Patton and Thicke separate

Paula Patton and Robin Thicke have “mutually decided to separate”.

The 38-year-old actress has been married to the Blurred Lines singer since 2004.

But their nearly nine-year union has come to an end.

"We will always love each other and be best friends, however, we have mutually decided to separate at this time," Paula told People magazine in a statement.

The couple first met in high school when Robin, now 36, was just 14 years old.

Paula did not provide further details on why they decided to part and the announcement has come as a surprise to many.

In recent interviews the pair have gushed over how much they love each other.

But Paula did reveal last September that married life isn’t always an easy feat.

“Marriage is not what you call a sprint, it’s a marathon,” she admitted to the New York Daily News.

“The funny thing about fairy tales is they end when people get married. They never go after that. That would be a different story.

“Not everything in life is going to be perfect. You can’t expect perfection from anyone.”

There was speculation Paula and Robin's marriage hit a rough patch when the singer performed a raunchy routine with 21-year-old Miley Cyrus at last year’s MTV Video Music Awards.

But Paula has previously said she wasn't fazed by the spectacle, which involved Miley grinding on her husband in a nude set of underwear.

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