Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver have separated after 25 years of marriage, the Los Angeles Times reported this evening.
They announced it in a statement to the paper, saying, “This has been a time of great personal and professional transition for each of us. 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.
“We are continuing to parent our four children together. They are the light and the center of both of our lives. We consider this a private matter and neither we nor any of our friends or family will have further comment. We ask for compassion and respect from the media and the public.”
Their separation comes as a surprise, especially since Schwarzenegger’s return to acting was expected to give him more time with his family after his 7 years as governor. Shriver gave up a career as an NBC News correspondent when he took office, and was reportedly reluctant of his decision to pursue the governorship.
Schwarzenegger recently announnced several acting projects, including a return as “The Terminator.” Shriver has been pursuing a number of projects, including ones that build on her experience hosting a successful Women’s Conference in Long Beach, and guest editing an issue of O, the Oprah Magazine in April.
Shriver played a big role in her husband’s tenure as governor, and was key to reviving his fortunes after a disastrous 2005 special election in which a set of four reform initiatives he championed were defeated. She was instrumental in his hiring of a new chief of staff, Susan Kennedy, a Democrat, which signalled a shift to the center.