Chelsea Handler Shares Her Love Story with Boyfriend Jo Koy: 'I Just Feel So Completely Safe'

Chelsea Handler and fellow comedian Jo Koy have known each other for years, but recently fell for each other romantically

Chelsea Handler, Jo Koy
Photo: Chelsea Handler/Instagram

Chelsea Handler is telling her love story!

On her podcast Dear Chelsea Thursday, Handler invited boyfriend Jo Koy onto the show to discuss their relationship — which the couple revealed has been years in the making.

After first being introduced by a mutual friend almost 20 years ago, Koy regularly appeared on Handler's show Chelsea Lately, which ran on E! from 2007 to 2014.

Discussing those early years of friendship, Handler, 46, and Koy, 50, agreed that their chemistry was "amazing" — but their memories diverge from there.

"And you thought that chemistry was sexual and I thought it was comedic," Handler said as Koy interjected, "never did I ever say that!"

Chelsea Handler, Jo Koy
Chelsea Handler/Instagram

Later, Handler admitted that "in retrospect," she probably had a bit of a crush on Koy, too, but that she was probably "suppressing" those feelings at the time.

"I was just not in touch with myself to understand, I knew I liked talking with you and having you in my life because you're positive and upbeat. It's infectious and I loved all of that. But I wasn't like oh my God, this desire to have something happen. To have something happen, not at all," Handler said. "By the way, who gives a s----? Look where we are now. I would've ruined it if I had those feelings earlier, probably."

Handler said that for a long time, Koy didn't seem like a potential romantic partner for her because he had "brother energy."

"You have a lot of similar qualities that my brother had," she told Koy, referring to her older brother Chet, who died in 1984. "So, in many ways, like I just feel so completely safe. And I feel like, 'oh, this is family,' like I've always felt that way about you, that you're family."

"I just didn't want to f--- you before," she added.

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Handler explained that she and Koy reconnected shortly before the COVID-19 pandemic when he asked her to write a blurb for his then-forthcoming book, Mixed Plate. They began texting and having COVID-safe hang outs, and eventually started FaceTiming regularly, too.

Because of their work schedules and quarantine rules, they went without seeing each other for about four months, Handler said.

"The minute we were both back in LA, we were like, 'let's go to dinner,' " Koy said. From there, they started spending a ton of time together and things progressed "organically," according to Handler.

After Koy came to Las Vegas to support her during her first major show since the pandemic, Handler said she felt something was different between them, and noticed that she just wanted to spend time with him.

When they got back to LA, she made a move, she said, and they've been together ever since.

The pair made their relationship public on Instagram last week when Handler shared a pair of photos with Koy, including a sweet snap of the duo mid-smooch.

"He's on tour, I'm on tour, sometimes we tour together," she captioned the post.

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