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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Nov 25, 2023



SO MANY SHOWBIZ couples are rumored to have called it quits and go their separate ways: Richard Gutierrez-Sarah Lahbati, Daniel Padilla-Kathryn Bernardo, Kim Chiu-Xian Lim, Janine Gutierrez-Paulo Avelino, Elijah Canlas-Miles Ocampo, Kris Aquino-Mark Leviste.

In the case of Richard and Sarah, it’s rumored that the third party involved is Kazel Kinouochi, who started with PBB but is now playing an importante role as villain to Jillian Ward in the megahit GMA afternoon series, “Abot Kamay na Pangarap”. 

The scuttlebutt begun when Kazel was seen in the company of Richard in a photo with his two sons, Zion and Kai, but minus Sarah.

Netizens quickly confronted her and bashed her, saying they’re disappointed with her as she is a homewrecker.  

One netizen even asked her pointblank if she and Richard are in a relationship and gave her a word of unsolicited advice: 

“Huwag kang pumatol sa may asawa. Huwag mong sirain ang career mo. Maganda ka at magaling na artista. You have a good future ahead of you so you don’t need to get involved in controversial issues para sumikat ka.”

Kazel eventually defended herself in social media. She emphatically said “NO, I’m not in a relationship with Richard Gutierrez. Don’t believe everything that you see on the internet.”

She added later: “All I can say is that time is the ultimate truth teller. The rumor is not true. Grabe naman kayo, ang ganda ko naman at ang haba ng hair ko.”

She said Richard and family are just her neighbors and this is the reason why they have a picture together taken during a party last Halloween in their village. 

“Thank you po for the free publicity, but sad to say that it’s not true. Maawa na po kayo sa akin. Huwag nyo akong pagtsismisan.”

Someone told Kazel that she should still be thankful: ‘At least, pinag-uusapan ka. Biglang nakilala ng mga tao na may artista palang Kazel Kinouchi. Publicity, good or bad, is still publicity.”

But netizens are really bothered about the reported separation of Richard and Sarah. 

They met in 2012 when they were paired in the series “Makapiling Kang Muli”. Sarah was a Starstruck winner.

She’s 18 years old and Richard is 10 years older.

After the show, they went to Switzerland, where Sarah was born and raised. 

It turns out she’s already pregnant and gave birth to Zion on April 29, 2013. 

Kai was born 5 years later and they formally tied the knot as a married couple in March, 2020. 

Showbiz pundits say that there’s probably truth to the rumor that their marriage is kaput. 

“Ang dali-dali namang i-deny kung hindi totoong hiwalay na sila,” says one showbiz old timer. 

“But the fact remains na walang nagsasalita sa kanila, even Richard’s mom, Annabelle Rama, na normally ay nagsalita na kung totoong intact pa rin ang marriage ni Richard with Sarah.”

One netizen wrote directly addressed to the couple: “Richard and Sarah, I hope that whatever problems in your marriage, sana ma-solve nyo pa.

"I love your family and I always enjoy looking at your family pictures and videos. But lately, obvious na may problema kayo because you no longer post your pictures together. 

"Either Richard with the two boys lang, or Sarah with them. I feel so sad. All I can is pray to God to please bless your whole family at sana magkaayos pa kayo.”