Photo via Elizabeth Gilbert/Facebook

Elizabeth Gilbert says feelings for longtime female friend ended her ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ marriage

It's the new conclusion to the author's quest for self-discovery.


Lyz Lenz


Published Sep 7, 2016   Updated May 26, 2021, 2:01 am CDT

Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love and the forthcoming Big Magic, announced in a Facebook post on September 7 that she is in love with her longtime friend Rayya Elias.

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The post titled “ME & RAYYA” explains how Gilbert gradually became aware of her love for Elias, who was diagnosed with pancreatic and liver cancer in the spring.

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Gilbert called Elias more than her best friend. “She’s my role model, my traveling companion, my most reliable source of light, my fortitude, my most trusted confidante,” she wrote. “In short, she is my PERSON.”

The author admitted that her feelings for Elias were responsible for the end of her marriage to Jose Nunes, who she met at the end of her around-the-world trip chronicled in Eat, Pray, Love. Gilbert announced the divorce on her Facebook page in July.

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She explained that she kept silent about her relationship with Elias to give space for changes and healing. But now she is ready to go public with her relationship and stand by Elias’s side as she fights cancer.

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Reaction to Gilbert’s announcement has been favorable, with many friends and fans sharing their support.

“So. Here is where we stand now,” wrote Gilbert. “Rayya and I are together. I love her, and she loves me. I’m walking through this cancer journey with her, not only as her friend, but as her partner. I am exactly where I need to be—the only place I can be.”

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*First Published: Sep 7, 2016, 5:18 pm CDT