Anderson Cooper recently shared the story of his sexual awakening, revealing that Richard Gere was a major player in the CNN journo realizing he was gay.
Cooper, 55, recalled attending a play starring Gere at the age of 11 with two gay men — photographer Paul Jasmin and his boyfriend — who were friends of his mother, Gloria Vanderbilt, he shared on Radio Andy with pal Andy Cohen Friday.
“And they took me to see Richard Gere in ‘Bent,’ which if anyone doesn’t know about the play ‘Bent,’ it’s about two gay guys in the concentration camp,” Cooper recounted. “I mean the opening scene… It is the gayest thing you can imagine.
“And this was Richard Gere in 1977, ‘Looking for Mr. Goodbar.’ She was so beautiful. And I’m there. My mom didn’t go. It was just me and my mom’s two gay friends,” he went on.
He then recalled that within the opening scene, a man stepped out of bed naked and put on an SS uniform after sleeping with another man the night before.
“And I just remember being like, ‘Oh my God, I’m gay. … I’m totally gay.’ And afterward, Paul Jasmin was friends with Richard Gere,” he said. “Cause Paul Jasmin took the pictures for ‘American Gigolo’ and we go backstage and Richard Gere is shirtless in his dressing room.
“And I couldn’t speak,” he continued. “And I had my Playbill and I wanted to get him to autograph it, but I was too — I just could n’t stop staring at his chest. And so, fast forward to 10 years ago, I was interviewing Richard Gere and I took out the Playbill … and I told him the whole story and I had him sign it. yeah. He was very tickled with it.”
Cooper co-parents sons Wyatt and Sebastian with ex Benjamin Maisani. The couple split in 2018.