Entertainment & Arts

Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner to divorce

Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner attend an event in New York - 19 November 2015 Image copyright AP
Image caption The couple asked for their privacy to be respected "during this difficult time"

Hollywood couple Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner say they have made "the difficult decision to divorce".

The couple have been married since 2005 and have three children between the ages of three and nine.

"We go forward with love and friendship for one another and a commitment to co-parenting our children," they said.

Affleck, 42, plays Batman in the forthcoming Batman v Superman film. Garner, 43, has had roles in Juno and Dallas Buyers Club.

Affleck has enjoyed success as both an actor and director. He won an Oscar for best screenplay for Good Will Hunting in 1997, which he wrote with Matt Damon, and another for best picture in 2013 for Argo, which he starred in and directed.

Garner, herself a successful actress, won a Golden Globe for her role as a CIA agent Sydney Bristow in the TV series Alias.

The couple started dating shortly after meeting on the set of Daredevil in 2003, in which they both played superheroes. They married two years later in the Turks and Caicos Islands, and their 10th wedding anniversary was on Monday.

Sources close to the couple say the divorce is amicable and they will share joint custody of their children.

It is reported Affleck will continue to live on the couple's property in a separate house and that the pair will work through their separation with a mediator.

Image copyright AP
Image caption The couple started dating in 2003

Garner had a previous, four-year marriage to actor Scott Foley, with whom she appeared in the TV series Felicity. They separated in March 2003 and finalised their divorce a year later.

Affleck's former partners include Gwyneth Paltrow and ex-fiance Jennifer Lopez. The couple became known in the press as "Bennifer".

'Difficult time'

Last year Garner told InStyle magazine her marriage was in a "mindful" stage.

"You can't expect to be courted all the time, and I don't want to court him right now - I don't have the energy.

"But we're definitely in a very mindful place where we're making an effort to be together, do things at the same time and be loving."

During an acceptance speech at the Oscars in 2013, Affleck referred to their marriage as "work".

While collecting the best picture award for Argo, he said to Garner: "I want to thank you for working on our marriage for 10 Christmases.

"It's good. It is work but it's the best kind of work and there's no one I'd rather work with."

The couple, who said they made the decision to split "after much thought and careful consideration", have asked for their privacy to be respected at this "difficult time".

They added: "This will be our only comment on this private, family matter. Thank you for understanding."

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