AJ McLean and Wife Rochelle Announce They've "Mutually Decided to Separate Temporarily"

AJ McLean and his wife, Rochelle DeAnna McLean, are hitting the brakes on their marriage. On Monday, the couple revealed exclusively to TMZ that they’ve decided to take a break from their relationship, though they’re not divorcing.

“Marriage is hard, but worth it. We have mutually decided to separate temporarily to work on ourselves and on our marriage with the hope of building a stronger future,” the pair told the outlet in a joint statement. “The plan is to come back together and continue to nurture our love for one another, and our family. We ask for respect and privacy at this time. Separation is hard enough without the commentary, please be kind and remember there are children involved.” Reps for AJ did not immediately respond to POPSUGAR’s request for comment.

AJ, 45, and Rochelle first began dating in early 2009. The Backstreet Boy proposed to the hairstylist almost a year later and they tied the knot in December 2011. The duo have two kids together, 10-year-old Elliott and 6-year-old Lyric. Back in September, AJ spoke to POPSUGAR about his daughter’s decision to change her name to Elliott, saying that the new name isn’t a “sexual or transgender thing” for her. He explained, “I didn’t really understand where it was coming from. I literally had just come home from the studio and I was just like, ‘Wait, what is happening?’ . . . And she sat me down and she got really emotional, because she thought I was going to have a problem with it. And I said, ‘No, baby, not at all. I just want to know why. Just tell your dad why.'”

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