Elle Macpherson and Arpad Busson on May 2, 200.
06/24/2005 AT 01:00 PM EDT
Australian supermodel Elle Macpherson and her longtime partner Arpad Busson, "have decided to spend some time apart to consider our future," the couple announced Friday.
Macpherson, 41, and the 42-year-old Swiss financier – who are the parents of two sons, 7-year-old son, Flynn, and, 2-year-old Aurelius Cy Andrea – said no third party was involved in their separation and insisted that they remain "the greatest of friends."
"We have had, and in many ways continue to have, a wonderful relationship, which has produced two beautiful children," they said in a statement.
As PEOPLE has reported, the Sydney, Australia-raised beauty began dating
Busson, known as "Arki," in 1996 and they shared a lavish four-story Georgian house in a leafy London suburb.
Born Eleanor Gow, Macpherson – known as "The Body" – was married previously to photographer Gilles Bensimon, who was 20 years her elder. Macpherson was a bride at age 20, and divorced three years later.