Eat, Pray, Love author Elizabeth Gilbert has made the shock announcement she is leaving her husband for her female best friend.
In a bombshell post on her Facebook page on Wednesday, the 47-year-old told how she had fallen in love with Rayya Elias after finding out her best pal had pancreatic cancer last spring.
Gilbert told how she has since seperated from her husband of nine years Jose Nunes and is now involved in a relationship with Elias.
The author spoke candidly how she had kept her new lesbian romance under wraps until now to ‘process all these massive changes and challenges.’
Husband Nunes was the man she famously met and fell in love with in Bali at the end of her hugely blockbuster 2006 memoir eat, Pray, Love.
In the post she writes: ‘Something happened to my heart and mind in the days and weeks following Rayya’s diagnosis. Death – or the prospect of death – has a way of clearing away everything that is not real, and in that space of stark and utter realness, I was faced with this truth: I do not merely love Rayya; I am in love with Rayya.
”And I have no more time for denying that truth. The thought of someday sitting in a hospital room with her, holding her hand and watching her slide away, without ever having let her (or myself!) know the extent of my true feelings for her…well, that thought was unthinkable.”
She continues: “Here is where we stand now: 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.”
Gilbert admits she decided to go public about the relationship now because she doesn’t want to lie.
She writes: “Here’s what it comes down to for me: I need to live my life in truth and transparency, even more than I need privacy, or good publicity, or prudence, or other people’s approval or understanding, or just about anything else.
“Truth and transparency not only make my life more ethical, but also easier. (Why easier? Because untruth is always complicating, and truth — no matter what the consequences — is always strangely simplifying.)
“So that is why Rayya and I have decided together to speak up publicly now — both about her cancer and about our love for each other. It’s for the sake of our own integrity, but it’s also intended to make our lives simpler,.”
Gilbert’s 2006 memoir ‘Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across, Italy, India and Indonesia’ chronicles her year of travel after divorcing her first husband.
The book was an incredible hit, spending more than 200 weeks on the New York Times Bestseller List, and selling more than 10 million copies worldwide.
In 2010, the book was turned into a movie starring Julia Roberts.
That wasn’t the first time that Gilbert’s work has been turned into a film though.
In 1997, Gilbert wrote an essay about her time working as a bartender in New York City that was used as the inspiration for the film Coyote Ugly, starring Piper Perabo.
She wrote a follow up to the memoir in 2010, titled Committed, which is about her decision to marry Nunes after becoming a skeptic about marriage.
We feel another book coming along…