Billy and his
third wife, child bride Katie, confirmed the collapse of their union to the New York Daily News through their publicist, who said:
"After nearly 5 years of marriage, Billy and Katie have decided to separate. This decision is the result of much thought and consideration. Billy and Katie remain caring friends, with admiration
and respect for each other."
Billy, who was trying his luck for a third time at this marriage game, is 60 years old. At 27, Katie is barely older than Joel's nearly 24-year-old daughter Alexa Ray.
Why the split? Obviously, the age difference. Billy is a longtime resident of the Hamptons, where he loves to walk the beach, ride his motorcycles and hide his drinking (so we hear). Katie loves
the New York nightlife and wanted the pair to spend more time in the Greenwich Village apartment she convinced Billy to buy for her, living it up Sex and the City style.
"It was really the age difference that caught up with them," says a friend of the couple. "They grew apart. She is very career oriented. She loves going out. She loves the city. When Billy isn't
touring, he'd rather be on Long Island with his motorcycles and boats."
Rumors have swirled for months that Katie was stepping out with 36-year-old fashion designer Yigal Azrouel after the pair was seen attending rounds of parties earlier in the year -- even dirty
dancing together in Miami. But Billy disputes these claims.
"Their decision to separate was absolutely unrelated to Yigal," says Joel's spokeswoman, Claire Mercuri.
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