Actors Ben Stiller and Christine Taylor are calling it quits after 17 years of marriage, the couple announced on Friday.
“With tremendous love and respect for each other, and the 18 years we spent together as a couple, we have made the decision to separate,” the couple said in a joint statement to Entertainment Tonight. “Our priority will continue to be raising our children as devoted parents and the closest of friends. We kindly ask that the media respect our privacy at this time.”
Stiller, 51, and Taylor, 45, met in 1999 on set of the never-aired TV pilot “Heat Vision and Jack.” After a short engagement, they married in May 2000 in Hawaii. The couple have two children together; Ella Olivia, 15, and Quinlin Dempsey, 11.
In 2013, Stiller opened up about his relationship with Taylor to Parade magazine. “[Our] relationship was a gradual thing that happened over a quick period of time, maybe seven or eight months,” he said. “We just started hanging out with each other and it developed into, “Wow, this feels great. I really like this person. I think I love this person. I really do – I love this person.” It hit me out of the blue.”
News of the split comes as somewhat of a surprise, given that the “Zoolander 2” star told “ET” that the secret to the couple’s long-lasting marriage was “having a sense of humor.”
“I think you got to laugh. Because you know after a while you know life is life you know?” Stiller said in February 2016. “We all have to deal with what life throws at us, so you got to have a sense of humor about it. If you can share that, at the end, it makes a huge difference.”