Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver have announced their separation after 25 years of marriage.

The news comes only four months after Schwarzenegger left office as the Governor of California, after seven years seven years in the position.

In a joint statement, Schwarzenegger and Shriver said:

“This has been a time of great personal and professional transition for each of us”.

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“After a great deal of thought, reflection, discussion, and prayer, we came to this decision together. “

Schwarzenegger and Shriver  also expressed their love for their children.

“We are continuing to parent our four children together. They are the light and the centre of both of our lives”.

“We consider this a private matter, and neither we nor any of our friends or family will have further comment,” they added.

63-year-old body builder Schwarzenegger and Shriver, 55, a TV journalist and a member of the Kennedy family have four children together aged 14, 18, 20 and 21.

They met at a charity tennis tournament in 1977 and married in 1986.

Schwarzenegger is planning to return to acting and has announced that his first projct will be the animated series The Governator, starring as a crime-fighting superhero.

Co-creator Stan Lee said to Entertainment Weekly: “We’re using all the personal elements of Arnold’s life”.

“We’re using his wife [Maria Shriver]. We’re using his kids. We’re using the fact that he used to be governor.”

Schwarzenegger, however, revealed that his wife had any idea about Lee’s plans. “I have never had a conversation with Maria about any of this,” Schwarzenegger said.

“It will be a big surprise for her”.