Villaraigosa and girlfriend Lu Parker call it quits
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and television news reporter Lu Parker have broken up, a publicist for Parker said Monday.
“I can confirm that Lu Parker ended her three-year committed relationship with Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa as of May 25,” said Juliette Harris, the owner of It Girl Public Relations, which represents Parker, a former Miss USA who works for KTLA-TV Channel 5.
Parker, 44, had rarely been seen with the mayor in recent weeks. She attended Villaraigosa’s State of the City speech on April 20 and walked the red carpet with him a week later at Britweek, an event celebrating California’s ties with Great Britain. But she did not show up at a June 6 garden party hosted by Villaraigosa at Getty House, the taxpayer-owned mansion in Windsor Square that serves as the mayor’s residence. And it was Villaraigosa Deputy Chief of Staff Matt Szabo, not Parker, who rode with the mayor in West Hollywood’s gay pride parade three days later.
Over the last three weeks, Villaraigosa has repeatedly declined to answer questions from The Times about the status of his relationship with Parker -- calling one reporter an “idiot” for asking. He has also refused to say whether Parker has moved out of Getty House.
On Wednesday, Villaraigosa discussed the breakup five years ago of his marriage to Corina Villaraigosa during an appearance at Loyola Marymount University. But when asked afterward about his relationship with Parker, he said: “My personal life isn’t any of your business any more than yours is mine.”
Parker and Villaraigosa began dating in 2009, two years after the mayor's breakup with Mirthala Salinas, then a television news reporter on Telemundo’s Spanish language KVEA-TV Channel 52.
Villaraigosa was dating Salinas while he was still married to Corina Villaraigosa, mother to two of his four children. She filed for divorce in 2007 and Villaraigosa told the audience at Loyola last week that his handling of the breakup was his "biggest regret" as mayor.
Parker is a special assignment reporter at KTLA, where she has worked since 2005. A former Miss USA and a finalist for the Miss Universe pageant, Parker wrote the book "Catching the Crown: The Source for Pageant Competition."
After her relationship with Villaraigosa began, Parker moved into Getty House, registering to vote there in December 2010, according to county election officials. She was woven into Villaraigosa’s social and professional schedule, joining him at charity receptions and major Hollywood events.
Meanwhile, Parker brought the mayor along to some of her high-profile philanthropic activities, including the launch of the Lu Parker Project, her charity to help homeless animals and at-risk youth.
-- Kate Linthicum and David Zahniser at Los Angeles City Hall
Photo: L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Lu Parker arrive at a music industry gala at the Beverly Hilton last year. Credit: Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times