Looks like the third time isn’t the charm for the Piano Man.
Billy Joel and his latest wife, Katie Lee, are splitting up, the couple confirmed to the Daily News on Wednesday.
“After nearly five years of marriage, Billy and Katie have decided to separate,” reps for the pair said in a joint statement.
“This decision is the result of much thought and consideration. Billy and Katie remain caring friends, with admiration and respect for each other.”
Rumors have swirled for months that Joel’s third marriage was on the rocks.
Various reports have linked Lee, a 27-year-old chef and author, with Yigal Azrouel, a dashing 36-year-old Israeli-born fashion designer who has frequently escorted her to events.
Sources reported seeing them dirty dancing in Miami in January and have claimed that in unguarded moments Azrouel referred to Lee as “my girlfriend.”
Reps for the Joel’s insisted that Azrouel was just a friend and that Billy, 60, was happy to skip the parties, fashion shows and fundraisers that his younger wife enjoyed.
“Their decision to separate was absolutely unrelated to Yigal,” Joel’s spokeswoman, Claire Mercuri said.
“It was really the age difference that caught up with them. They grew apart. She is very career-oriented. She loves going out. She loves the city. When Billy isn’t touring, he’d rather be on Long Island with his motorcycles and boats.”
But a longtime pal of Joel insisted “he’s always remained faithful to Katie. When he was touring with Elton John, he flew home almost every night. He rarely stayed in a hotel room. When would he have done this supposed fooling around?”
In recent weeks, Joel has been living on Long Island, where he owns mansions in Sag Harbor and Sagaponack. Lee is said to have stayed at the couple’s Manhattan townhouse, not far from Azrouel’s boutique.
source: Billy Joel and wife Katie Lee split [ny daily news]
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