Just a month after Ellen DeGeneres
and Anne Heche
announced their break-up, another high profile lesbian couple are going their separate ways. The 12-year romance between rocker Melissa Etheridge
and director/girlfriend Julie Cypher
has fizzled. "With the utmost love and respect for one another, we have decided to separate," the couple announced in a statement released by Etheridge's label, Island Records. No word yet on who gets custody of the couple's three-year-old daughter, Baily Jean
, and one-year-old son, Beckett
(Cypher conceived both children through artificial insemination with the sperm of rocker David Crosby
). "As committed parents, our top priority continues to be what is in the best interest of our children," adds the couple. "Though elements of our lives will change, our family will always remain intact."