Today's Jill Martin and Fiancé Erik Brooks Split: Pandemic 'Has Taken a Toll' on Long-Distance Romance

Today contributor Jill Martin got engaged to Erik Brooks, a managing partner at a private equity firm, in May 2019

Jill Martin/Instagram
Jill Martin and Erik Brooks. Photo: Jill Martin/Instagram

Today show contributor Jill Martin and her fiancé Erik Brooks are going their separate ways.

In a statement, obtained by PEOPLE, Martin, 44, said the coronavirus pandemic "has taken a toll on so many aspects of life" — including the couple's long-distance relationship.

"It's such a difficult time for everyone. Erik is the most magnificent person, but with him living in Boston with his children, and me living in New York, the distance just became too difficult for us to maintain the kind of relationship that’s important to us both," the television personality said. "He is an amazing man, and I wish him nothing but the best.”

Page Six was the first to report the split.

Martin got engaged to Brooks, a managing partner at a private equity firm, over Memorial Day weekend in 2019 after two years of dating. She confirmed the happy news on Today shortly after, adding that Brooks popped the question during a trip to the Hamptons.

"[Erik] told me we were going to a friend's house for a casual kick-off to summer party … (he even sent me a paperless post with the fake invite). I kinda knew something was fishy but couldn’t put my finger on it!” she said.

Once the couple arrived at the beach, Brooks took Martin to a seaside tent decorated with romantic mementos. “When I looked in the tent there were pics of us from the last year and 8 months framed everywhere … candles … flowers … all our favorite songs on a playlist,” Martin continued.

After the proposal, the couple got to enjoy a private moment together before Martin’s closest friends and family came out to surprise her. “I SAID YES! I am over the moon ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️,” Martin wrote in an Instagram post.

Jill Martin
Jill Martin

In July, Martin opened up during the 3rd Hour of Today about the struggle in becoming a stepmom to Brooks' three children from a previous marriage — citing a moment when Brooks' daughter Bella, who was 11 at the time, was not thrilled that Martin was accompanying them on a family vacation.

“I get there and I unpack my things in the closet,” Martin explained during the segment. “I went for lunch; I get back (and) by the door is my suitcase with everything beautifully packed — and she packed my stuff and was like, ‘See ya!' ”

I was so upset, I was hysterical crying," Martin recalled. "And Erik said to her, ‘How could you do this?’ He said, ‘Don’t you want me to be happy?’ And she said, ‘Don’t you want me to be happy?'”

However, Martin said that her relationship with Bella has since improved. “We’re the best of friends now. We really talk through it now…she’s awesome. She’s so cool.”

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