Just friends? Candid snaps catch Lorde at beach

Lorde has been snapped enjoying a day out at a popular Auckland beach. Photo/Jason Oxenham
Lorde has been snapped enjoying a day out at a popular Auckland beach. Photo/Jason Oxenham

They're seen jumping in the surf, frolicking in the sand and lying next to each other on towels.

But Lorde, real name Ella Yelich-O'Connor, 19, and Universal Music promotions director Justin Warren still say they're just good friends.

Woman's Day has published candid snaps of the two enjoying a day at Auckland's popular Piha Beach, smiling, laughing and jumping in waves together.

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The magazine reports they were "play-fighting" in the surf before "settling in for some serious sun worship" and a picnic lunch.

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It comes a week after the magazine snapped Lorde and Warren on a "date", reporting they enjoyed a "cosy" breakfast in Herne Bay near where Lorde owns a $2.8 million home.

The pair were also spotted together at the Laneway Music Festival, taking in performances including rapper Vince Staples.

Universal offered a strict "no comment" when approached about the new photos today.

Last week, Warren released a statement rubbishing romance rumours. They were just good friends, he said.

"Ella and I have worked together for years and we're good friends. Any rumours of us being 'a pair' are ridiculous. Ella has a really busy year ahead of her and we'll be spending more time together as plans for the next Lorde record unfold," the statement said.

But the new beach snaps are reminiscent of the time Lorde was controversially photographed at the beach in 2014 with her then-boyfriend James Lowe, with Woman's Day publishing snaps of the pair frolicking in the sea, hugging, and enjoying the view from a lighthouse.

At the time the photos were called "intrusive" by broadcaster Alison Mau.

"Do we as Kiwis want New Zealand to be a place where Lorde can come home to, and feel safe, and enjoy her privacy? I very passionately do," Mau said.

At the time, Woman's Day defended the photos.

"Lorde is an extraordinary talent that all Kiwis should be proud of. Naturally people are interested in her life," said Paul Dykzeul, chief executive of Woman's Day's publisher Bauer Media.

Lorde is believed to have split from Lowe late last year.

It's believed she's now in Los Angeles for today's Grammys ceremony.

- nzherald.co.nz

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