Elizabeth Gilbert, the best-selling author of Eat, Pray, Love, has posted an emotional letter to Facebook revealing that her new partner has been diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer.
That partner is her best friend, writer Rayya Elias.
“I do not merely love Rayya; I am in love with Rayya,” the 47-year-old wrote. “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.”
The author split with Brazilian businessman José Nunes in July, a separation that Gilbert has now confirmed was the result of her relationship with Elias.
“For those of you who are doing the math here, and who are wondering if this situation is why my marriage came to an end this spring, the simple answer is yes,” she wrote. “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.”
Elias is a Syrian-born American musician and filmmaker, and author of the the 2013 memoir Harley Loco: A Memoir of Hard Living, Hair, and Post-Punk, from the Middle East to the Lower East Side.
Of her decision to reveal their relationship, Gilbert wrote:
“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,” Gilbert wrote. “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.”
You can read the entire letter here.