British actress Keira Knightley has split with her longterm actor boyfriend Rupert Friend.

The pair have called time on their relationship after five years and the decision is believed to be “mutual”.

Keira’s father, theatre and TV actor Will Knightley, confirmed the split telling The Sun newspaper:”Yes, they have broken up. But that’s the way things go, unfortunately. The only option is to get on with things. They were together for quite a long time and it is always hard breaking up. She’s focused on her work.”

In recent years the whippet thin actress’ career has gone stellar seeing her earn Oscar and BAFTA nominations.

Best known for her role as Elizabeth Swann in the Pirates of the Caribbean films, Keira Knightley’s latest projects include Last Night, and London Boulevard. She will be also be appearing in upcoming drama Never Let Me Go alongside Carey Mulligan and Andrew Garfield.

Friends of the couple say the pressures of being in the public eye had  contributed to the split. Knightley, has made no secret of the fact that she struggles to cope with the unrelenting glare of the media spotlight.

In a recent interview with Vogue magazine she said: “I was told very early on that if I didn’t go out to openings and parties and events I would be left alone. I didn’t, and they still didn’t leave me alone,” she said. “I knew it was part of the deal in the life I had signed up to, but the fear of it has never left me. I’m still not good at being recognised. I wear scruffy clothes and hats and keep my head well down.”

Knightley and Friend met in 2005 on the set of the film Price and Prejudice where Rupert played cad and bounder Mr Wickham and Keira played the lead role of Elizabeth Bennet.

Check out TNT’s interview with Keira Knightley in next week’s issue.