Melissa Etheridge Splits From Girlfriend

It’s been a bad year for lesbian love.

Rocker Melissa Etheridge and her girlfriend, director Julie Cypher, announced today they were ending their relationship after 12 years. The couple has two small children together.

“With the utmost of love and respect for one another, we have decided to separate,” the couple announced in a statement released by Etheridge’s label, Island Records.

Kids Are ‘Top Priority’

“As committed parents, our top priority continues to be what is in the best interest of our children. Though elements of our lives will change, our family will always remain intact.”

Etheridge and Cypher were one of Hollywood’s most famous lesbian couples, after Ellen DeGeneres and Ann Heche, who announced their breakup last month.

Cypher gave birth to the couple’s 3-year-old daughter and 1-year-old son. In January, they revealed to Rolling Stone magazine that rock legend David Crosby was the children’s biological father, donating the sperm so the couple could conceive through artificial insemination.

Etheridge’s publicist, Sheila Richman, told The Associated Press the couple would not discuss custody issues or any other details of the split.