LOS ANGELES (AP) – Hollywood glamour couple Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston have split, Pitt’s longtime publicist confirmed Friday.

“We would like to announce that after seven years together we have decided to formally separate,” the couple said in a joint statement released by Pitt’s publicist Cindy Guagenti. “For those who follow these sorts of things, we would like to explain that our separation is not the result of any speculation reported by the tabloid media. This decision is the result of much thoughtful consideration.”

The couple didn’t indicate if they planned to file for divorce, and Guagenti declined to comment beyond the statement.

The separation, first reported on People magazine’s Web site, comes 41/2 years after the couple’s Malibu wedding and after months of speculation that their marriage was in trouble.

Aniston has recently been photographed in public without her diamond-studded wedding ring, according to People, although the magazine said the couple had spent the New Year’s weekend together on the Caribbean island of Anguilla with Aniston’s former “Friends” co-star Courteney Cox and her husband, actor David Arquette.

Pitt, 41, and Aniston, 35, have been together since being set up on a blind date in 1998. They were married in 2000 in a lavish wedding at a Malibu estate overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Some 200 people attended the wedding that included four bands, a gospel choir, fireworks and tens of thousands of flowers.

Part of Pacific Coast Highway was shut down to accommodate the influx of guests, which included actress Cameron Diaz and most of Aniston’s “Friends” co-stars.

AP-ES-01-07-05 2033EST


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