Getty Images. Katie Lee and Yigal Azrouël.
Earlier this week, it was reported that entertainer Billy Joel
(or "William," as Gwyneth Paltrow
prefers to call him) was ready to buy a Sag Harbor Italian restaurant for his chef wife, Katie Lee Joel
Now they're Splitsville.
A rep for the couple has stated: After nearly five years of marriage Billy Joel & Katie Lee Joel have decided to separate. This decision is a result of much thoughtful consideration. Billy & Katie remain caring friends with admiration and respect for each other.
It was rumored a few months ago that Katie Lee had been getting a little too close for comfort to handsome Israeli fashion designer Yigal Azrouël, 36. Claire Mercuri, Joel's rep, insisted, "Their decision to separate was apsolutely unrelated to Yigal."
A friend of the couple told the NY Daily News
, "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."
Joel, 60, and Katie, 27, were married on Long Island in 2004. She married him a year after she graduated from Miami University of Ohio.More pictures of Katie Lee Joel: