After a quarter century together, former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and his wife, former NBC News correspondent Maria Shriver, have separated. The pumped-up movie star-turned-Republican-politician and the Democratic daughter from the Kennedy clan have been living apart for several weeks.
The Los Angeles Times reported that Shriver moved out of the couple's Brentwood mansion while they try to figure out the next step in their 25-year marriage.
"This has been a time of great personal and professional transition for each of us," read a joint statement from the couple released on Monday after the paper asked about the state of their marriage. "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," the statement continued. "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."
Since leaving office in January after two terms as governor, Schwarzenegger has discussed his desire to get back into movies, including his deal with comic legend Stan Lee to develop he comic book/ animated TV show franchise "The Governator," in which the Austrian strongman would portray a crime-fighting ex-governor. He has also talked about appearing in another installment of the "Terminator" franchise. The paper reported that over the past few months Schwarzenegger, 63, and Shriver, 55, have appeared to be living separate lives.
Shriver has been promoting her women's empowerment website, has guest-edited an issue of Oprah Winfrey's O magazine and promoted her pet causes, including Alzheimer's research. She has also been grieving the death of her father, Sargent Shriver, who passed away in January.
In a March 28 YouTube video, Shriver discussed the uncertainty of the next phase of her life now that Schwarzenegger is out of office. "It is so stressful to not know what you're doing next," she said in the clip to supporters, during which she appeared without a wedding ring. "I'd like to hear from other people in transition. ... How did you get through it? What were three things that enabled you to get through your transition?"
The couple met in 1977 when they were introduced to each other at a charity tennis tournament by former NBC anchor Tom Brokaw. They married in 1986 and have four children, ages 14, 18, 20 and 21, but have been dogged over the years by reports of Schwarzenegger's alleged proclivity for groping women.