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Arnold Schwarzenegger, Maria Shriver Separate: Ex-California Governor and Wife to Evaluate Relationship

California's power couple split after 25 years of marriage.

ByABC News
May 10, 2011, 6:50 AM

May 10, 2011— -- After 25 years of marriage, California's star power couple Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver have announced their separation.

The former governor and first lady announced their split in a statement Monday night. They have four children and were married in 1986. They said they will continue to raise their children jointly.

"They are the light and the center of both of our lives," the couple said in the statement.

According to the statement, they mutually came to the decision to separate while they live apart and "decide on the future of their relationship."

"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," Shriver and Schwarzenegger said in the statement.

Schwarzenegger is a Republican from Austria while Shriver is a member of the Kennedy family, which has been synonymous with Democratic politics. Her mother, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, was the sister of President John F. Kennedy.

Before Schwarzenegger was elected governor, Shriver worked as a correspondent for NBC News.

Shriver's father was Peace Corps founder and former Democratic vice presidential candidate Robert "Sargent" Shriver Jr., who died in January.

Schwarzenegger is a former body builder and action film actor who starred in films like the "Terminator" and "True Lies."

Both Schwarzenegger and Shriver said they consider this a private matter. They will not release any further comment. "We ask for compassion and respect from the media and the public," the statement said.

Shriver has since moved out of the couple's home in Brentwood, Calif.

California Politics

It wasn't always an easy journey to the top of California's political scene.

During his run for governor in the recall election to replace then Gov. Gray Davis in 2003, the Los Angeles Times reported that six women alleged that they were fondled or groped by Schwarzenegger sometime between 1975 and 2000.

At the time, Schwarzenegger publicly admitted he had "behaved badly" and apologized if he had offended anyone. Shriver stood by her husband amid the allegations.

Shriver famously went on the Oprah Winfrey when allegations of infidelity threatened to derail Schwarzenegger's bid for the governor's office.

She challenged the notion that Kennedy women "always look the other way."

"Well, you know, that ticks me off. I, I am my own woman. I have not been quote, 'bred' to look the other way. I look at that man back there in the green room straight on, eyes wide open, and I look at him with an open heart," Shriver said.


Despite marking their 25th wedding anniversary on April 26, it appears that the couple has been living different lives for some time, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Updates to Shriver's Twitter account do not make mention of the anniversary.

In a March 28 Youtube video, Shriver said, "It is so stressful to not know what you're doing next," the Times reported.

The couple's separation shocked some California residents.

"I've actually seen them in person out at a restaurant and they seemed quite loving and they've been together for so many years. It's definitely a couple that you thought had such a stable rock solid relationship," Brentwood resident Jennifer Kamstock told ABC News Los Angeles affiliate KABC Monday night.

But Howard Bragman, a Hollywood publicist and an ABC News consultant, said it wasn't so surprising as "people in the California know that they were very independent."

"A lot of relationships after 25 years - the kids get grown, people look and say, 'what do we have in common anymore and I suspect that's what happened,'" Bragman said.

ABC News' David Wright and the Associated Press contributed to this report.