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Jo Koy Says He's 'Single' After Chelsea Handler Breakup: 'Our Split Was Beautiful' (Exclusive)

The couple went public with their relationship in September 2021

Jon Kopaloff/Getty; Frazer Harrison/Getty Chelsea Handler, Jo Koy
Jon Kopaloff/Getty; Frazer Harrison/Getty Chelsea Handler, Jo Koy

Jo Koy is giving an update on his love life after he and Chelsea Handler split last year.

"[I'm] single. Yes, yes, yes," Koy, 51, told PEOPLE of his relationship status at the She Ready Foundation's 1st annual Prom Gala — A Night Under the Stars.

"And our split was beautiful. It really was," the comic added.

Stefanie Keenan/Getty
Stefanie Keenan/Getty

Related:Chelsea Handler and Jo Koy's Friends Are 'Hoping They Can Still Work It Out' After Couple Split

In July 2022, Handler, 48, shared on Instagram that she and Koy had split. Posting a video that they intended to share on their one-year anniversary, Handler wrote, "It is with a heavy heart to announce that we have decided together that it is best for us to take a break from our relationship right now."

"Because of him, my life experience has changed forever," she wrote, in part. "To be loved and adored by @jokoy has been one of the greatest gifts of my life. He renewed my faith in men, in love, in being 100% who I am, and I've never been more optimistic for the future."

"You blew my creativity open, my lust for working hard again, being on the road again, and you reminded me who I was and always have been, and my feet have never been more firmly planted in the ground," Handler also shared. "This is not an ending. It's another beginning, and it's a comfort to know that I am still loved and love this man the way the sun loves the moon and the moon loves the sun. YOUR PERSON IS COMING."

As for Koy, he used his own announcement post to share that they "will always remain great friends and will always have love for one another," even after their breakup.

"I'm her biggest fan and I can't wait for you all to see what she has in store for the future," he added. "Keep killing it, Chelsea! Mahal kita!"

A source later told PEOPLE that those close to the pair hoped the break would be temporary. "Their friends are hoping they can still work it out. But if anything, it's clear their relationship has changed them both for the better," the source said.

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Amy Sussman/Getty
Amy Sussman/Getty

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The pair were first introduced by a mutual friend almost 20 years ago before Koy went on to make regular appearances during Handler's former E! show, Chelsea Lately. They went public with their relationship in September 2021.

While it's been nearly a year since they made the decision to call it off, Handler has continued to be candid about their relationship, opening up about it on an episode of Brooke Shields' Now What? podcast in December.

As Handler explained, her "last relationship" was an example of a "seminal" or "now what" moment in her life.

"I really believed that this was my guy. I thought, 'Oh, my God, I won.' Like I got everything. I have my career, I have respect, I have my family, I have so many friends, I have all of these things. And then I thought this was gonna be the person I spend my life with," she said.

"I'm not that hard up to get married, but I was open to the idea of it, and we definitely discussed it at length because it was important to him," she elaborated. "And then, towards the end of the relationship, it just became clear that this was not my person."

Ultimately, Handler said there were "some behaviors that we couldn't agree on."

"It felt to me like I would have to abandon myself, which maybe I would have been okay to do if I were 20 or 25, but I wasn't willing to do that. No matter how much I loved this person — and I loved him so much — I was not going to abandon myself," Handler told Shields.

"I am not going to change the way that I behave in order to make you feel more comfortable. I'm not doing that, and I had to walk away from something that I really believed was gonna be a forever relationship," Handler added. "So that was difficult."

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