In Becoming Beyonce, celebrity journalist J. Randy Taraborrelli details how a rumor that Jay Z had an affair with Rihanna forced the rapper and Beyonce to break up for a year.

In an interview with Inside Edition, Rihanna’s former publicist Jonathan Hay comes forward to apologize to the singers.

“It was all a publicity stunt,” Hay says. “I was desperate at the time because I wanted to have a hit record.”

He says he was trying to promote Rihanna’s song “Pon de Replay.”

Hay also released a statement to the New York Daily News.

“I didn’t think it would be this big story,” he says. “But now, seeing Beyonce on the cover of this book and knowing that people are profiting from speculations and opinions about her really turns my stomach. … I’m ashamed that I’m even talking about this. I just want to put this rumor to rest once and for all.”

Hay works as a producer and is releasing music with his label, Urban Hitchcock, through TIDAL, which is owned by Jay Z, Beyonce and other musicians.

“I was blindsided by the news of Becoming Beyonce coming out and it couldn’t come at a worse time for me,” Hay says. “Hopefully this news hasn’t ruined that relationship for me.”