Kanye West and Alexis PhiferKanye West and his fiancée have called off their engagement.

Via a statement to People, the rapper-producer’s fiancée of 18 months, Alexis Phifer, confirmed rumors floating around, and says the couple are still friends.

“It’s always sad when things like this end, and we remain friends,” says Phifer. “I wish him the best in his future and all of his endeavors. He’s one of the most talented people I’ve ever met.”

People reports that Phifer was spotted on the red carpet without her engagement ring at an “Evenings in Vogue” event on Thursday night (April 17) in New York, where she and her clothing line, Ghita, was featured.

“They’d been having problems,” a friend of West’s told the site. “Kanye is really focused on his show; he’s putting everything into the show right now. Alexis is a nice girl, but Kanye has been going through a rough time. They hit a rough patch and for now they’ve split.”

The couple has been off and on since 2002, and reportedly became engaged over dinner during a vacation on the island of Capri in August 2006.