George Clooney and Elisabetta Canalis Split

UPDATED 06/22/2011 at 12:55 PM EDT Originally published 06/22/2011 at 11:10 AM EDT

George Clooney, Elisabetta Canalis Split
Elisabetta Canalis and George Clooney
George Clooney and Elisabetta Canalis have ended their two-year relationship.

"We are not together anymore. It's very difficult and very personal, and we hope everyone can respect our privacy," Clooney and Canalis said in a joint statement Wednesday.

Added Canalis's publicist: "It is a very personal and sad matter, and Elisabetta wants it to remain that way. She will be taking some time ... and then will face the press. She has not authorized me to say when the split happened."

Spotted enjoying a meal in Italy just last week, the handsome couple made their romance official in September 2009 at the Venice Film Festival. Months later, the Italian star told PEOPLE she was enjoying life in the limelight with Clooney. "Yes, I love it!" she said.

In May, they celebrated the actor's 50th birthday together in L.A.

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