Following rumors of discord last month, pop star and actress Jennifer Lopez and former Yankees great Alex Rodriguez announced Thursday that they have called off their two-year engagement.
"We have realized we are better as friends and look forward to remaining so," the two said in a joint statement to media. "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."
Wednesday on Instagram Stories, where posts cycle out after 24 hours, the 45-year-old Rodriguez posted without commentary a video that pans over a surface of framed photos. Among them is a shot of himself and Lopez in formal attire, smiling with their arms around each other. Another shows the couple's four children from previous relationships: Lopez's twins with her singer ex-husband Marc Anthony, the Long Island-born Max and Emme, 13; and Rodriguez's daughters with ex-wife Cynthia Scurtis: Natasha, 16, and Ella, who turns 13 on April 21.
One more photo shows what appears to be an overhead shot of a message in sand on a beach: "Jennifer + Alex" inside a heart with a Cupid's arrow.
Additionally on Wednesday, Manhattan native Rodriguez, now an entrepreneur and sportscasting personality, posted on his social media an undated photo of himself in Yankees pinstripes, posing with his two daughters. "Every day, I'm grateful. For my health, family, friends and life's many blessings. #AttitudeOfGratitude," he wrote. "What are you grateful for today?"
The Bronx-born Lopez, 51, who formerly lived for years in Brookville, has not commented publicly after the joint statement.
On March 9, 2019, Rodriguez — nicknamed A-Rod and famed as the youngest player to hit 500 home runs — had posted across his social media a close-up photo of his and Lopez's clasped hands, hers bearing a sizable engagement ring. "She said yes," he wrote. Lopez posted the same photo on her Instagram and Twitter accounts, adding multiple heart emoji. All the posts remained visible Thursday.
The two had begun dating February 2017, with Lopez writing on Instagram on their second anniversary, "Two years of laughter. Two years of fun. Two years of adventures. Of excitement of growing and learning. Of true friendship. And so much love!!" Following more such sentiments, she concluded, "Te Amo Macho" — wordplay based on "Te amo mucho," Spanish for "I love you very much."
Lopez had wed waiter Ojani Noa in 1997 and dancer Cris Judd in 2001; both marriages ended in divorce. She was married to Anthony from 2004 until separating in 2011 and divorcing three years later. Lopez also had high-profile relationships with rapper Sean "Diddy" Combs, actor Ben Affleck and dancer Casper Smart.
Rodriguez was married to Scurtis from 2002 to 2008. He was subsequently linked romantically to pop icon Madonna, and had relationships with actresses Kate Hudson and Cameron Diaz.