The celebrity of Netflix’s documentary Knock Down the House is surely Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, but there is another character whose supportive nature catch the viewer’s interest, that is AOC’s boyfriend, Riley Roberts.
New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is creating history as the youngest woman ever to serve in Congress. She is very uncommunicative about her personal life, and so her relationship with web developer boyfriend Riley Roberts is low-key. It’s so hidden, in fact, that you might not get the idea that they are a couple. Or even that she has a boyfriend.
So: Who is Riley Roberts? the private and very supportive boyfriend to one of the most up-and-coming congresswomen in the United States.
Now, after achieving her second term in the House of Representatives, the 31-year-old is a household tag and one of the prominent voices of the Democratic party, delivering messages in impassioned, impromptu Instagram Live sessions and on the floors of the Congress.
Ocasio-Cortez’s partner, Riley Roberts, has been with her through all. Their relationship is portrayed in the Netflix documentary Knock Down the House, which follows four women going after Congress in 2018 including Cori Bush, who became Missouri’s first Black congresswoman in 2020.
After months of observing their dynamic, Knock Down the House director Rachel Lears thinks Roberts was an important presence for Ocasio-Cortez during the stressful campaign. “He was a big support system for her. He was emotionally supportive of her and a good partner, but he’s also a social media-marketing expert by profession, so he contributed strategic advice and dialogue. I heard a lot of rants in that apartment about politics—they would talk with each other about ideas. So in everything from the emotional to the strategic to the practical, he’s been a really important partner to her,” Lears said to Business Insider.
According to a 2018 Vogue profile, Ocasio-Cortez and Roberts confronted while studying at Boston University, in what AOC says a “true nerdy fashion.” They both accompanied a weekly Friday afternoon conversation hosted by the dean at BU, named Coffee and Conversation.
“I think people see how glamorous she is, but these were not two glamorous people,” the couple’s friend Raul Fernandez recollected memories of them in a recent 2020 Vanity Fair profile. “These were two awkward, supersmart, like-to-talk-about-issues kind of people that met through this super-wonky, nerdy thing.”
In another article for Business Insider, a mutual college friend who wanted to remain anonymous explained Roberts as a “philosopher” type, adding that “they’re really a team.“
Ocasio-Cortez’s mom, Blanca Ocasio-Cortez, seems to be Roberts’s greatest fan. She gave an interview to The Daily Mail in which she cheered about her daughter’s partner and in a real mom move, she tried to nudge the couple to the altar.
“I love him. He is the most loving, supporting person I’ve seen. He helped her tremendously during the election,” Blanca told the Daily Mail in 2019. “They’ve been together for four years now after they reconnected from a college breakup. I know they love children, and they do very well with children from the family. So, I hope they get married soon.“
Ocasio-Cortez has been very confidential about her private life with Roberts, which is why, here is the glance of their home life from the documentary Knock Down the House
From the film, we can notice that he supported Ocasio-Cortez every walk of the way. Roberts is filming on his phone when she goes to the Board of Elections to submit her candidacy for Congress.
We also discover in the documentary that Roberts and Ocasio-Cortez’s political perspectives align. He certainly believes in her goal and her status as the the best candidate for the job, as evidenced by him saying, “One of these core, core issues for the Democratic establishment is that their consultants are garbage.” In a true manner, he intensifies this point by clapping his hands which were clearly shown in the documentary.
Roberts has dual degrees in sociology and finance at Boston University and attended Boston University’s Questrom School of Business. He went on to work in web development, according to the Vogue profile and his Linkedin page which is now gone private.
“I love helping other subscription startups implement the best practices I’ve developed to quickly and sustainably grow with Facebook Ads, website conversion-rate optimization, and user experience design,” he wrote on his LinkedIn profile, according to Business Insider.
According to the current status, AOC fans will be delighted to know that she and Roberts are still together to this day.