Tuesday, Dec. 30, 2014 | 10:02 a.m.
Early this morning, glamorous Italian culinary star Giada De Laurentiis revealed on her Facebook and website pages that designer husband Todd Thompson and she have call their 11-year marriage quits.
Giada revealed that the couple, who have a 6-year-old daughter, Jade, have been separated since July when she was wrapped up 24/7 in the opening weeks of her first-ever restaurant Giada located here center Strip at the new boutique hotel The Cromwell. It was the best-kept secret of the Las Vegas food world until today.
The 44-year-old petite powerhouse food mogul said: “After an amicable separation since July, Todd and I have decided to end our marriage. Although our decision to separate comes with a great deal of sadness, our focus on the future and our overwhelming desire for our family’s happiness have given us the strength to move forward on separate, yet always connected paths.
“Todd and I share a beautiful daughter and a lifetime of great memories that we both treasure more than anything. We are so thankful for our friends and family and really appreciate the support in this time of change.”
Giada credited Todd with the design of her Las Vegas hotspot, and together they attended her first press conference announcing the 300-seat restaurant here. Her profile raised substantially during the past few months with an ever-increasing workload: opening Giada’s, hiring her kitchen and wait staff, taste-testing the menus she created, flying back and forth between New York City for her morning TV appearances and her regular Food Network shows.
I was told that when she was here preparing for the opening of Giada, she worked around the clock seven days a week.
“She was always first there in the morning and the last to leave at night,” one top Cromwell executive told me. “I’ve never in all my years in the food and restaurant business seen a more committed person to perfection.”
Giada supervised construction from the very start in May 2013 as the two-story parking garage at the former Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall & Saloon was transformed into her luxurious restaurant for its June opening. Insisting that the restaurant reflect her California home and its food, she told me:
“I want to make it feel like my guests are coming over to my house for dinner. It’s been a labor of love, sometimes more labor than love. It is a dream come true but a lot of hard work. Because it’s been so personal, that’s why it mattered so much.”
I checked early this morning with sources in New York and California and was reliably told that no one else is involved with either party in the breakup, so ignore any immediate rumors of her being linked with another celebrity chef.
Giada, who hosts a number of shows on the Food Network and segments on NBC’s “Today,” filmed the opening of her favorite program with Todd and Jade. She often told the story of how proud she was to cook for Todd, as she’d never had enough money to “chip in or go double dutch” when he took her out on dinner dates while they were courting.
We extend to Giada and Todd all good wishes as they embark on their new separate lives into the New Year.
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
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