THE heartbreaking news was revealed by Ben, 51 and his wife of 17 years Christine, 45, in a joint statement, bringing to an end of one of Tinseltown’s most enduring marriages.
“With tremendous love and respect for each other, and the 18 years we spent together as a couple, we have made the decision to separate.
“Our priority will continue to be raising our children as devoted parents and the closest of friends. We kindly ask that the media respect our privacy at this time,” they wrote in a statement to ET.
The pair first met on set while filming a pilot for the TV show Heat Vision and Jack, which never saw the light of day. The show may have bombed, but the couple found love, and were hitched within less than a year.
The popular couple who were seen together earlier this month, wed in an oceanside ceremony in Kaui, Hawaii after Ben proposed to Christine during rehearsals for Meet the Parents in November 1997.
They went on to have two children, daughter Ella, 15, and son Quinlin, 11.
Both had a history of broken engagements till they found one another; Ben to actress Jeanne Tripplehorn and Christine to director Jason Bloom.
Aside from being connected personally, they also had a successful professional relationship, co-starring in films such as Zoolander, Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, Tropic Thunder, Arrested Development and Zealander 2.
The couple gushed often about their happy marriage in interviews telling ET in February, 2016 that working together professionally had only strengthened their relationship.
“It’s the best. I mean, I think that, you know, the reality is there’s such an unspoken connection,” Christine told the publication. “I feel like for us, when we first met, it was on set … He’s amazing.”
“[Having a] sense of humour [is the secret to our marriage],” she added. “I have to say, sense of humour is the greatest thing.”
“I say that’s the secret to a happy marriage anywhere in any city, not just Hollywood,” Ben said.
“I think you got to laugh, because after a while, you know, life is life. We all have to deal with what life throws at us, so you got to have a sense of humour about it. If you can share that, at the end, it makes a huge difference.”