Celebrity watchers and fans of CNN's Anderson Cooper were shocked when the television anchor, having returned to his New York studio from New Orleans, appeared on the air without the slate gray open collar shirt that had been his constant companion for the previous eight weeks. On Tuesday night after filming AC360, Cooper confirmed to E! that he and the shirt had decided to separate and the couple released the following statement. "It is with much sorrow that we have made the decision to part ways. We will always cherish the memories of our time together over the last months."
Cooper and the shirt, a casual yet stylish cotton-poly blend with a delicate sheen that belies its dignified dark blue-gray hue and seems to whisper "Let's go clubbing later", were first seen together in Port au Prince where he was covering the devastation from the Haitian earthquake. By the time of the BP oil leak, the two had become quite an item and, while in New Orleans, the normally private Cooper was seen in public with the shirt nearly every day prompting rumors that the two had become exclusive. The shirt accompanied Cooper day and night both in New Orleans where he was filming AC360 from a temporary set and as he traveled to various locations along the Gulf Coast to cover the response and clean up.
"It's a real shame", said Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, "I've gotten to know them both very well and they always seemed like a good match. We're gonna miss them. But not as much as we're gonna miss the AC360 crew - they accounted for nearly two thirds of New Orleans' total tourism revenues so far this year." Entertainment tonight reported Monday that, according to celebrity spotters in Hollywood, the shirt had been seen on Kid Rock over the weekend. The shirt could not be reached for comment but Cooper denied these rumors and insisted that no one else was involved in the break-up and that the split was due solely to his returning to New York and the couple's mutual decision not to pursue a long-distance relationship.