Julie Jordan and Mark Gray
12/04/2006 at 10:25 PM EST
Lance Bass and Reichen Lehmkuhl have split, but the pair are attempting to
work out their relationship, they tell PEOPLE in an exclusive statement.
"We remain the best of friends," they say. "Please respect our privacy as we
try to work things out during this difficult time."
Earlier Monday, Bass's spokesperson confirmed that they had ended their relationship.
Recent speculation that the pair had broken up began after Bass was spotted without Lehmkuhl at a party on Friday at Pure Nightclub in Las Vegas.
Bass, 27, first revealed his relationship with Lehmkuhl, 32, when he admitted he was gay
on the cover of PEOPLE in July. "I'm more liberated and happy than I’ve been my whole life," Bass said at the time. "I'm just happy."
In July, the former 'N Sync star said that he and Lehmkuhl had been dating for a few months, and that the two were friends first. "Actually, it's funny, he was my real estate agent," Bass told PEOPLE.
Lehmkuhl, a model-actor-Amazing Race
winner, was equally enthusiastic – and supportive of Bass's decision to come out and publicly discuss their relationship. "I'm just really proud of Lance and the decision he made," he told PEOPLE. "He did it all on his own and I just stood by and supported him. It's just been great."
Despite rumors that the couple were having problems, Bass told PEOPLE in August, "We are very happy."
During their relationship, the two made many public appearances together, including red-carpet events and Lehmkuhl's book release
party for his memoir Here's What We'll Say: Growing Up, Coming Out, and the U.S. Air Force Academy,
in which he writes about his experience of being gay in the military. "I was the first one to read it," Bass told PEOPLE last month.
Bass is developing an Odd Couple
-inspired sitcom pilot with former 'N Sync-er Joey Fatone in which his character will be gay and has a role in the upcoming comedy I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry.