August 28, 2013 / 2:55 PM / in 5 years

Michael Douglas, Catherine Zeta-Jones separated: report

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Star Hollywood couple Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones have separated in what could spell the end of their nearly 13-year marriage, People magazine reported on Wednesday, and a representative for Zeta-Jones confirmed the separation.

Michael Douglas (L) and Catherine Zeta-Jones attend the 40th Anniversary Chaplin Award Gala at Lincoln Center in New York in this file photo taken April 22, 2013. Douglas and Zeta-Jones, both Oscar winners and among Hollywood's most high-profile couples, have separated in what could spell the end of their nearly 13-year marriage, People magazine reported on Wednesday. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly/Files

“Catherine and Michael are taking some time apart to evaluate and work on their marriage,” a spokeswoman for Zeta-Jones said in a statement provided to Reuters, adding that she would not make any further comment.

According to People, Douglas and Zeta-Jones, both Oscar winners and among Hollywood’s most high-profile couples, have in recent months vacationed separately, appeared at red carpet events without the other and are ostensibly living apart.

The magazine cited two close confidants of the couple, with one quoted as saying, “They’re taking a break.” Neither star has filed for divorce nor moved toward a legal separation, it added.

Douglas’ New York office had no comment on the report.

Douglas, 68, and Zeta-Jones, 43, married in 2000 and have two children. Both have struggled with health issues in recent years.

Zeta-Jones said in April that she was seeking help for bipolar disorder, her second-known trip to a healthcare facility for the condition since 2011 when she sought treatment for what aides said was the stress of coping with Douglas’ advanced throat cancer diagnosis in 2010 and subsequent treatment.

“The stress has taken a toll on their marriage,” People quoted a friend as saying.

The A-list couple decided to spend time apart shortly after Douglas returned from the Cannes Film Festival in France in May, where his Emmy-nominated movie about Liberace, “Behind the Candelabra,” was screened.

They first met in 1998 at the Deauville Film Festival in France, began dating the following year, got engaged on New Year’s Eve of 1999 and co-starred in the 2000 release “Traffic.”

Zeta-Jones, most recently seen in the summer release “Red 2,” had at that point recently returned from round of treatment to monitor her bipolar disorder, the magazine said.

Douglas has won Oscars as a producer of the 1975 best picture “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” and as best actor in 1987’s “Wall Street.” Zeta-Jones won her best supporting actress Academy Award for the 2002 musical “Chicago.”

Reporting by Chris Michaud; Editing by Philip Barbara

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