In a shock Facebook post, the author of bestselling self-help book Eat, Pray, Love revealed yesterday that she has left her husband – for her female best friend.
Elizabeth Gilbert, who announced her split from husband José Nunes – or “Felipe”, to her readers – two months ago, admitted to realising she had fallen in love with Rayya Elias after the latter was diagnosed with pancreatic and liver cancer.
“In the moment I first learned of Rayya’s diagnosis, a trap door opened at the bottom of my heart (a trap door I didn’t even know was there) and my entire existence fell straight through that door,” the 47-year-old wrote.
“Many of you already know who Rayya Elias is to me. She’s my best friend, yes, but it’s always been bigger than that. She’s my role model, my traveling companion, my most reliable source of light, my fortitude, my most trusted confidante. In short, she is my PERSON.
“But 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 novelist also explained that the breakdown of her marriage had come about as a direct result of her epiphany.
“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.
“(Please understand that I cannot say anything more about it than that. I trust you are all sensitive enough to understand how difficult this has been. As David Foster Wallace once wrote: ‘The truth will set you free — but not until it’s had its way with you.’
“Yes, it has been hard. Yes, the truth has had its way with us. And yes, the truth still stands.)”
The lengthy post has more than 10,000 comments, close to 50,000 “likes” and has been shared nearly 5,000 times, with many praising Gilbert for her courage in following her heart.
Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search For Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia catapulted into the The New York Times’ bestseller list in 2006, selling more than 10 million copies around the world; Gilbert has since published a memoir, Harley Loco: A Memoir of Hard Living, Hair, and Post Punk, from the Middle East to the Lower East Side about her struggles growing up.
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