Billy Joel & Katie Lee confirm their separation, are still ‘friends’

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Damn it! The National Enquirer got it right yesterday about Billy Joel and Katie Lee. The couple announced their formal split to the New York Daily News in a joint statement. They say that they’re totally separating, they still remain friends, and they still have “admiration and respect for each other.” The NYDN article then goes through three unnamed sources for theories on why the couple split. First theory: Katie was fooling around with Israeli designer Yigal Azrouel. Added bonus for this theory is that the alleged affair was the main reason given in the National Enquirer’s report, which turned out to be amazingly prescient. Second theory: Age difference and different interests. She’s a young city girl, he’s a 60-year-old with an affection for his boats. Third theory: Billy was screwing around on Katie just as much as she was screwing around on him, and they both decided to call it a day. Can I get a little bit of Columns A, B and C?

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 Joels 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,” said a friend of the couple. “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.”

Still, the friend added, “I can’t imagine the stories about Yigal helped.”

One ally of Lee said, “Billy is no one to talk. It wasn’t like he was a monk when he was on tour.”

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.

While one pal denied talk of a big blow-up last week, both have retained lawyers.
Joel is believed to have a prenuptial agreement to protect the millions his many hits have made him.

Besides their New York properties, he owns a mansion in Miami Beach. Recent reports had him buying Lee a restaurant in Sag Harbor but Mercuri said he was looking at the space “only as real estate investment.”

He and Lee married in October of 2004. His nine-year marriage to model Christie Brinkley, the mother of their daughter Alexa, ended in 1994. His nine-year marriage to Elizabeth Weber ended in 1982.

Lee’s rep, Ken Sunshine, declined to comment beyond the couple’s statement.

“Billy’s doing fine,” Mercuri said. “He’s looking forward to resuming his Face2Face Tour with Elton John.”

[From The New York Daily News]

Nice little promotion there at the end, kind of like “Oh, another marriage down the tubes, but wait, you should come see him play with Elton John!” That actually sounds like a great concert, and I wish they were coming some place close to me. As far as theories behind the split, et cetera, I don’t really have some hardcore opinion. As I said yesterday, I wasn’t invested in this relationship at all – she seemed like a gold-digging child-bride, and he was plenty old enough to know better. It’s a wash.

In another Billy Joel-related note, Gwyneth Paltrow referred to Billy as “William Joel” is her last Goopy newsletter. Goop was describing some cookies Katie Lee made for a dinner party, and Goop referred to the couple as “the lovely Katie Lee Joel and her husband William…” Since it seemed like Billy was already going to be sending out his spokesperson for all of the separation stuff, the guy also dropped this comment into US Weekly: “No one calls him William.” I bet that gets Goop’s panties in a wad.

Header photo is from 5/4/09. Other photos are from 2007. Credit:

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22 Responses to “Billy Joel & Katie Lee confirm their separation, are still ‘friends’”

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  1. dee miller says:

    Do you think they will still be friends after she takes him to the cleaners…..

  2. stellapurdy says:

    Nah, he’s gotta have a prenup. She’ll get her fair share I’m sure but I gotta bet that besides the cash it was the notoriety he brought her that she wanted.

  3. Cinderella says:

    Friends my ass.

    And yes, Billy Joel and Elton John put on a great show together. Saw them several years ago.

  4. BlueSkies says:

    Doesn’t he look like an old fool?

  5. diddy says:

    another one got right by National Enquirer, seems to be only them and usweekly that break stories right nowadays.

  6. Carrie says:

    Did he really think marrying someone a few years older than his daughter would really last?? Billy you are an old man you are almost old enough to pass as this girls grandfather, find someone closer to your own age!!

  7. nanster says:

    Sheesh! Who didn’t see this one coming a mile away? A young, attractive woman marrying a famous much-older man who can help her open doors that would otherwise be unavailable? It’s hard to believe that a 60 year old man could be so gullible.

  8. mamalama says:

    “Billy and Katie remain caring friends, with admiration and respect for each other.” Just once, in a celeb divorce, I’d like to see, “Billy and Katie have grown to loathe and detest each other. He thinks she’s a gold-digging wannabe, and she thinks he’s an old guy who should have known better. And yes, third – and fourth – parties were involved.”

  9. Taradash says:

    i see christie brinkley remarrying this ole fool

    why not?

  10. hudsonsmommy says:

    I feel bad for them. It would have been nice if they had made it.

  11. Feebee says:

    William? Goopy must have been smokin’ something that day. Brinkley dropped a quote – something about Billy babysitting her younger kids. Sounds like they have a good relationship (now at least). Can’t imagine things are really that rosy between Billy and the piece of pretty cardboard that Katie Lee appears to be.

    Billy Joel + Elton John = a fantastic concert experience. Seen them once in the US and once out. The US banter was a lot more conservative! I guess you play to your audience. Going again next month yippee!

  12. blahblah says:

    Do you think he and Christie will get back together? I saw this coming a month ago when I read it was reported again not confirmed that Katie was spending more time with that Israeli designer while Billy was on tour. BTW who calls him William LOL.

  13. Gigohead says:

    My current beau who is 43 (I’m 39) was recently engaged to a gal who was 17 years his junior. She was a very immature girl who did dumb things (like cheat on him months before they were set to be married) and that made him hate young women for the rest of his life he told me. Young girls are good for the moment, but older men get fed up with them eventually. So it was no big woop that Katie was going to be with someone her age and of course, Billy is a fool for thinking a young girl like her was ready for a lifetime commitment.

  14. Zoe (The Other One) says:

    Hahahahahaha WILLIAM Joel. hahahahaha.

    Goopy-brains is just doing this to MAKE us hate her now right?

  15. Granger says:

    I know some 27-year-olds are wonderfully mature and wise beyond their years… But when I was 27, I couldn’t even imagine having enough in common with a 60-year-old man to want to marry him. But then again, I was a smart, confident, independent young woman who wasn’t looking for a father figure. Sorry, but that’s how most May-December romances strike me. So I’m not at all surprised they’ve split.

  16. Ned says:

    Stop pretending like it was because she was young.

    He married a gold digger who was after his money and status.
    He did it before with Christie Brinkley and she was closer to his age.

    Gold Diggers come in all ages and forms.

    They all used him and his success and took some of his money when they went.

    I heard Christey is looking for a new victim.
    Billy seems stupid enough (and I say it with love and sadness) to make the same mistake again.

  17. lisa says:

    I am sure no side in this is perfect, but he has always acted like a jerk and maybe she grew tired of his crap. I personally find him disgusting so I have no idea how she could get naked with this guy.

  18. the original kate says:

    gosh, is there anyone goopy isn’t friends with? her pathetic name-dropping makes me want to hurl.

  19. Marianne says:

    You know, I don’t mind relationships with age gaps. It can work, depending on the people involved and their motivations in life. But, c’mon, there’s no way “William” Joel actually thought that this good looking girl who came out of nowhere married him for love and for his youthful beauty. He knew what he was going after and he probably saw this one coming. There are many suspicions that she may’ve cheated on him with this designer Yigal-what’s-his-name.
    I blame Goopy. lol.

  20. katxx says:

    hey, my guess is that he would do it all over again given the chance and she probably had a damn good time for awhile too. There’s absolutely nothing sad here. he can go back out and get another just as young and cute….HELLO! He’s rich-that’s it-and she’s cute and young-that’s it. Demi and Ashton-believe me she’s got the bucks and is probably battling the aging process like a fish swimming upstream…that’s life!

  21. stranger says:

    Should we be surprised?

    Isn’t this always the result when a celebrity dates a woman young enough to be their daughter? Doesn’t it just creep everyone out to the point that the couple call it quits?

    One wonders if other couples in the same situation are feeling the heat – like Patrick Stewart who at the age of 69 just recently started dating 31 year old Sunny Ozell who is younger than his own children Daniel, 41, and Sophie, 36. Dating shallow no-name younger gold digging women seems to bite the celebs in the end. Let’s hope Billy gets to his senses on his next relationship.

  22. Clambelly says:

    She’s a gold digger, and I knew it the first time I saw her on TV. She also happens to be one of the most annoying personalities I’ve ever seen on the boob tube. In fact, she’s right up there with Kathy Lee Gifford from a few years ago (she doesn’t seem so annoying these days, so I have to give her props for that…maybe cuz Frank’s so old now he’s not screwing airline chicks).