After months of rumors, Cory Booker and Rosario Dawson confirmed in March that they are, indeed, dating. And even though one of them is a U.S. senator and the other is a Hollywood actress, Booker and Dawson's meet-cute is something that all of us can relate to, as Booker explained in a CNN town hall Thursday.
"We had a meeting once at a political fundraiser for Ben Jealous, who was running for governor [of Maryland]," the senator and 2020 presidential candidate explained. "I was trying to help him out. But she didn't give me the time of day."
Of course, that's not the end of the story.
"So, we met again, and I had one of those really awkward experiences," Booker continued. "I'm a United States senator, and I had to get up the courage to walk up to her and ask her for her phone number. And this [interview] doesn't make me nervous, but that made me nervous."
Ultimately, Booker said, she gave him her number. And the rest, as they say, is history.
It's still not clear exactly when the two met, but Booker's comments on CNN do narrow down the timeframe. He says the two met at a fundraiser for Jealous, who announced his campaign for Maryland governor in May 2017 and lost the election in November 2018; this suggests that Booker and Dawson first met at some point during that year-and-a-half-long period, when Jealous was raising money for his bid.
Rumors that Booker and Dawson were involved surfaced in January, when Page Six reported that the two were seen at a movie theater in New York. Days later, the two were spotted at a Broadway show, Page Six reported, and the next month, Booker confirmed that he had a "boo" — though he didn't say who said boo was.
It wasn't until March when Dawson, in a brief interview with TMZ at Reagan National Airport in Washington D.C., confirmed that she and Booker are romantically involved, calling him a "wonderful human being" and saying that she's "grateful to be with someone that I respect, and love, and admire so much, [who] is so brilliant, and kind, and caring, and loving."
Booker himself confirmed their relationship soon thereafter in an interview with Ellen DeGeneres, saying that Dawson "makes me a better person."
"Sometimes, you show the greatest strength when you make yourself vulnerable, and you know, she really has this nurturing spirit that makes me more courageous," Booker told DeGeneres. "Not just in the love that I project and want to see in our country, but I think even our personal relationships — to love more fearlessly. So I'm very, very blessed to be with somebody who makes me a better person."
In his CNN interview Thursday, the Democratic presidential candidate was asked about the prospect of a White House wedding between him and Dawson.
"I am worried about where this is going. Is this CNN or TMZ?" Booker joked. "I have an incredible girlfriend. She's just simply amazing. And I'm hopeful, as is my mother." He quickly added, though, that they shouldn't "get ahead of us," and that he's simply "very lucky to be in a relationship with someone that is just so incredibly special, but more importantly, has taught me so much in a very short period of time."