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Andrew Cuomo's daughter Mariah's Norwegian boyfriend is a star athlete who became CEO of his own company at 25

Tellef Lundevall was thrust in the limelight after the NY governor mentioned him in a coronavirus press briefing and gave his seal of approval with, "We like the boyfriend"
(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

The Norwegian boyfriend of Andrew Cuomo's eldest daughter was thrust in the limelight when the New York governor mentioned him during a coronavirus press briefing last month. Cuomo asserted that he "liked" Mariah Kennedy Cuomo's boyfriend, Tellef Lundevall. 

During the press conference, Cuomo said that when he was hosting a spaghetti-and-meatballs feast for his Italian American family on April 19, Mariah had decided to bring her boyfriend to the family meal. He also shared a picture of Tellef sitting at the dinner table along with him and his three daughters on Twitter.   

“Advice to fathers: The answer on what you think of the boyfriend is always, ‘I like the boyfriend,’” Cuomo said. “Otherwise it triggers ‘NDS.’ NDS is ‘natural defiance syndrome.’ It’s not documented, but it is a psychological condition where if you say as a father ‘I don’t like him,’ natural defiance syndrome kicks in and then they like the boyfriend more because he is opposed by the father. So the answer has to be ‘I like the boyfriend.’"

He highlighted the dangers of showing disapproval for a daughter’s suitor. Hence, it is better to feign acceptance so that he can eat dinner in peace. But all jokes aside, the governor said that he really did approve of Tellef.  

“The boyfriend is very nice and we like the boyfriend," he said. 

He added, however, that the family pet, a shepherd-Siberian-malamute mix named Captain, did not approve of Mariah's choice of partner. 

The governor repeated his comments on Thursday, May 7, during his appearance on the home edition of 'The Late Show' when host Stephen Colbert asked him how his quarantine was going. "How about the boyfriend? The boyfriend still with you?" Stephen asked, to which Andrew replied, "The boyfriend is still with us, yes." 

Michaela Kennedy Cuomo, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, Sandra Lee, Mariah Kennedy Cuomo, and Cara Kennedy Cuomo attend the RX: Early Detection A Cancer Journey With Sandra Lee At Sundance Film Festival 2018 on January 22, 2018 in Park City, Utah. (Getty Images)

The talk show host pressed on. "And we like the boyfriend?" he asked. 

In a mocking passive-aggressive tone, the governor replied, "Yes, we like the boyfriend. Official comment: we like the boyfriend. Personal comment: we like the boyfriend. I learned that lesson the hard way. You have to say you like the boyfriend.  Whatever you feel because they are still in the rebellion phase. You say you don't like the boyfriend, they will marry that boyfriend just to spite you. So yes, I 'like' the boyfriend."

So who is Tellef Lundevall. Believe it or not, there is more than one reason to "like the boyfriend" as the governor kept on repeating as his list of achievements in life matches his impressive physique and his dazzling good looks. 

Tellef, 29, an economics and geology major, is a standout football player, and his 216 career receptions are seventh in the Ivy record book, earning him a tryout with the Tennessee Titans in 2014.

He is also a talented basketball player, enough to be able to play on a professional level in Norway - his native country - before he returned to the United States to run his own digital media consultancy firm, Daily Mail reported. 

He chairs an environment committee for a social justice foundation and has held down a string of executive jobs in both the US and in Norway, including working for Google. At the age of 25, he became the CEO of his own company. 

Not just that. Tellef also volunteered at a tiger and lion sanctuary and worked for a charity that home-delivered food to the underprivileged population.  

His parents run a pet toy business in Highland Park, Chicago, and he has three siblings, Kaja, Iselin and Hallvard. Growing up, he had been an avid huntsman and sailor. 

Mariah met Tellef at Brown University, where the 25-year-old Mariah majored in history and graduated with honors. With time, he grew close to her mother, Kerry Kennedy's side of the family, joining them for various holidaying trips including at a swank Swiss ski resort and a sailing trip off the coast of Hyannis Port, Massachusetts.

Social media flew into a frenzy after Mariah uploaded a picture in December 2018 where she and her beau were seen cozying up to each other against a snow-covered backdrop. 

Mariah wrote for the Brown Daily Herald, and was a communications analyst for the Brown Entrepreneurship program. She volunteers for the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights non-profit, which is currently run by her mother. She is also helping her father manage the COVID-19 crisis by working as a volunteer with the New York Department of Health.