Music sensation Usher is splitting from his wife of two years, Grace Miguel, just months after fending off multiple lawsuits that accused the singer of infecting unsuspecting sexual partners with herpes.
In a statement to US Weekly, Miguel, 48 and Usher, 36, said they will remain “friends”.
“After much thought and consideration we have mutually decided to separate as a couple,” their statement read. “We remain deeply connected, loving friends who will continue supporting each other through the next phases of our lives. The enormous amount of love and respect that we have for each other will only increase as we move forward.”
The couple had been together for nearly ten years. They began dating in 2009 after Usher split from his first wife, Tameka Foster. He has two sons with Foster, 10-year-old son Usher Raymond and nine-year-old Naviyd Ely. In 2015, Miguel and Usher quietly married while holidaying in Cuba.
In July last year, a woman called Laura Helm filed a lawsuit against the singer, alleging he had unprotected sex with her and transmitted the disease without disclosing to her he was carrying it.
After she filed her lawsuit, two others come forward – one woman and one man – and accused the singer of failing to disclose the disease when he had sex with them. California law states that it is illegal to knowingly or recklessly transmit an STD.
In August, one of the accusers, Quantasia Sharpton, told the media in a press conference though she does not carry the disease, she was “upset” by the reports of the singer having the virus as she “would have never consented if [she] would have known”.
Sharpton claims she met the singer in 2015 at one of his concerts. It was her birthday, and she was singled out to go backstage by security. After the show, she and Usher met up in a hotel room and “engaged in sexual contact”, she says. He never warned her of possible STD’s, she added.
In November last year, the lawsuit was dismissed, after Helm, in a recorded phone call dated to two days before she filed her lawsuit, told someone she only had protected sex with Usher.
“It’s our sincere hope that this dismissal will bring an end to the opportunistic litigation against Usher in Georgia,” Usher’s lawyer, Steve Sadow, told PEOPLE at the time.
In the midst of the lawsuits, Miguel largely dodged the limelight, staying quiet on the accusations shrouding her husband’s reputation. In November, when asked by TMZ what message she would give her husband’s accusers, Miguel said: “People are people, living their lives – have a great day.”
Fast forward four months and the couple are splitting.