LOS ANGELES (AFP) — Madonna on Sunday took the rare step of issuing a formal denial of reports linking her to US baseball star Alex Rodriguez and speculation she was to divorce British director Guy Ritchie.
In an exclusive statement released to celebrity magazine People, Madonna poured scorn on suggestions she was in a romantic relationship with New York Yankees star Rodriguez.
The 49-year-old pop icon also scotched speculation that she was seeking a divorce from "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels" director Ritchie after seven years of marriage.
"My husband and I are not planning on getting a divorce," Madonna was quoted as saying in the People statement.
The singer insisted she only knew Rodriguez because they shared the same manager, Guy Oseary.
"I brought my kids to a Yankee game. I am not romantically involved in any way with Alex Rodriguez," Madonna said.
Rodriguez's wife Cynthia, who recently gave birth to the couple's second child, was reported to have left the slugger last week, citing Madonna as the cause of her marital breakdown, and alleging Madonna wooed Rodriguez to Kabbalah, a form of Jewish mysticism.
"I have nothing to do with the state of his marriage or what spiritual path he may choose to study," added Madonna, who said she issued the statement to distinguish "fact from fiction."
"I have learned over the years not to take accusations and the many false reports about me very seriously," she said.
"I also appreciate how fiction and fact seem to be perceived as one and the same by people who read both newspapers and the Internet."
Rodriguez, 32, "dropped a marital bombshell on wife Cynthia three weeks after she gave birth to their second daughter, announcing their marriage was over, she has told friends," The New York Daily News reported.
The baseball great "has been spotted making late-night visits to Madonna's West Side (Manhattan, NY) home -- meetings Cynthia is telling friends have left her husband brainwashed by kabbalah," the newspaper reported Sunday.
Rodriguez first got to know Madonna through their common friend, Miami nightclub owner Ingrid Casares, Rodriguez's former trainer Dodd Romero told The New York Post.
"Once Madonna and A-Rod (Rodriguez) started working out together in New York in November 2007, he was under the complete spell of kabbalah's most famous practitioner," the Post quoted Romero as saying.
"He's more infatuated with the fact he's with an icon instead of realizing what's important, which is family and truth," Romero told the Post.
Madonna, who was previously married to US actor Sean Penn, is widely regarded as the world's highest-earning female singer with Forbes.com putting her top of its "Cash Queens of Music" earlier this year with earnings of 72 million dollars between June 2006 and June 2007.
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