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Maria Shriver (D) and Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) separate after 25 years of marriage

May 10, 2011 |  4:48 am

Arnold schwarzenegger and Maria shriver on the oprah winfrey show in 2003

Another blow to bipartisanship.

The 25-year celebrity marriage of movie star-turned-politician Arnold Schwarzenegger and star TV correspondent Maria Shriver of the Kennedy clan appears on the rocks.

In answer to a Los Angeles Times query Monday, the couple issued a joint statement saying:

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.

The 55-year-old Shriver has moved out of their Brentwood mansion, but the statement stressed they continue to raise their four children -- ages 21, 20, 18 and 14 -- together, calling them "the light and the center of both of our lives." And the pair appealed for privacy.

The Times website has published a photo gallery of their 25-year marriage right here. The romance began after the couple met at a celebrity tennis tournament 34 years ago. It appeared to endure some rough patches, including accusations of groping women against Schwarzenegger during his 2003 campaign for governor. At the time the actor apologized for inappropriate behavior and Shriver defended him.

The 63-year-old Republican left office in January, politically bruised from confrontations with legislators and with members of his own party over his lack of conservative convictions. His hints of an interest in working on environmental issues, possibly for the Obama administration, were not picked up. Shriver drew widespread praise for her roles as the state's first lady and activist in women's causes and health issues.

This spring, Schwarzenegger said he hoped for a cinematic comeback and he has since signed for three films, including another Terminator chapter.

A comment that he had not discussed a new show business venture with his wife combined with other hints of a split. Husband and wife have been traveling widely -- and separately. She has appeared publicly without her wedding ring, as our colleague Mark Barabak notes here, and has spoken of stressful transitions in her life. And their anniversary last month went unnoted by them on social media.

Word of the split swept widely across Twitter on Monday evening with common comments such as "How sad!" and "I didn't see that coming."

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photo: Harpo Productions (2003).

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