The renowned journalist opens up to Howard Stern about why he's not dating at the moment.
Anderson Cooper returned to SiriusXM’s The Howard Stern Show on Tuesday, sharing insights into his multifaceted life, including his career, personal struggles, and why he's choosing to remain single.
The 56-year-old newsman has a storied career that spans both broadcast journalism and in-depth reporting on 60 Minutes. During his conversation with Howard Stern, he delved into various aspects of his life, from his intriguing family lineage as the great-great-great-grandson of Cornelius Vanderbilt to his unconventional living situation in a converted firehouse where he cohabitates and co-parents two children with his ex-boyfriend, Benjamin Maisani.
One of the central topics of discussion was Anderson's podcast, All There Is, where he explores themes of loss and sorrow. He described how the podcast has been a transformative experience for him, leading him to engage in deep self-reflection. This journey of introspection has been particularly impactful, given his history of personal losses, including his father, Wyatt's, death when he was young and the tragic suicide of his only brother, Carter, when he was just 21.
Cooper revealed, "I came to realize that I had never really grieved my dad or my brother... It’s only recently … I realized there is an ocean [of feelings] I have pushed deep down, and I think I need to deal with it."
Cooper is now a father himself, welcoming via surrogate Sebastian Luke Maisani-Cooper in February 2022 and Wyatt in April 2020.
He further explained that the podcast has allowed him to connect with others who have experienced profound grief. In one episode, he invited listeners to share their own stories of heartache, leading to an overwhelming response with 46 hours of calls. Listening to these stories had a profound impact on him, prompting him to confront the emotions he had long suppressed.
"I started to realize how little I had actually allowed myself to feel this stuff," Cooper admitted, revealing that he had been living in a "middle ground" where he neither allowed himself to feel joy nor pain. This newfound self-awareness has led him to want to fully embrace the entire spectrum of human emotions, particularly as a father to his children.
Cooper also discussed his current relationship status. "I'm not dating," he said. "I’ve got two kids who I can’t imagine not spending every minute with, and I’m working all the time. I’m happy."
He made it clear that he's not actively dating and hasn't been on a date in so long that he can't remember when it happened. "It's just not in my purview," he stated matter-of-factly.
When Stern playfully offered to set him up with someone, Cooper politely declined, noting, "When straight people try to set gay people up, it rarely works. I’ve got a great love affair with my kids right now — it’s the best thing ever."
In closing, Cooper reflected on his desire to provide a different emotional environment for his children, steering away from the sadness he saw in his late mother, Gloria Vanderbilt, who at one point offered to be a surrogate for him.
"She was like, ‘The most amazing thing happened … [The gynecologist] told me I could still bear a child," Anderson recalled to Stern. "I’m immediately thinking, ‘How do I stop my mom from bearing a child?’ Which is a thought I’m sure we’ve all had … But then she said … ‘What I was thinking was you get an egg and, you know, fertilize it with your sperm, and I’ll carry your child.' I said, ‘Mom, I love you, but even for you this is batsh** crazy.'"
Anderson Cooper's latest book, Astor: The Rise and Fall of an American Fortune, is available now.