Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones announce split
Hollywood stars say they will be "taking some time apart" as friend claims ill-health has "taken toll"
FILM STAR couple Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas have separated, announcing they are "taking some time apart to evaluate and work on their marriage". The couple have been married for 13 years, but health problems have strained relations in recent times.
Douglas, 68, and Zeta-Jones, 43, made no further comment on the split. Douglas has battled throat cancer for three years, while Zeta-Jones was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, a psychiatric condition that can lead to episodes of depression, in 2011.
Douglas, star of Basic Instinct, Wall Street and Behind the Candelabra, caused controversy earlier this year when he claimed that oral sex had caused his throat cancer. Zeta-Jones's health problems have intensified in recent years and the Mask of Zorro star admitted herself to hospital for "maintenance" treatment in April.
The pair have two children, Dylan, 13, and Carys, 10.
An anonymous "friend" of the couple told People.com that their ill-health and the jailing of Douglas's son Cameron on drugs charges had contributed to the marital breakdown. "The stress has taken a toll on their marriage," the friend said.
Zeta-Jones, who won an Oscar for her performance in the 2002 film Chicago, claimed this year that her treatment for bipolar 2 disorder had helped strengthen her marriage.
"You find out who you really are and who you are married to," she said. "You find things inside yourself you never imagined were there".
The couple married in 2000 at a lavish ceremony in Paris attended by some of Hollywood's biggest stars. Their relationship followed a lengthy divorce between Douglas and his first wife, Diandra, who was awarded a £44 million settlement. ·