LOS ANGELES: Actress Demi Moore announced "with great sadness" the end of her high-profile marriage to Ashton Kutcher, after his reported infidelity with a woman less than half her age.
Thursday's confirmation comes after months of media reports about problems between the Hollywood power couple, who married in 2005 when she was 42 and he was 27. She had earlier been married to actor Bruce Willis for 13 years.
"It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that I have decided to end my six-year marriage to Ashton," the 49-year-old said in a statement issued through her publicist.
"As a woman, a mother and a wife there are certain values and vows that I hold sacred, and it is in this spirit that I have chosen to move forward with my life."
Thirty-three year-old Kutcher, who recently took over from troubled star Charlie Sheen in the hit TV series "Two and a Half Men," tweeted a poignant message minutes after Moore's announcement.
"I will forever cherish the time I spent with Demi. Marriage is one of the most difficult things in the world and unfortunately sometimes they fail. Love and Light, AK," he wrote.
As well as being a famous acting couple, Moore and Kutcher have both been pioneers of the use of social media, notably Twitter.
Moore, whose movies include "Ghost" (1990), "A Few Good Men" (1992), "Indecent Proposal" (1993) and "G.I. Jane" (1997), may have to get a new Twitter name: her current one is @mrskutcher.
She made no immediate comment on her Twitter feed -- her usual method of sharing news, comment or other information -- after announcing the split via her publicist.
Rumors of trouble in the marriage flared in recent weeks after Kutcher reportedly had unprotected sex with a 22-year-old woman during a trip with friends to San Diego -- allegedly on September 24, the night of his sixth wedding anniversary with Moore.
The blonde Texan, Sara Leal, said afterwards that Kutcher told her that he was no longer with Moore. "He said he was separated and it felt natural," Leal told US magazine last month.
"He was good... It wasn't weird or perverted," she added, saying that their pillow talk involved politics, particularly the Republican candidates for president.
Earlier this year, Moore and Kutcher launched the Demi and Ashton Foundation aimed at ending child sex-slavery.
But signs of strain could be seen in September, when Moore posted a picture of a broken heart, and tweeted: "2day can U feel some1 else's heart pain needs desires as U can feel your own? At the core we're all reaching 4 the same."
Kutcher answered with the post: "When you ASSUME to know that which you know nothing of you make an ASS out of U and ME," according to People magazine, the celebrity bible.
Kutcher is best known for TV shows including "That 70s Show" and "Punk'd," and this year replaced troubled actor Charlie Sheen in the popular comedy "Two and a Half Men."
His big-screen roles have include "What Happens in Vegas" (2008) and this year's sex comedy "No Strings Attached" with Natalie Portman.
Moore is also famous for a 1991 Vogue magazine front cover photo of her heavily pregnant with her daughter Scout LaRue, her second child with Willis after the pair married in 1987.
On Thursday Moore said she would now focus on rebuilding her life separately from Kutcher.
"This is a trying time for me and my family, and so I would ask for the same compassion and privacy that you would give to anyone going through a similar situation," she said. AGENCIES