Anderson Cooper pretended to be a woman named ‘Monica’ on Instagram

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Anderson Cooper was a guest on Late Night With Seth Meyers Monday, where he shared a heartwarming story about his late mother Gloria Vanderbilt. In the final years of Vanderbilt’s life, Cooper set up an Instagram profile for her to display her artwork and share stories. Not only did she garner over 200,000 followers, she also created a demand for her artwork and the need for an assistant to manage sales. Cooper agreed to handle her direct messages, but they both realized he would need an alternate persona because he was a famous news anchor.

“She was like, ‘Okay, why don’t we invent a lady of a certain age named Monica and who’s a long time trusted assistant and you be Monica and you answer all the DMs on Instagram to buy my artwork,” Cooper said. “And that’s what I did for three years.”

While Cooper and his persona of Monica were quite separate, there were occasions when the side hustle of selling his mom’s art would interrupt his job reporting for CNN.

“Literally, I’d be in Baghdad, you know in between things I’d be like, ‘Would you like a laminated white frame?’ – as Monica,” Cooper laughed.

Cooper was on the show to promote his new book, Vanderbilt: The Rise and Fall of an American Dynasty. The book explores his family’s literally rich history and scandalous demise. But while you have to pay to learn about the Vanderbilts, Cooper admitted that Monica could be a little more loose-lipped.

“People would be like, ‘What’s it like working for Ms. Vanderbilt?’” Cooper recalled. “I was like, ‘Oh, she’s so lovely.’

Late Night With Seth Meyers airs weeknights at 12:35 a.m. on NBC.

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