The May-December romance of Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones is going on hiatus.
The couple, who have been married for 13 years, have decided to separate. A rep for Zeta-Jones said in a statement, “Catherine and Michael are taking some time apart to evaluate and work on their marriage. There will be no further comment.”
Douglas’ rep also released a statement, saying, “Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones are taking some time apart to evaluate and work on their marriage. There is no further comment.”
On the plus side, they’re both saying the same thing, or, at least their representatives are.
People magazine first reported the split, making note that the couple hasn’t been photographed together since late April. It seems a friend close to the couple told People they made the decision to take some time apart in May after Douglas got back from the Cannes Film Festival.
Neither the 43-year-old actress or Douglas have filed for divorce or separation.
A family friend added, “They want the best for their kids, no matter what happens.”
Currently, Zeta-Jones is in New York with the couples two children, Dylan, 13, and Carys, 10, and Douglas is in Sardinia.
The past three years have been filled with stressful and heavily emotional trials, including Douglas’ battle with throat cancer and the 43-year-old Zeta-Jones’ admission of bipolar II disorder, and her subsequent treatments for the disorder. People magazine also claims some of the run-ins with the law that Douglas’ oldest son, Cameron, found himself in also caused rifts between the couple.
It seems Douglas’ candidness about what caused his throat cancer played a key part in their choice to separate. Peter Castro, deputy editor for People, said, “He gave very candid interviews about his sexual past that she really bristled at. She was not happy about his comments and that sort of got the ball rolling in terms of the split.”
However, Zeta-Jones’ openness about her bipolar II disorder is what helped Douglas open up about his throat cancer. The 68-year-old actor told ABC News in May, “She was smart to go public, you know. [It] sort of reminded me of when I had to come out about the cancer. You know, [it] just clears up a lot of rumors.”
The glamorous couple met after being introduced by Danny DeVito in August 1998 at the Deauville Film Festival in France. They began dating in March 1999, were engaged in December 1999, and were married on November 18, 2000 at the Plaza Hotel in New York City. Their wedding took place just weeks after Douglas’ divorce to Diandra Luker, his first wife, was finalized.