Less than 24 hours after confirming the rumors that their nearly seven-year marriage was over, Seal is speaking out, following through on two interviews to promote his new “Soul 2″ album in which the topic of the couple’s separation was very much on the table.
“I think we were shocked,” Seal says in an appearance today on the “Ellen Degeneres Show.” “You go into these things with the greatest intentions when you say, ‘I do’ and …’till death do us part.’ Those vows hold value. They are not just words.”
The Hollywood power couple, and the parents of three kids together, confirmed their separation in a statement released to People magazine Monday.
“While we have enjoyed seven very loving, loyal and happy years of marriage, after much soul-searching we have decided to separate,” the couple said in the statement.
Seal explained the split to Degeneres, saying, “You just grow apart after awhile” but said media and fans should not expect a nasty Hollywood divorce.
“She is still, in my opinion, the most wonderful woman in the world,” he said. “I think our priority was to remain civil and do this thing with dignity. We still very much love each other.”
Seal reiterated those same comments to PBS host Tavis Smiley in a taped interview scheduled to air this Friday, Jan. 27.
“What one has to do in this situation is to remain civil, to retain one’s dignity, to be professional and to understand that we are not the only people on this planet that are going through this,” the singer told Smiley.
That civility could come in handy if the couple moves forward with divorce.
Together, the glamorous duo would have a near fortune to divide. Klum, 38, is said to have earned $20 million last year alone as host of “Project Runway” and appearances in various ad campaigns, while Seal, 48, has his new album and four Grammy awards to his name
The two began dating in 2003 while Klum was pregnant with her first child, Helene – nicknamed Leni — with Italian racecar team manager Flavio Briatore.
In December 2004, Seal proposed to Klum in a specially built igloo atop a glacier in Whistler, B.C., with a 10-carat plus, yellow diamond ring.
They said “I do” on the beach in Costa Careyes, Mexico, in May 2005, and have famously, and very publicly, renewed their vows in lavish ceremonies each year since.
The couple has two sons, Henry, 6, and Johan, 5, and one daughter Lou, 2. Seal officially adopted Leni, now 7 1/2, in 2009.
Those children, and the couple’s history together, appear to be two of the reasons Seal still wears his wedding ring, even after the separation.
“Just because we have decided to separate doesn’t necessarily mean you take off your ring and you’re no longer connected to that person,” he told Ellen. “We will be connected in many ways till the rest of our lives. … Will we wear the ring for the rest of our lives? Who knows? But right now it feels really comfortable on my hand, so I have no intentions of taking it off anytime soon.”
What Seal did not reveal in the interviews is why, exactly, the seemingly happy couple split, something that is confounding close friends and fans alike, and setting the Internet abuzz with rumors.
“It’s unclear what went wrong in their marriage, but according to friends it had to be something major,” Carlos Greer, a reporter for People magazine, told ABC News. “Heidi and Seal’s friends are extremely shocked.”