Meet Cory Vitiello — The Hot Chef Meghan Markle's Ex-Boyfriend Who She Almost Married

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Meet Cory Vitiello — The Hot Chef Meghan Markle's Ex-Boyfriend Who She Almost Married

Before Prince Harry, there was Cory Vitiello, a handsome restauranteur from Canada. Meghan and Cory dated for two years and things got pretty serious. Now, Cory's mom is coming to Meghan's defense in her ongoing fight with the British press. Who is Cory Vitiello? Let's meet Meghan Markle's ex-boyfriend, but before that a refresher:

The British press has been relentless in its criticism of the American-born Duchess. It isn't easy on Meghan and considering the scrutiny his own mother faced, it cannot be easy for Harry. Meghan is starting to crack under the pressure of it — and she's been honest about it — to the point where it's allegedly caused friction between Prince Harry and Prince William. And let's face it, the Markle side of her family isn't doing Meghan any favors, either. Now, a number of friends and people from her pre-Royal life have come to her defense and one of those people is her ex-boyfriend Cory Vitiello's mom. 

After 72 female members of Parliament wrote a letter in defense of Meghan, her ex-boyfriend's mother Joanne Vitiello took to Twitter to post her feelings. In a now-deleted tweet, she wrote: "It's about time! (So sad and shocking that there's so much jealousy, hostility and bullying directed her way!)"

Let's take a look at everything we know about Cory Vitiello and his two-year relationship with Meghan Markle. 

1. Cory's mom approved of Meghan

Cory and Meghan dated from May 2014 to May 2016 in the period of time right before she met Prince Harry. The couple lived together in Meghan's house in Toronto, where she lived while she was filming Suits. Back when they were dating, Cory's mom told The Daily Mail: “She is a lovely, lovely woman. Very smart, very bright, very caring. She’s a warm personality, very sincere. We very much enjoyed the time we spent with her. She fit very well into our family. The Royal Family, and Britain, [are] very lucky to have her.” She went on to say: “I’ll just let you know that we were very fond of her.” 

RELATED: Duchess Meghan Markle's BFF Jessica Mulroney Has A New Show On Netflix — All The Details!

2. He's a chef

Cory Vitiello is a Canadian restaurateur and celebrity chef. His Italian grandmother taught him to cook as a child. He started his first catering business out of his parents' home as a teenager. In 2003, he was a sous-chef at Cecconi's in Melbourne, Australia. From 2004 to 2007. he was the chef de cuisine at the Drake Hotel in Toronto. He was named the best new chef in Toronto in 2009 by EnRoute. He has opened three restaurants: Flock, THR & Co. and Harbord Room. Currently, he's head of culinary development at the Canadian upscale casual chain Cactus Club Cafe. He was also a contestant on the show Chef in Your Ear. 

3. The summer of 2014

Back before she was a Duchess, Meghan wrote a popular lifestyle blog called The Tig. (RIP Tig.) It was on that blog during the summer of 2014 that Meghan, a known foodie, wrote a glowing review of a new restaurant in her Toronto neighborhood called the Harbord Room. Meghan dined there with her castmates from the TV show Suits. She was also falling head over heels for the restaurant's proprietor, Cory Vitiello. 

RELATED: Meghan Markle's Nephew Thomas Dooley Arrested After Drug And Sex-Fueled Night In L.A.

4. He was the bigger star in their relationship at the time

Of course these days, Meghan Markle is one of the most famous women in the world. But back in 2014, she was an actress on a television show on cable. When Meghan and Cory dated, he was the more famous of the two of them. He was a chef on the rise in the biggest city in Canada. She was fresh off her divorce from Trevor Engleson and living 2,500 miles away from her hometown of Los Angeles. Vitiello afforded Meghan an entre into Toronto's elite social circle. 

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5. He's been offered money to tell his story

As you can imagine, the press has descended on Cory like vultures offering him big bucks to tell his tale of his years with the future duchess. He has always refused. When The Daily Mail persisted, claiming that it was through her relationship with Cory that Meghan gained access to the people who introduced her to Prince Harry, he still demurred, saying: "I've got a lot of respect for Meghan and from my end, to make it seem like I'm part of the story [of her elevation into the ranks of royalty] would seem self-serving and opportunistic. I'm pleased for Meghan. She's a great girl. There is no bitterness. I respect people's private and personal lives, and although she has put herself in the public spectrum, I still hold to that."

RELATED: Prince William And Prince Harry Allegedly Feuding Over Meghan Markle's Remarks In New Documentary

6. And then came Harry

Cory and Meghan broke up in the spring or summer of 2016 — it's never been exactly clear when or why. However, when Meghan began dating Prince Harry, she made sure to let Cory's mom and family know personally. After all, she had spent holidays with them for the last two years. Joanne Vitiello believes that her son and Meghan had been broken up for about three months when she first met Harry. She said: "We never really did get to say goodbye personally. Meghan was going to come to see us [to explain matters and make her farewells] but we were going on holiday to South Carolina so we were away. We were still there when the news broke that she was with Harry. We were so very shocked."

Amy Lamare is a Los Angeles based writer and editor covering entertainment, pop culture, beauty, fashion, fitness, technology, and the intersection of technology, business, and philanthropy. You can find her on Instagram and Facebook.