Backstreet Boys' AJ McLean and wife Rochelle split after 11 years of marriage to 'work on ourselves'


AJ, 45, and Rochelle, 41, a makeup artist and hairstylist, had been working as a waitress when they met in 2008. Photo: AJ McLean/Instagram

After 11 years of marriage, AJ McLean of the Backstreet Boys and Rochelle Deanna McLean have mutually decided to separate, according to reports.

"Marriage is hard, but worth it," the pair said in a joint statement, according to TMZ, which was first to report the news. "We have mutually decided to separate temporarily to work on ourselves, and on our marriage with the hope of building a stronger future."

The couple said they plan 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," they added. "Separation is hard enough without the commentary, please be kind and remember there are children involved."

AJ, 45, and Rochelle, 41, a makeup artist and hairstylist, had been working as a waitress when they met in 2008.

They married in 2011 in a Gothic-themed wedding at the Beverly Hills Hotel. AJ had proposed to Rochelle the year before while celebrating his 32nd birthday, taking a knee onstage at a nightclub in Las Vegas.

The pair have two daughters together, Elliot, 10 and Lyric, who recently celebrated turning six.

AJ credited his wife for her support while struggling with substance use. He had been in and out of treatment since 2001 before getting sober in 2021.

"(Rochelle) was at her wit's end with me," McLean told People in 2020.

"She had thrown out leaving and taking the girls, but my ego always told me, 'She's not going anywhere,'" he said. "If I were her, I would have left, but she's always been able to see through the BS to who I really am."

McLean has been on the road for the majority of past year for the Backstreet Boys' DNA World Tour.

The boy band recently wrapped performances in Hong Kong and are on break until late April, kicking off another leg of the tour in Iceland, then setting off to countries such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, India and South Africa. – Los Angeles Times/Tribune News Service

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