Billy Joel Splits From Third Wife

Entertainment Jun. 17, 2009 AT 5:07PM
Billy Joel and wife Katie Lee Joel backstage after Billy Joel performed live with the Philadelphia Orchestra on the Orchestra's 151st Anniversary January 26,2008 Philadelpia, PA. Billy Joel and wife Katie Lee Joel backstage after Billy Joel performed live with the Philadelphia Orchestra on the Orchestra's 151st Anniversary January 26,2008 Philadelpia, PA. Credit: Bill McCay/WireImage.com

Billy Joel and Katie Lee Joel have split.

"After nearly five years of marriage Billy Joel & Katie Lee Joel have decided to separate," a rep for the couple tells Usmagazine.com. "This decision is a result of much thoughtful consideration. Billy & Katie remain caring friends with admiration and respect for each other."

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Rumors of a rocky marriage have been surfacing lately.

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New York's Daily News reports that Lee, 27, was spotted dirty dancing with 36-year-old Israeli-born fashion designer Yigal Azrouel, who has frequently escorted her to events. The paper reports he has even referred to her as his "girlfriend." But a source tells Us affair rumors "had nothing to do" with the split.

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"Everything is very amicable and it was just a growing apart," the source adds.

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Joel was 55 years old when he wed Katie Lee, then 23, at his 15-acre waterfront Center Island estate in Long Island, N.Y., in 2004. Joel was previously wed to Christie Brinkley (1985-94) and business manager Elizabeth Weber (1973-82).

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