The very pretty Ms. Lee who is one of those thin, very well-kept California blondes may be the Bel-Air and Malibu version of Martha Stewart, but she is also a girl born in the Midwest. And she has not lost that Midwest openness which may explain her huge popularity with the American audience on both coasts and in the middle. She occasionally involves members of her family on her show – a sister Kimber, a niece Stephanie (often called Miss Stephanie) and two nephews – Austin and Bryce (often called Brycer). That down-home quality coupled with her classic Southern California fitness and good looks makes her a familiar face on American television and the cover of supermarket magazines as well as a popular favorite on network and cable morning talk shows. It also earns her millions and millions of dollars annually.
Aside from her obvious cleverness, friends say she is lots of fun, focused, supersmart and very much into business. And she adores Mr. Cuomo. And, unlike Mr. Cuomo and his former wife, she made her name all by her lonesome.
She took an apartment here in Manhattan fairly recently and occasionally has been seen in public (albeit quietly and only to perceptive, knowing eyes) with her new inamorata. Some say that this relationship, along with her ex-husband’s own activities outside the marriage, is what encouraged her move to divorce.
Mr. Cuomo, who made an unsuccessful attempt to run for public office a few years ago and is said to be contemplating another bid for election, is a smart but somewhat rigid public persona. Friends say that his relationship with Ms. Lee, who is outgoing and very friendly, has loosened him up noticeably.