On her way to becoming TV's uncrowned Queen of the Miniseries, English actress Jane Seymour has played Maria Callas, the Duchess of Windsor and Lady Brett Ashley. Now her own life, the very picture of domestic serenity for the last decade, seems to be displaying all the ingredients needed for a dolorous sweeps-week miniseries in its own right. The only question is whether to call it Breakup, as Fleet Street does, or Trial Separation, the title Seymour's publicist prefers.

Whatever the terminology, the romance—and remember, Seymour is the author of the popular 1986 how-to book Jane Seymour's Guide to Romantic Living-stems to have gone out of her 10-year marriage (her third) to business manager-turned-real estate developer David Flynn, 41. Seymour, 40, is living in the couple's Santa Barbara, Calif., home with their two children (daughter Katie. 9, and son Sean, 5), while Flynn is living alone nearby.

The two did, however, show up together with their children (and Jenni, 12, Flynn's daughter from an earlier marriage) at a benefit screening of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze on March 17. As Seymours spokesman put it, "The fact that they're separated doesn't mean that they have to stop being civilized."

As is their wont, the British tabloids are being much less so. The Sun reported that the breakup had been caused by Flynn's "terrible addiction to booze" and said that Seymour was "devastated" by the split. The newspaper also quoted Seymour's sister Anne Gould as saying that it wasn't so much Flynn's drinking that was the problem, "but more the way it was changing him." Anne now says that she is outraged by the Sun story and that she loves Jane dearly, adding, "The British tabloids have leaped at this opportunity to tear Jane limb from limb."

A California friend of the couple says that David indeed had a drinking problem a couple of years ago but that, with Jane's support, he started attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and was able to go on the wagon. "I think they just needed some time away from each other," the friend says, noting that neither is seeing anyone else.