No celebrity wants to be outed by a third party. The choice of when and where to own one’s sexuality is an intensely personal one. Last week, it seemed like respected chef and Food Network starlet Anne Burrell was denied that right by former Top Chef judge Ted Allen when he told radio listeners she was dating a woman, but if you take it from Burrell, she wasn’t outed at all.

Speaking to Page Six, Burrell’s rep released a statement saying Mario Batali’s sous chef on Iron Chef America has never hidden her multi-year relationship with a woman, and just because it wasn’t addressed publicly prior to Allen’s comment doesn’t mean it was meant to stay in the closet.

After news first broke, reports began to emerge that Burrell, upon being informed, left the Old Homestead Steakhouse where she was filming to deal with the situation. Given her partner has refused to be identified, it sounds like that may have been more for her benefit than Burrell’s. Being entirely open requires two people when a relationship is involved; so, it’s likely Burrell didn’t feel outed but instead worried for her partner.

Regardless, the newfound openness will likely be a good thing for Burrell and Food Network. It’s no secret the gay community has taken to the network, and it should be a net positive to finally have a host forward about her sexuality. Pop Blend wishes Burrell and her mystery girlfriend nothing but the best with their relationship in the future.

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