Liza Minnelli and David Gest: Sang Tan/AP Photo
Gary Susman
July 28, 2003 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The doubters said it wouldn’t last — and they were right. Liza Minnelli and fourth husband David Gest confirmed their separation this weekend, 16 months after their lavish, all-star wedding. ”David has moved to Hawaii. Liza is living in New York,” Minnelli’s friend, publicist Liz Rosenberg, told the New York Post.

Producer Gest, 50, met Minnelli, 57, when he booked her to sing at Michael Jackson’s Madison Square Garden galas in 2001. They married six months later in New York, in a huge ceremony with hundreds of celebrity guests, including Jackson as the best man and Elizabeth Taylor as the matron of honor. The singer-actress credited her new husband with driving her to slim down and go on a brief, successful tour.

But there had long been signs of trouble, notably, the VH1 reality series that was supposed to feature musical dinner parties held at the couple’s Manhattan apartment. The series failed to materialize, and VH1 and the Gests sued each other over who was to blame. Also canceled was a first-anniversary party in Times Square (the couple blamed the looming Iraq war), and most recently, a joint appearance last week on CNN’s ”Larry King Live.”

New York Post gossip columnist Cindy Adams, a longtime friend of Minnelli’s and a bridesmaid at the wedding, blamed the split on a number of factors. ”The man’s a control freak,” she wrote in her column on Sunday, saying Gest had monitored Minnelli’s diet and cut off access to her old friends. For her part, Minnelli befriended a woman named Sarah during a March stay in a rehab clinic, and ”in came Sarah, out went David,” Adams wrote.

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