlist and she cooks his favorite meal (pasta carbonara) and gives him "a bouquet of salamis from around the world, because he just loves pork."
Their gestures of love go well beyond Feb. 14, though. "If I’m sick, my husband will make me minestra," she later told People. Not to mention, when Cusimano came home grumpy from a bad round of golf in August 2020 (his first outing since the pandemic began that March), she decided to cheer him up. "I thought, ‘Well, I’ll light a nice fire and make pasta. That makes him so happy,’" Ray shared on the Season 15 premiere of her show. Sadly, the sweet gesture went horribly wrong.
Just as they were getting ready to eat, they heard someone screaming, "Your roof’s on fire," and the next thing they knew, their house was gone. "On August 9th, my house burned. 15 years of memories; 40 years of notebooks, drawings, thoughts, my life’s work," Ray told her viewers. Turns out the couple’s scary house fire "started in the chimney," with Ray explaining, "It was creosote that spit out the top and landed on the roof." Although she shared that "the outer walls are standing," Ray said that "they have to bulldoze the whole thing."
How much is Rachael Ray’s husband, John Cusimano, worth?
In addition to being an entertainment lawyer by trade and dabbling in music, mixology, and even acting and producing, John Cusimano took on yet another role when the pandemic lockdown began in the U.S. in March 2020: cameraman. As he and his wife started shooting the Rachael Ray show at their home, Cusimano was forced to "take on a million roles," Ray told Us Weekly that August. Noting that her husband "[had] done 10,000 loads of dishes," she added, "He’s a cameraman and tech services."
Of course, Cusimano has also spent his share of time in front of the camera. But aside from all of that, as Vanity Fair reported in 2007, he’s in charge of running the Rachael Ray brand’s parent company, Watch Entertainment. According to Crunchbase, the multi-talent Cusimano "oversees the growth of the brand," with Vanity Fair noting that he’s in charge of "negotiating and managing all deals."
All of this work has garnered Cusimano his own impressive fortune, which clocks in at an estimated $10 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth. Although it’s only a fraction of his celebrity chef wife’s whopping $100 million net worth, it’s certainly nothing to scoff at!