They released a statement this weekend, claiming the split was amicable and blaming their busy work schedules. “They love each other very much, but with the distance and work schedule it has been hard to maintain the relationship,” his rep told PEOPLE.
Many football fans immediately noticed the poor timing, however.
The split was confirmed the weekend Michael was entered into the NFL Hall of Fame. Moreover, he was receiving his Hall of Fame yellow blazer (shared on Instagram, above) at the exact moment the news broke.
However, the LIVE! with Kelly and Michael co-host reportedly had no idea the news would be timed to overshadow his achievements.
In fact, sources close to Nicole tell TMZ.com she may have maliciously timed the announcement to steal his thunder.
Michael Strahan had no idea his split from NIcole Murphy would be announced at the EXACT moment he was entering the NFL Hall of Fame … and friends think Nicole or someone close to her was trying to ruin the biggest moment of his career.
Sources close to the former couple tell TMZ Sports the break up has been a long time coming … Michael and Nicole had actually broken off their engagement several weeks ago. But we’re told there was no plan — certainly not on Michael’s side — to announce it before his induction into the Hall of Fame this weekend.
As it turned out, Michael was right in the middle of receiving his official HOF yellow blazer when the story came out … according to our sources.
We’re told several people close to Michael think the timing was extremely suspect.
As for whether it upset Strahan’s HOF festivities — we’re told he celebrated his induction deep into Sunday morning … and he opened his speech by saying, “This has been the best weekend of my life.” [via TMZ]
The last photos of Nicole and Michael together on her Instagram are dated early May.