Alex Rodriguez Denies The Centaur Painting Rumor

Alex Rodriguez at a recent party
Gabe Ginsberg / Getty Images

Alex Rodriguez has undergone a startling transformation in the last few years. The man who is now a respected entrepreneur and the soon-to-be-husband of Jennifer Lopez was, not too long ago, a disgraced, much-reviled baseball player, who was caught multiple times using performance-enhancing drugs, leading to the longest drug suspension in baseball history. He was also much-hated by fans of the New York Yankees, who reviled him as a postseason choker even after he led the team to a World Series championship in 2009.

Rodriguez’s days as a pariah also led to him being romantically linked to a variety of famous people, including Cameron Diaz and Madonna. And there was also a delightfully hilarious rumor about Rodriguez: In one of his residences, he had a painting on the wall of Rodriguez as a centaur, the mythical creature that was half-man, half-horse.

It’s not true, says Rodriguez.

In a new interview with The New York Times, in which Rodriguez looks back with regret on some aspects of his baseball career and the controversies involved with it, he’s asked about the centaur rumor.

“100 percent not true,” Rodriguez says. “I wish it was true because it’s such a cool story.”

The source of the centaur story, per a story from New York Magazine’s The Cut last year, is that in 2009, Us Weekly received an emailed tip from a friend of an editorial assistant at the magazine who had had a fling with Rodriguez and had observed two of the centaur paintings in the former Yankees’ apartment, one of which hung over his bed. The story was seen as in line with Rodriguez’s then-image as a vain narcissist.

The sourcing was somewhat thin, and no photo was procured of the alleged painting nor did anyone ever come forward claiming to have participated in the creation or the sale of the supposed work of art. But Us Weekly ran with the story anyway.

Rodriguez denied the story in 2012.

“I do not have a painting of my upper body as a minotaur”

However, The Cut noted that he was using the present tense, meaning he may have had one in the past. Also, Rodriguez has denied things before, starting with the reports about his use of performance-enhancing drugs and later admitting that they were true.

The centaur myth has persevered. Screwball, a recently released documentary about the Biogenesis scandal, in which Rodriguez was implicated, uses a gimmick in which certain scenes are re-enacted, with children playing the parts. In one scene in which the Rodriguez character is included, the centaur painting can be seen behind him.