Melissa Etheridge, Julie Cypher separate

Published Sept. 20, 2000|Updated Sept. 28, 2005

Another celebrity lesbian couple is calling it quits.

Rocker Melissa Etheridge and her girlfriend, director Julie Cypher, announced Tuesday they were ending their relationship after 12 years. The couple has two small children together.

"With the utmost of love and respect for one another, we have decided to separate," the couple announced in a statement released by Etheridge's label, Island Records. "As committed parents, our top priority continues to be what is in the best interest of our children. Though elements of our lives will change, our family will always remain intact."

Etheridge and Cypher were one of Hollywood's most famous lesbian couples, after Ellen DeGeneres and Anne Heche, who announced their breakup last month. Cypher gave birth to the couple's 3-year-old daughter and 1-year-old son. In January, they revealed to Rolling Stone magazine that rock legend David Crosby was the children's biological father, donating the sperm so the couple could conceive through artificial insemination.

Etheridge's publicist, Sheila Richman, told the Associated Press that the couple would not discuss custody issues or any other details of the split.

Nashville Network changes moniker, city

The Nashville Network wiped that city from its name Tuesday, dubbing itself The National Network and hiring Nickelodeon's top executive to transform it into a general-interest competitor to USA and TBS.

Management control of TNN will shift from Nashville to New York. The network's longtime chief executive, David Hall, said he would quit instead of move north. TNN's weekend programming won't change much, but the network's new operators are looking to totally revamp its weekday approach.

"While some shows may alienate some of the viewers, I think on the whole it's going to be inclusive to the existing viewers, and we're hoping to grab and attract new viewers," said Diane Robina, the network's new general manager.

_ Times wire reports