ASchwarzenegger110210_12_split.jpgarchive - November 2010

Actor and former governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger, 63, and wife Maria Shriver, 55, have separated after 25 years of marriage.

The couple released this joint statement:

    "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."

The couple met in 1977 when Tom Brokaw introduced them at a charity event.

It has been speculated that Shriver, a journalist and member of the Kennedy dynasty, was tired of dealing with repeated rumors and public accusations that Schwarzenegger was a philanderer and womanizer.

Schwarzenegger, dubbed "The Governator," left office just five months ago and recently announced he would return to acting.