NEW YORK (Reuters) - Pop star Madonna denied having an affair with Yankee slugger Alex Rodriguez and said in a statement to People magazine on Sunday she is not planning to get divorced from her British husband Guy Ritchie.
Rumors that the London-based couple planned to split have been circulating for months, fueled most recently by reports that she had hired a lawyer to divorce film maker Ritchie.
"My husband and I are not planning on getting a divorce," the singer said in a statement to People.
"I brought my kids to a Yankee game. I am not romantically involved in any way with Alex Rodriguez. I have nothing to do with the state of his marriage or what spiritual path he may choose to study," she said.
People magazine reported on Sunday that Rodriguez's wife, Cynthia, had left the Yankee baseball star over the alleged affair with Madonna, citing sources close to the situation.
The speculation about Madonna's marriage reached a fever pitch in the last two weeks in London, where the Daily Mirror newspaper dedicated two front pages to the plight of the couple's relationship.
Madonna, 49, and Ritchie, 39, married in December 2000 at Skibo Castle in northeast Scotland. They met at a party hosted by ex-Police frontman Sting and his wife Trudie Styler.
Their son, Rocco, was several months old on their wedding day, and in 2006 Madonna applied to adopt David Banda, a boy from Malawi whose mother had died shortly after his birth. The adoption was approved by a Malawian court in May.
Madonna also has a daughter, Lourdes, from an earlier relationship. She was married once before, to Hollywood actor Sean Penn, in the 1980s.
Madonna is one of the most successful rock stars of all time, with global album sales estimated at more than 200 million copies. A multi-Grammy award winner, she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in March.
Ritchie is best known for his movies "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels" (1998) and "Snatch" (2000), but he has come in for critical maulings since then, most notably when he directed Madonna in "Swept Away" (2002).
Madonna brushed off the rumors as media fabrication.
"I have learned over the years not to take accusations and the many false reports about me very seriously," she told People.
"Fiction and fact seem to be perceived as one and the same by people who read both newspapers and the Internet.."
(Writing by Anthony Boadle, editing by Sandra Maler)