Rihanna's Ex-Publicist: Jay Z Cheating Rumor Was a Lie

Rihanna, Jay Z, Beyoncé

Rihanna's Ex-Publicist: Jay Z Cheating Rumor Was a Lie

Tabloid fodder was used to boost her album sales.

Published October 24, 2015

Ever since Rihanna was introduced to the world as a newbie, billed as Jay Z's new protégé in 2005, some began to take notice of the Bajan singer, but apparently not enough for her former publicist Jonathan Hay.

To get more people to pay attention to his client, Hay reportedly created the now infamous rumor that RiRi was sleeping with her boss, Jay, a taken man.


It's all broken down in the book, Becoming Beyoncé: The Untold Story, penned by celebrity biographer J. Randy Taraborelli. Though we will never know if there is really any truth — or not — to these claims, Taraborelli interviewed Hay, who shared his account of what happened and even apologized to Bey in a statement to The New York Daily News.

"I apologized to her... This whole thing is very awkward," he said. "I was blindsided by the news of Becoming Beyoncé coming out and it couldn't come at a worse time for me. I'm currently releasing projects with my label Urban Hitchcock through Tidal, a company that is owned by Jay Z and Beyoncé... Hopefully this news hasn't ruined that relationship for me."

Well, you know what they say about that good ol' girl named Karma.

Speaking specifically on why he fanned the rumor, Hay said, "The PR stunt that I did was out of desperation to help break 'Pon de Replay.' It was reckless and I didn't think it was going to work. I was just throwing spaghetti at the wall to see what would stick."

Apparently, it stuck enough for Beyoncé to split from Jay Z for a "lonely year" in 2005, according to Taraborelli's book. Interestingly enough, Taraborelli and Hay never actually had a conversation — they communicated through the biographer's researcher.

"I didn't think it would be this big story," Hay said. "But now, seeing Beyoncé on the cover of this book and knowing that people are profiting from speculations and opinions about her really turns my stomach... I'm ashamed that I'm even talking about this. I jsut want to put this rumor to rest once and for all."

Moral of the story, folks: Don't believe everything you read or hear.

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(Photos from left: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images for Vogue, Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images, Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images)

Written by Moriba Cummings


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