California: Rihanna's former publicist has apologised for starting gossip about the r&b star's alleged affair with her married label boss Jay Z.

Jonathan Hay has reportedly told the New York Daily News he started the rumours out of desperation to get press for Rihanna's single Pon de Replay. His apology comes a day after biographer J. Randy Taraborrelli told news show Entertainment Tonight he had researched the alleged affair thoroughly while writing his new book Becoming Beyonce: The Untold Story, and was convinced the fling was fiction.

The writer told ET he had discovered Rihanna's publicist was behind the gossip, and on Friday (23Oct15), Hay revealed he was the man behind the story. Telling the Daily News he had already apologised to Jay Z's wife Beyonce, he said, "I was blindsided by the news of Becoming Beyonce coming out and it couldn't come at a worse time for me. I'm currently releasing projects with my label, Urban Hitchcock, through Tidal, a company that is owned by Jay Z and Beyonce.–CMU

Hopefully this news hasn't ruined that relationship for me.

"The PR stunt that I did was out of desperation to help break Pon de Replay. It was reckless and I didn't think it was going to work. I was just throwing spaghetti at the wall to see what would stick." "I didn't think it would be this big story," Hay added, "but seeing Beyonce on the cover of this book and knowing that people are profiting from speculations and opinions about her really turns my stomach. I'm ashamed that I'm even talking about this. I just want to put this rumour to rest once and for all."