Los Baños, Laguna councilor and former beauty queen Leren Mae Bautista denied any “romantic involvement” with basketball player Ricci Rivero amid his recent breakup with actress Andrea Brillantes.
In an official statement on Monday, June 12, the beauty queen-turned-politician addressed speculations that have been making rounds on social media regarding her relationship with Ricci.
“We would like to address the disinformation that has been circulating across social media platforms regarding Councilor Leren and her alleged romantic involvement with basketball player Ricci Rivero. We want to make it clear that these claims are entirely false and have no basis in reality,” Leren said in a statement.
“Councilor Leren Mae Bautista has dedicated herself to serving the community of Los Baños with utmost sincerity and integrity. Her commitment to public service has been shaped by the support and trust of the people she represents,” she continued.
“The recent outreach activity in which Councilor Leren participated with Ricci Rivero is not an indication of a romantic relationship between them,” the councilor noted.
The media release clarified that the event was organized as part of the councilor’s “ongoing efforts to serve the people and contribute to the welfare of her community”.
“The video that went viral, depicting Ricci’s belated celebration with his friends, whom numerous other invited individuals joined, was taken down due to concerns about potential misinterpretation by viewers,” she clarified on the now-deleted videos showing her and Ricci’s interactions in Laguna.
The councilor ended the press release by encouraging people to “refrain from creating malicious and insinuating comments on social media” and to “understand the importance of fact-checking information shared across various internet platforms”.
Rumors were sparked as netizens speculated on the reason behind Andrea and Ricci’s split after the athlete reposted an Instagram story of Leren. The now-deleted Instagram story showed a photo of him, with his Instagram account tagged, which he deleted shortly after.
Speculations about the ex-couple’s split surfaced after fans noticed their absence on each other’s social media, with the basketball player not receiving a birthday greeting from the actress last May 25.
The following day, Leren, on the other hand, posted photos of Ricci celebrating his birthday through an outreach program in Los Banos, Laguna, where she serves as its councilor.
Ricci was then accused of cheating on Andrea after being spotted with Leren.
He later hinted about his split with Andrea, asking the public to “please allow ourselves to heal and move on peacefully without hate and pain”.
The cager also apologized for the disappointment the split might have caused the fans and pleaded not to drag others into “these false accusations”.
Ricci and Andrea’s split came a year after making their relationship official in April 2022 when he asked the actress to be his girlfriend in public, after winning his UAAP basketball match.