After months of speculation about their marriage, Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner have announced they are divorcing. The parents-of-three broke the news yesterday, the day after their tenth wedding anniversary.
In a joint statement, the now former couple said, "After much thought and careful consideration, we have made the difficult decision to divorce. We go forward with love and friendship for one another and a commitment to co-parenting our children whose privacy we ask to be respected during this difficult time. This will be our only comment on this private, family matter. Thank you for understanding."
Ben and Jennifer had known each other for years before they began a romantic relationship. They first met on the set of Pearl Harbour, a World War II ?epic?, and then reunited on 2003's superhero movie Daredevil. Both were in romantic relationships with other people at the time. Affleck was famously engaged to Jennifer Lopez, and Garner was married to Scott Foley, who she split from in 2003. In 2004, Ben and Jennifer started dating and married the following year.
While the early days of their marriage seemed blissful with both parties gushing in interviews about the support they gave each other, recent months have seen various reports predict an announcement like yesterday. Affleck's gambling habit was seen as spiralling and rumours of infidelity were starting to swirl. Page Six report that the couple have been allegedly seeing counsellors for years in a bid to resolve such issues. In his 2013 Oscar acceptance speech for Argo, Ben hinted at these struggles, saying ?I want to thank you for working on our marriage for 10 Christmases. It's good. It is work, but the best kind of work, and there's no one I'd rather work with.?
While the end of a marriage is a sad occasion, at least these two don't seem to be making a media circus out of it. PEOPLE report?that mediation is on the cards, as opposed to warring lawyers and leaked memos to the press. Garner, 43, and Affleck, 42, were always considered one of Hollywood's most low-key couples, choosing to raise their young children - Violet, Seraphina and Samuel - away from the public eye.