Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez have announced they have separated - in a statement to NBC’s today show.
The pair confirmed their engagement in March 2019, and had denied they had split up last month.
On 15 April, the couple confirmed rumours they had “hit a rough patch” and had split - they will continue to work together on business ventures, the statement said.
So, who is Alex Rodriguez, how did the couple meet and why have they split? This is what you need to know about JLo’s ex-fiance.
Who is Alex Rodriguez?
Rodriguez, nicknamed ‘A-Rod’, is an American former professional baseball player.
He was born in New York in 1975 and grew up with his two siblings, Joe and Suzy.
Aged 19, he made his pro-baseball debut for the Seattle Mariners and remained with the club until 2000.
He then signed with the Texas Rangers on a 10-year contract worth $252 million. It was the most lucrative contract in the sport’s history at that time.
In 2002, he married Cynthia Scurtis, a psychology graduate he had met at a gym in Miami, Florida.
In November 2004, the couple welcomed their first child, Natasha Alexander. In April 2008, their second child was born, Ella Alexander.
Just three months later, in July 2008, Cynthia filed for divorce. She cited "emotional abandonment" of her and their children, as well as "extra marital affairs and other marital misconduct" by Rodriguez.
He denied the claims, but did add that their marriage was "irretrievably broken". The couple reached a settlement that September.
US singer Madonna also responded to rumors of an affair with Rodriguez, stating "I am not romantically involved in any way with Alex Rodriguez" and has "nothing to do with the state of his marriage".
In 2003, Rodriguez gave $3.9 million to the University of Miami to renovate its baseball stadium. The new facility was renamed "Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field".
In 2004, he was named as an “honorary alumni” of the university, despite having never attended the school. He is also a member of the University of Miami's Board of Trustee.
In February 2004, the Rangers traded Rodriguez to the New York Yankees. He remained with the team until 2017, when he stepped back after years of claims he had taken performance enhancing drugs.
Rodriguez refuted the claims from 2007. He was suspended from playing in 2013 but stated he would appeal his suspension. He later dropped the appeal but was sued by his lawyers for $380,000 of unpaid legal fees.
In 2014, it was revealed that Rodriguez had admitted to the Drug Enforcement Administration that he had used performance-enhancing drugs.
What is his net worth?
In March 2021, Alex Rodriguez was estimated to have a net worth of around $350 million.
How did he meet Jennifer Lopez?
The couple first met in 2005, when Lopez was married to Marc Anthony.
She and Anthony attended a baseball game at Shea Stadium in Queens, New York,where they met the New York Yankees, including Alex Rodriguez.
Discussing their first meeting, Lopez told Sports Illustrated in June 2019, "We shook hands, and it was this weird electricity for, like, three seconds... Three to five seconds of looking at somebody right in their eyes, and getting stuck.”
In February 2017, the pair then bumped into one another at a restaurant.
Lopez told Ellen DeGeneres later that year: "I was having lunch somewhere and I saw him as he passed by. Afterwards, I went outside, and for some reason I felt like tapping him on the shoulder." Rodriguez made the next move: "He texted me, said, 'Let's go out to dinner,' and I said, 'OK.' We had a nice dinner."
The couple have since told Vanity Fair that Lopez had been shooting a promo for Shades of Blue, in which she plays an NYPD detective. She joked she was dressed like a boy, but he insisted she “looked so beautiful”.
They were spotted several times over the following months, in Miami and New York, before making their official debut as a couple at the Met Gala in May 2017.
In March 2019, they confirmed their engagement. Rodriguez described Lopez as "a powerhouse" stating "I've never met anyone who has the work ethic, the vision, the principles that Jennifer possesses. She does so many things that people call her a triple threat. I call her an octopus threat."
Why did they split?
While it isn’t clear what caused the split, the couple appear to have separated amicably.
In their joint statement to NBC, they said: “We have realised we are better as friends and look forward to remaining so.
"We will continue to work together and support each other on our shared businesses and projects.
"We wish the best for each other and one another's children. Out of respect for them, the only other comment we have to say is thank-you to everyone who has sent kind words and support."
Lopez shares twins Max and Emme, 13, with ex-husband Marc Anthony.
The news came after they denied their split last month, but did comment that they were “working through some things”.