Update 10/29: Hay clarified to Us Weekly that he worked not for Rihanna but for producer Vada Nobles, who co-wrote "Pon de Replay." He says he was hired specifically for that song.
Update 10/28: An attorney for Rihanna (real name: Robyn Fenty) tells Us Weekly: "Mr. Hay never represented Ms. Fenty, and never had (and does not now have) any personal or professional relationship with Ms. Fenty. In fact, Ms. Fenty has never met Mr. Hay . . .references to Mr. Hay as formerly representing Ms. Fenty in any capacity are false."
Sorry?! Rihanna’s former publicist, Jonathan Hay, is apologizing for starting the rumor that Jay Z cheated on his wife, Beyonce, with Rihanna. According to the New York Daily News, Hay has since apologized to Beyonce and now explains that he started the rumor in 2005 out of “desperation” to get press for Rihanna’s single “Pon de Replay.”
His apology comes on the heels of celebrity biographer J. Randy Taraborrelli’s tell-all Becoming Beyonce: The Untold Story, in which Hay is outed as having planted the rumor.
“I apologized to her…this whole thing is very awkward,” Hay told the New York Daily News. “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.”
“The PR stunt that I did was out of desperation to help break ‘Pon de Replay,'" Hay’s statement continued. “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.”
According to Taraborrelli’s book, the rumor caused a year-long split between Bey and Jay.
“I didn't think it would be this big story,” Hay added. "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 just want to put this rumor to rest once and for all.”
According to Taraborrelli, Jay Z only had one comment about the rumor. “Dude, she’s a minor,” the rapper reportedly said at the time about Rihanna, who was then 17.