Mayor denies he and his wife have separated

From a Times Staff Writer

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa denied Thursday a recent report on a local blog that said his marriage to Corina Villaraigosa was "kaput" and that he and his wife had separated.

The report, which first appeared on lukeford.net, was "absolutely not true," Villaraigosa said. "We are not separated."

Although the mayor declined to discuss his marriage in detail, he conceded that there had been strains. He and his wife have been married since 1987 and weathered a lengthy separation after it was revealed that he had had an affair.

"In a 20-year marriage, there are many ups and downs," Villaraigosa said during an interview Thursday evening at Getty House, the mayor's official residence in Windsor Square. His wife was not home at the time. He added that "the strains of a job that I put everything into ... can add to that."

Still, Villaraigosa emphasized that he and his family remain together. "All of us are living here," he said.

Others close to the mayor said they have been to Getty House in recent weeks and confirmed that his wife was there. And though the two rarely appear in public together, Villaraigosa said they did give some joint interviews in December.

Rumors about the marriage appear to have been fueled by the fact that he has not worn his wedding ring recently, an observation cited in the blog item. Aides said Villaraigosa, who has lost weight, stopped wearing the ring because it was slipping off. On Thursday, he was wearing it.

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