Kylie Minogue, the Australian pop songbird, and Oliver Martinez, her partner for four years, have announced their separation. In a statement made late on Friday, the pair made it clear that the decision to go their separate ways "was mutual and amicable," and that they would remain close friends.
Minogue, aged 38 was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005, and recently completed a series of post-recovery comeback concerts entitled the Showgirl Homecoming tour. In several interviews, Minogue talked about the "incredible" support she received from boyfriend Martinez during her battle against illness. Minogue spoke in magazine articles and on her website about the lengths that Martinez had gone to, including turning down several roles, to be by her side during her treatment. Minogue even insisted that the first photographs of her to be released to the media after her triumphant recovery be taken by Martinez.
Kylie Minogue has been a fixture of the international pop scene since her breakout album, 1988's self-titled "Kylie," which contained the hit singles "Loco-Motion" and "I Should Be So Lucky." Before achieving music stardom, Minogue got her start as an actress on the popular Australian soap opera "Neighbors."
Oliver Martinez, aged 41, is a Paris-born actor known for his work in films including "Before Night Falls," and "Unfaithful."
In 2006, Minogue and Martinez collaborated on a children's picture book titled "Showgirl Princess," a semi-autobiographical work that drew on Minogue's experience as she rose to international fame. At that time, Minogue stated in several interviews that she was feeling "broody," and implied that she and Martinez were contemplating starting a family in the coming years.
Rumors of a break up between the couple have been swirling for months, and tabloid gossip has been spreading to the effect that Martinez has recently been spotted cavorting with other female companions. Minogue and Martinez deny the rumors, and in their Friday statement said that "the media's false accusations of disloyalty have saddened them both."
In the few days since the pair officially split, Martinez has already been romantically linked by tabloid presses to several women, including the Oscar-nominated actress Penelope Cruz. However, no official statement from Martinez or his representation has confirmed any of the alleged pairings.
This week, Minogue will make her first official post-breakup public appearance at the opening of "KYLIE: The Exhibition," an installation at London's famed Victoria And Albert Museum which showcases memorabilia from her career.