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Brittany Murphy, Fiancé End Engagement

08/22/2006 at 07:55 AM EDT

Brittany Murphy, Fiancé End Engagement
Murphy and Macaluso in July
Alex Berliner/Berliner Studio/BEImages
Brittany Murphy and Joe Macaluso, engaged since last New Year's Eve, have broken off their engagement, PEOPLE has learned exclusively.

The two "have amicably ended their engagement. They remain close friends and wish each other much happiness," a rep for Murphy tells PEOPLE.

Last Sunday, Murphy showed up at the Teen Choice Awards without her engagement ring. Asked about her wedding plans in the press room, the actress became evasive before saying, "Everything is going wonderful, thank you. I'm just living every moment, you know, enjoying my day."

Murphy, 28, who had met Macaluso – who is a best boy grip – while filming Little Black Book. After that film wrapped production, she asked him to the movies for their first date.

The couple went on 17 dates before they shared their first kiss. They became engaged on Dec. 31, 2005.

"It felt right," the actress told PEOPLE in January. "I love being in love."

It was the second engagement for Murphy, who was previously set to marry manager Jeff Kwatinetz.

Murphy, who's appeared in 2002's 8 Mile with Eminem and this year's The Groomsmen with Edward Burns, is currently filming Tinker Bell, an animated film in which she costars with Kristin Chenoweth.

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