Did she diss Oprah Winfrey?
Oprah Winfrey played a major role in launching Ray’s television career, boosting the rookie chef’s profile with numerous appearances on Winfrey’s own syndicated talk show, but as Ray’s television fame grew, some say the ladies’ relationship has soured.
In January 2007, TMZ reported that Ray made “disparaging racial remarks” about Winfrey during a post-book signing dinner in 2005. (The tab also claimed she blasted Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, among others.) The story was vehemently challenged by Ray’s camp, who told TMZ, “Rachael did attend the dinner referenced and enjoyed wine and good conversation with friends and colleagues. She denies making any of the comments referenced. In fact, there are several words that are attributed to Rachael that she has never uttered in her life.”
The bleeding didn’t stop there. In May 2008, the National Enquirer (via PopCrunch) claimed Ray and Winfrey were “at war” because Winfrey supposedly had concerns about Ray’s talk show and magazine, among other issues. Ray dismissed the gossip during an episode of her show which aired that month. “[The rumor about] Oprah just broke my heart,” she said while talking to Winfrey’s good friend, Gayle King (via Today). “It really did. It killed me, I’m like, ‘No! We like each other!'”
Her marriage may not be as blissful as it seems
Ray and her husband, producer John Cusimano, celebrated their 10th wedding anniversary in 2015 by renewing their vows during a lavish ceremony in Italy. Ray gushed about the event to People magazine, painting her romance, as she always has, in a positive light. But the couple’s rosy image has been tainted through the years by a barrage of tabloid reports suggesting their marriage is anything but perfect.
In 2013, the National Enquirer alleged Cusimano was a member of a swingers’ club in New York City and had cheated on Ray. The story was denied by Ray’s camp, who said the tabloid piece was “another pack of lies printed by the National Enquirer who have been targeting John and Rachael for several years with no merit.”
She was targeted as “Becky with the good hair”
This debacle is a case of mistaken identity leading many to believe Ray was living a double life as rapper Jay Z’s mistress. Say what?
Here’s what happened: Beyoncé’s Lemonade visual album debuted in the spring of 2016, igniting a frenzied search for the person referenced in her “Sorry” track. In the last line of the song, Beyoncé sings, “He only want me when I’m not there/He better call Becky with the good hair.” Some Beyoncé fans, known collectively as “The Beyhive,” linked “Becky” to fashion designer Rachel Roy, who may or may not have been the reason Beyoncé’s sister, Solange Knowles, attacked Beyoncé’s husband, Jay Z, in an elevator in 2014.
In the heat of the moment, some members of the Hive mistook Roy’s name for Ray’s, leading them to “swarm” Ray’s social media accounts with lemonade and bee emojis, insults, and even boycotts of her products.
Fortunately, Ray shrugged off the scandal with a laugh. “Rachel [Roy] sent me flowers,” she told Us Weekly in May 2016, “and I sent her a bottle, a big bottle of wine and a straw.”