There's a touch of sadness in the hip-hop world on Valentine's Day, as Sean "Puffy" Combs has announced that he and Jennifer Lopez are splitsville.
"Mr. Combs confirmed that he and his love, Jennifer Lopez, have in fact broken up," Puffy's publicist, Nathalie Moar, said in a statement on Wednesday (February 14). "Mr. Combs is confirming this today as he wanted to put all the rumors surrounding their relationship to rest." Lopez's publicists at Sony Records said they were unaware of Combs' announcement and had no comment. Lopez's personal reps said the singer/actress was in transit to Australia and could not be reached.
"She's in the middle of a 16 hour plane flight," Lopez spokesperson Alan Nierob said, "so by the time she lands this will be old news." Lopez is promoting her film "The Wedding Planner" with press interviews and media events slated for Australia and Asia over the next week.
Rumors of the couple's demise have been swirling for a month but were downplayed last week after Combs gave Lopez a private performance by Luther Vandross as a Valentine's gift (see "Combs Gives Lopez Singing Valentine: Luther Vandross").
Vandross later said that he had serenaded Lopez with "A House Is Not a Home," the classic Burt Bacharach-Hal David song that appeared on Vandross' Never Too Much (1981).
On Saturday, Lopez was in New York to host "Saturday Night Live," while Combs was across town at Bryant Park, overseeing an exhibition of his Sean John clothing line as part of Fashion Week.
Prior to the event, Combs said he was dedicating the fashion show to Lopez, and incorporated several of her songs and videos, including "Love Don't Cost a Thing," into the runway presentation.
"The show is dedicated to Jennifer and it's dedicated to Gianni Versace for the influence that both of them have had on my life," he said backstage. "I'm with [Jennifer] in spirit, and I know she's here with me. If you all check out the show, then you'll see there's a little part dedicated to her." Combs returned to court on Wednesday for his trial on weapons and bribery charges stemming from a December 1999 shooting incident at a Manhattan night club.
Lopez was with Combs at the time of the shootings and fled the club with the rap mogul, bodyguard Anthony "Wolf" Jones and driver Wardel Fenderson.
Lopez was arrested, but the weapons charges against her were dropped a few days later. The singer could still be called to testify on behalf of her former flame, as she has been listed as a potential witness for the defense by Combs' attorneys.