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Last Updated: Saturday, 26 July, 2003, 08:15 GMT 09:15 UK
Minnelli splits from husband
Liza Minnelli
Minnelli said Gest had helped her lose weight
Singer and actress Liza Minnelli and husband David Gest have separated after 16 months, her spokesman has confirmed.

Their glitzy wedding in New York in March last year was attended by stars including Elizabeth Taylor, Michael Jackson, Janet Leigh, and Mia Farrow.

News of the separation came four months after they cancelled plans for a wedding anniversary party for 1,200 guests in Times Square, citing the war with Iraq and Minnelli - the daughter of Judy Garland - entering rehab.

It was thought 50-year-old producer Gest was staying in Hawaii while 57-year-old Minnelli remained in New York, website Newsday.com reported.

Minnelli's publicist Warren Cowan told Reuters news agency: "I can confirm that they're separated, but that's all I know."

On Friday, the couple had cancelled a joint interview booked for next week on popular CNN talkshow Larry King Live.

Relaunched career

The singer has fought to get over back and hip surgery, viral encephalitis and an addiction to painkillers in recent years.

She relaunched her career after her marriage and said Gest had been a major influence in her losing weight and regaining her health, allowing her to go on tour successfully.

This week, Minnelli and Gest appeared on a candid show fronted by Ruby Wax, which was full of public displays of affection by the couple as they spent time in London, for Gest's 50th birthday.

In July last year, Minnelli agreed to take part in a reality show to be screened on US music channel VH1.

The programme had planned to follow Minnelli and her husband David Gest as they hosted weekly dinner parties with celebrity friends in their Manhattan penthouse.

But it was cancelled after producers said they had not had the access promised, leading Minnelli and Gest to take legal action.

The BBC's Jake Lynch
"The guest list at their wedding read like a who's who of showbiz"

Minnelli performs from hospital
28 May 03  |  Entertainment
Minnelli goes back into rehab
21 Mar 03  |  Entertainment
Minnelli sues over cancelled TV show
18 Dec 02  |  Entertainment
Minnelli 'abuse' case dropped
14 May 02  |  Entertainment
Minnelli's turbulent times
15 Mar 02  |  Entertainment
Lawyers walk out on Minnelli
11 Mar 03  |  Entertainment


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