Pop star Beyoncé Knowles and her rapper husband Jay Z are reported to be staying in separate hotels as they struggle to keep their marriage going through their lucrative tour.
Lawyers are understood to have joined the couple on their sell-out On the Run Tour, which is due to bring them a paycheck of around $100 million (£74 million), amid fears that it may have to be cancelled because husband and wife are at loggerheads.
Rumours have circulated about the troubled state of their six-year marriage since an episode earlier this year in which Beyoncés’ sister, Solange, was captured on CCTV attacking Jay Z, 44, whose real is name Shawn Carter, inside a hotel elevator.
At the end of last week, the couple, who have a two-year-old daughter, Blue Ivy, are said to have met with their respective lawyers – two apiece – to thrash out a statement addressing the whispers, but could not agree what it would say.
The show is moving on from Los Angeles to San Francisco, where they are due to perform on Monday evening.
A source told the New York Post that both now feared they would break up before the tour’s finale in Paris next month
The source said: “This may not make it to San Francisco. I’m definitely not sure that they’ll make it to Paris.
“There are lawyers that have now joined the tour, and they’re not here just to see them perform. They are here to help hash things out.
“They’re not just staying in different hotel rooms, but they have booked separate hotels, and they arrive separately to each show.”
Last week, Beyoncé, 32, was spotted viewing an apartment in Manhattan’s trendy Chelsea district, sparking speculation that she was planning a life away from the couple’s family home in nearby TriBeCa.
No inkling of the reported tensions between the pair has been allowed to show on stage. As recently as Wednesday, Jay Z was said to have “snuggled” his wife during a concert in Seattle.
Offstage, however, the media briefing war has become furious, with “friends of Beyoncé” telling the Post that Jay Z’s “controlling nature” had poisoned the marriage.
The rapper has an estimated wealth of $550 million (£410 million) while his wife is said to be worth about $300 (£223 million).
“From what I know, there’s no prenup,” the Post’s source said, adding that Jay Z was eager to ensure that he did not emerge from the split in a bad light.
“They’ve had discussions lately about the inevitable sit-down interview when they finally do split, and Jay’s been adamant that he doesn’t want Beyoncé sitting down with Barbara Walters or Oprah Winfrey pretending to be the victim,” the source said.
Meanwhile, Beyoncé has issued a remix of her hit single Flawless, including lyrics referring to the footage of her sister’s violent attack on Jay Z, which took place as she looked on. Solange Knowles was said to have felt he had become too close to another woman.
During a rapped verse, Beyoncé says: “We escalate, up in this b—- like elevators,”
“Of course sometimes s— goes down when there’s a billion dollars on an elevator.”
The couple’s spats are thought to have been captured by cameras from the television channel HBO, which is planning a special programme on its behind-the-scenes access to the tour in mid-September.