Melissa Etheridge in 2008 (Pic: Craig ONeal)

Openly lesbian singer Melissa Etheridge has told Oprah Winfrey that her breakup with her wife of almost nine years was “mutual,” despite rumours that the star cheated on her partner.

In an interview on Winfrey’s talk show on Friday, Etheridge (48) said that the split with actress Tammy Lynn Michaels Etheridge (35) – which she described as “sad” – was “as mutual as those things can be.”

She said that the separation came about because she was dealing with issues around her personal growth. “I’m no good to anyone else unless I’m completely in love with myself and good with myself,” she said.

On her blog, however, Etheridge’s ex later suggested that this might not be the case. Michaels Etheridge wrote that she is the only one who “…won’t spin, won’t lie, won’t act like there was drifting and that’s all.”

The women were one of the most visible lesbian couples in the US and have two children. Michaels Etheridge gave birth to artificially inseminated twins in 2006. Etheridge also has older two children from a previous relationship.

“We want to do all the things that are best to keep our children healthy and secure,” the Grammy winning Etheridge told Winfrey.

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