Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver Separate
updated 05/10/2011 AT 09:45 AM EDT
•originally published 05/10/2011 AT 12:45 AM EDT
“This has been a time of great personal and professional transition for each of us," they say. "After a great deal of thought, reflection, discussion, and prayer, we came to this decision together.
"At this time, we are living apart, while we work on the future of our relationship," they continue. "We are continuing to parent our four children together. They are the light and the center of both of our lives. "
Shriver, 55, a TV journalist and member of the Kennedy dynasty, and Schwarzenegger, 63, the Austrian-born bodybuilder/action movie hero who became a Republican California governor, have seemed like an unlikely couple since they married in 1986.
They had four children, ages 14, 18, 20 and 21, and long projected the image of a close and loving couple, despite – and sometimes even because of – their differences. During a 2003 political campaign, Shriver strongly defended her husband against allegations he had a history of groping women while he was an actor, and Schwarzenegger went on to become governor.
Schwarzenegger left the governor's office last January after an increasingly difficult term, and there have been reports he'll re-start his movie career, including a role in another Terminator film.