Greek-American TV host Maria Menounos offered an exclusive interview with AOL.com yesterday.
The intimate discussion centered around a difficult time in her life, regarding her choice to date a non-Greek. Her Italian-American boyfriend of 16 years, Keven Undergaro, was not initially accepted by her traditional Greek parents.
The successful 35-year-old TV personality explained, "It wasn't an easy situation...He wasn't Greek so my dad was very upset, pretty much disowned me, took my education away... I was now pretty much homeless, no education, no degree, but I had Keven." Her boyfriend described the beginning phase of their courtship as, "Romeo and Juliet without ending in full tragedy".
Menounos and Undergaro first lived with one another in a Boston basement. Undergaro stated, "There was a lady that we were close to growing up...She was gracious enough to take us in and it was just an unfinished basement... ". In that apartment, was where Menounos realized her dreams of Hollywood hosting. Her boyfriend created a resume tape for the star and sent it off to a nearby news station. From there she gained success as an "Access Hollywood" and "Entertainment Tonight" correspondent.
After achieving fame in Hollywood, her ethnic parents came to love Keven. Menounos declared, "The rest was history...My parents came out to visit. My dad apologized to Keven which I think is such a sign of, I don't know. I don't know a lot of men that can actually say they're sorry... It's so hard to give the whole story but it was really tragic and really, really hard. We spent so many nights clinging to each other crying and it was terrible". Menounos hopes that her humble depiction inspires others to go after their dreams and desires.
Maria Menounos hails from Medford, MA. She was born to Greek immigrant parents, Litsa from Kalamata and Costas from Akovos. The Greek Orthodox church was a large part of her childhood. Her documentary series "Chasing Maria Menounos" premiered last month on Oxygen.