But then came the leaked footage of the infamous elevator fight between Solange and Jay, and suddenly the small rumors that had been leaking out in recent months—claims of infidelity, the stresses of work, cracks in the family structure—began to seem more and more real. Things have only picked up steam in the last few weeks, as tabloids such as the New York Post and New York Daily News began publishing reports from unnamed sources that indicated Jay and Bey would be filing for divorce following their On The Run Tour, which stretches through Aug. 6 with two select dates in Paris in September.
With so many rumors and such a small amount of real evidence, what can we believe? XXL has compiled a timeline of all the rumors and speculation surrounding the potential end of one of the most high-profile relationships hip-hop has ever seen. Until then, we wait and see.
Apr. 24Even before the Jay Z/Solange fight happened, Roc Nation signee Rita Ora appeared on Power 105's The Breakfast Club, where Charlamagne Tha God—always one to stir things up—asked her about rumors that she had slept with Roc boss Jay Z. “Don’t you dare disrespect Beyoncé like that ever again in your entire life," she said, quelling the speculation. "You should know better than that. That’s just straight up disrespect.”
May 12Video emerges of Jay Z and Solange involved in a fight in an elevator as they are leaving the MET Gala, with Beyonce awkwardly standing to the side. It's the first real crack that's ever come out involving Jay and Bey's marriage, and becomes one of the biggest news stories of the year so far. Speculation about the incident was running rampant, but Jay and Bey moved to settle things down by appearing together and sitting courtside at that night's Brooklyn Nets-Miami Heat NBA Playoff game, acting for all the world as if nothing had happened.
May 13While speculation about what caused the fight runs rampant, Solange apparently deletes every photo except one of her sister from her Instagram. Later that day, the Daily Mail publishes a story with a body language expert who says that Beyonce's lack of reaction in the elevator while her husband and sister are fighting means that she was taking Solange's side in the encounter. The expert, possibly trying to make headlines, said Queen Bey “either agreed with her sister’s point of view or she was completely obsessed with protecting her brand.”
As the tabloids start having a field day with the story, the New York Daily News publishes a report saying that Solange's friends showed up at the MET Gala and began dropping Jay's name trying to get in, which sparked the fight. The paper also implied that some of the issue revolved around Jay's plans to attend Rihanna's after party without Beyonce, leading to rumors that it was Rih Rih who got in between the power couple.
May 14After Solange deleted Beyonce from her Instagram, Bey takes to the social network to post a series of fun and carefree photos of the two sisters together in her first attempt to end the speculation surrounding her personal life. Later that day, in response to a previous story that Jay and Solange had put aside their differences by going jewelry shopping in New York City together, Us Weekly reports that the story was false, and that the two weren't actually at the store in question. And the speculation continues.
May 15After deleting Beyonce from her Instagram account, Solange reposts a series of photos of her with her sister, while Beyonce posts another of the two of them attending Kelly Rowland's wedding—minus Hova—over the weekend. Meanwhile, the tabloid rumor mill rumbles on, with the NYDN reporting that Solange had gotten into an altercation with Dame Dash's ex-wife Rachel Roy at the MET Gala earlier that night, and Us Weekly adding that Solange was upset that Roy was getting "too close" to Jay, and intervened on behalf of Beyonce.
Later in the day, the family releases their only official statement on the video to the Associated Press, attempting to do a little damage control as things keep spiraling out of control. "As a result of the public release of the elevator security footage from Monday, May 5th, there has been a great deal of speculation about what triggered the unfortunate incident," the statement read. "But the most important thing is that our family has worked through it. Jay and Solange each assume their share of responsibility for what has occurred. They both acknowledge their role in this private matter that has played out in the public. They both have apologized to each other and we have moved forward as a united family.”
May 18As things begin to calm down, TMZ catches Jay Z, Beyonce and Solange—amid heavy security—hanging out at a cafe together in New Orleans. Things finally back to normal?
May 24With so much about their personal life up in the air, Jay Z and Beyonce skip out on attending Kanye West's wedding to Kim Kardashian, either to protect their privacy or because, as has been rumored plenty of times before, Bey just can't stand Kim K.
June 9In Touch Weekly runs, then removes, a story claiming that Jay Z's side chick is a hostess named Casey Cohen, and that she is the one causing friction within Hov's marriage. The same day, photos of Jay and Bey leaving the airport together emerge as the couple appears to be operating as if nothing is going on.
June 23An unnamed source tells OK Magazine that Jay and Beyonce are attending marriage counseling three times a week, and that Jigga called a rumored mistress and ended things in front of Beyonce in order to prove that his cheating was over. This one came completely out of nowhere, seemingly.
June 26Jay and Bey officially kick off their joint On The Run tour in Miami, and part of the show includes a section where they show footage from their top-secret wedding in 2008 in an apparent attempt to regain their image as the happiest couple on the planet.
July 2The NYDN hones in on a peculiarity of Beyonce's performances during the early dates of the On The Run Tour, noting that she changed the lyrics to "Resentment" to say, “I know she was attractive, but I was here first/Been riding with you for 12 years/Why did I deserve to be treated this way by you?” While it may be a stretch, the paper runs with it and throws more fuel on the fire that Jay may be cheating and that things are slowly falling apart for the couple.
July 3As she did shortly after the footage of the fight emerged, Beyonce moved quickly to shut down rumors of issues within her marriage by turning to Instagram and posting pictures of her vacation in the Hamptons with her hubby. Wedded bliss was the theme, but was it masking something else?
July 7Solange appears on the cover of Lucky Magazine, and steps lightly around the elevator incident. “What’s important is that my family and I are all good,” she says. “What we had to say collectively was in the statement that we put out, and we all feel at peace with that.” Later that night, during their performance on their joint tour, Jay and Bey share a kiss on stage, again trying to display their unity by letting the public in on their relationship.
July 8Somehow, years after a rumored relationship between Jay Z and Mya cooled off, the singer is tossed back into the rumor mill as a potential reason for the issues within Jay and Bey's marriage. The speculation goes far enough that Mya starts receiving death threats, leading to her manager releasing a statement denying any affair in order to try and cool down crazed fans.
July 21After no news for weeks, the New York Post runs a story crediting an unnamed source that says Jay Z and Beyonce will be separating after the On The Run Tour comes to an end, saying that they're trying to split their earnings from the tour before they go their separate ways. A Daily Mail source even insinuated that Blue Ivy was an attempt to patch things up between the two, and that the duo had stopped wearing their wedding rings.
July 22Continuing her tradition of responding to issues via Instagram, Bey posts an adorable photo of her and Jay swinging Blue Ivy in a portrait of marital bliss that could be captured on a postcard. The tabloids, of course, are undeterred.
July 29In one of the biggest indicators—at least, according to some—that their relationship is over, Beyonce is spotted looking at apartments in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan without Jay Z. Of course, this ultimately means nothing, but it adds much more fuel to the already roaring fire. The same day, Beyonce again takes to Instagram to post a photo of Jay holding Blue Ivy on the beach with the caption, "My favorite hue is JayZ Blue."
July 30Today, the NYDN runs an additional story claiming that the only reason Jay Z and Beyonce are still together at all has to do with the money they are raking in on the On The Run Tour, and that for the past two years their relationship has devolved into a business venture. The tabloid's unnamed source—because of course the source doesn't have a name—claims that the couple will release a statement addressing their relationship towards the end of September, long after the tour comes to an end.
July 31Wedded bliss? After the near-constant rumors, Beyonce turns to her trusty Instagram account once again to post a photo of her and Jay Z in love while on stage during their On The Run Tour stop in Seattle. And the rumor mill keeps spinning...
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Aug. 2Page Six reports that not only are Bey and Jay no longer sleeping in the same room, they're also staying in different hotels while out on their On The Run Tour. According to sources, an emergency meeting was called over the weekend with Live Nation and HBO execs all trying to make sure the couple can stay together until the tour ends in September. Lawyers! Cancellation rumors! Scandal!
Aug. 3In her continuing quest to try and make the Solange-Jay fight into something trivial that doesn't matter, Beyonce drops the remix to "Flawless" featuring a verse from Nicki Minaj, and addresses the famed elevator incident head-on. "We escalate, up in this bitch like elevators/Of course sometimes shit go down/When it's a billion dollars on an elevator," she spits. Okay then.
Aug. 6These lawyer rumors are really picking up steam, as Yahoo! reports that Beyonce has been meeting with her attorneys to attempt to feel out the financial and legal situation that would arise should she and Jay seek a divorce. Maybe nothing outside of just rumors, but they've been flying thick and fast in the past two weeks now.
Previously: Beyonce Uses Instagram Again To End Divorce Rumors With Jay Z
Beyoncé Looks For A New Place Without Jay Z
Is Beyonce And Jay Z’s Relationship Really On The Rocks?
What’s Wrong With Perfection? Charlamagne Tha God Defends Jay Z And Beyonce’s On The Run Tour