Madonna has issued a statement denying press reports that she is to divorce director husband Guy Ritchie.

Media speculation of the pair's impending separation has increased in recent weeks, with rumours of an affair between the Material Girl and New York Yankees player Alex Rodriguez.

And after People magazine reported that the baseball star's marriage had collapsed due to his relationship with Madonna and interest in her following of the Kabbalah religion, the singer has released a statement dismissing the claims.

"My husband and I are not planning on getting a divorce," she explained.

"I know Alex Rodriguez through Guy Oseary, who manages both of us. I brought my kids to a Yankee game," she added, referring to pictures of her at the legendary stadium.

She continued: "I am not romantically involved in any way with Alex Rodriguez. I have nothing to do with the state of his marriage or what spiritual path he may choose to study.”

Madonna's spokeswoman Liz Rosenberg issued a statement to the magazine last week rubbishing any reports of an imminent split, after tabloids claimed Ritchie had flown to New York in a 'last-ditch' bid to save his seven-year marriage

And Madonna, currently in rehearsals for her 42-date Sticky and Sweet tour, stressed that her fans should be wary of believing everything they read in the media.

"I have learned over the years not to take accusations and the many false reports about me very seriously," she explained.

"I also appreciate how fiction and fact seem to be perceived as one and the same by people who read both newspapers and the internet."

07/07/2008 07:41:09