Rihanna's Former Rep Admits He Made Up Jay Z Cheating Rumors

Photo: Michael Buckner.
Remember those rumors about Jay Z cheating on Beyoncé with 17-year-old Rihanna? Well, that accusation has been debunked once and for all, by none other than Rihanna's former publicist. Jonathan Hay admitted today that he fabricated the cheating rumors in order to promote his client and her first single, "Pon de Replay," back in 2005.

"The PR stunt that I did was out of desperation to help break ‘Pon de Replay,'" he wrote in a statement obtained by the Daily News. “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.”

Well, that story stuck around, long enough to make it into a gossipy new book about Queen Bey. This week, the Daily News offered a sneak peek at Becoming Beyoncé, the latest from prolific celeb biographer J. Randy Taraborelli, out October 27. The rumor-filled bio is, indeed, the reason Hay is finally choosing to come clean. (The fact that it's taken one day for folks to start disproving the volume's "juicy inside information" says a lot about its credibility.)

"I was blindsided by the news of Becoming Beyoncé coming out, and it couldn't come at a worse time for me," Hay said. Hay explained in his statement that he is releasing music on his own label via Jay Z's Tidal music platform, a deal he hopes won't be threatened by the revelation. He also said in the statement that he has apologized to both Bey and Jay.

Incredulously, Hay claims he had no idea what would come of his PR stunt. “I didn't think it would be this big story,” Hay wrote. So, we're supposed to believe Hay had no idea that accusing one of the biggest names in music of cheating on his S.O. (another of the biggest names in music) with a 17 year-old would grab people's attention? Apparently he feels really bad about it. “[S]eeing Beyoncé on the cover of this book and knowing that people are profiting from speculations and opinions about her really turns my stomach."

It sounds to us like Hay is only sorry he got caught in a lie that might threaten his music career and business relationship with the couple he attacked. "I'm ashamed that I'm even talking about this. I just want to put this rumor to rest once and for all." Now to that, we say amen.

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