R&B singer Ginuwine, the Prince George’s County-native whose hits “Pony” and “So Anxious” dominated senior prom playlists from 1996 to 1999, has split from rapper Solé, his wife of more than a decade.
News of the soul singer’s impending divorce first broke Monday when the New York Daily News reported that Ginuwine’s lawyer, Bruce Beckner, referenced the divorce during a pretrial hearing in an unrelated lawsuit against the performer. The executive producer of Ginuwine’s debut album, Robert Reives, is seeking $250,000 in what he says are back royalties from the soul singer’s five-album deal with Sony.
“Mr. Lumpkin is very close to declaring bankruptcy,” said Beckner in court, using his client’s given name, Elgin Lumpkin. “He owes my firm a ton of money and a bunch of other people a ton of money. He owes Uncle Sam 300-odd thousand dollars in back income taxes.” Beckner, according to the Daily News, penned the money woes to Ginuwine’s recent divorce.
“All I know is what I told the court,” Beckner, who is based in Washington, told us when we asked about the status of Ginuwine’s marriage. “I do not know any of the specifics,” he said before emphasizing, “I do not represent Ginuwine in any domestic proceedings.”
Gossip outlets immediately took the news as fact, referring to it as a “quiet divorce” since the musical pair hadn’t mentioned the split publicly at all. Soon, though, the online chatter got so loud (and wrong), that Ginuwine addressed the rumors via Instagram, the social media tool that allows celebrities to churn out immediate public statements with the press of a button.
“We are NOT yet divorced, but we ARE currently separated and working towards coming to our own agreement, without lawyers, to amicably and fairly divorce,” wrote Ginuwine in the caption of a somewhat incongruous inspirational quote (“Quitting is just NOT an option”) on Tuesday. He went on to explain that rumors that Solé (real name Tonya Lumpkin) had left the singer broke were untrue. He blamed the split on his “poor choices and actions over many years.”
By all accounts the Lumpkins led an ordinary life in a six-bedroom 5,000 square foot home in Brandywine, Md. The pair, who married in 2003, have two daughters together, Story, 13, and Dream, 12. Ginuwine chauffeured the girls to ballet lessons, showed up at parent-teacher conferences and in church on Sundays. Solé, whose one and only album was released in 1999, is a vegan yoga-enthusiast. A source described the family as “one hundred percent normal.”
According to property records, the Prince George’s estate is still Ginuwine’s primary residence. As of May, Sole’s current resident is a home in Bowie, some 25 miles away.
“They’re really good people,” continued the source, “it’s sad they’re not working out.”
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