Scottish actor James McAvoy and his wife, English actress Anne-Marie Duff, have decided to split after spending 10 years married together. The couple, who first started dating back in 2004, announced their divorce via their PR reps.
The joint statement between McAvoy and Duff was released to the media on Friday, May 13, according to The Telegraph. While the acting couple has decided to end their marriage, McAvoy and Duff hope to remain friends and co-parent their only child.
“It is with tremendous sadness that we have come to the decision to divorce. We enter this next phase with continued friendship, love and respect for one another and the shared focus of caring for our son. We ask that you respect our and, most importantly, our child’s privacy during this time.”
The divorce announcement comes right before McAvoy, 37, is beginning his press tour for the highly-anticipated film X-Men: Apocalypse, which will open in theaters later this month. McAvoy reprises his role of Professor Charles Xavier for the latest X-Men trilogy.
James McAvoy and Anne Marie Duff, 45, were last seen together back in November, 2015. The couple attended the Evening Standard Theatre awards in London when McAvoy received a Best Actor nomination for The Ruling Class.
McAvoy and Duff first met when they starred together in the U.K. series Shameless in 2004. When they started their romantic relationship off-screen, McAvoy and Duff decided to keep it from leaking to the press.
McAvoy and Duff ended up getting married in October, 2006, in a private, low-key ceremony. McAvoy once stated in an radio interview with Ryan Seacrest that Duff was the woman of his dreams, and that he liked himself more after starting a relationship with her.
McAvoy and Duff have one son, Brendan, who was born in 2010. The couple is adamant on protecting their only child’s privacy, so his official birth date has never been released to the press. McAvoy never discusses their son in interviews, and the child has never been photographed.
Making sure that they would never let fame go to their heads was a common ground between McAvoy and Duff. In a 2011 interview with USA Today, McAvoy stated that he and Duff never accepted free gifts from studios or corporations, and that they only attended award ceremonies or movie premieres to promote their own work.
James McAvoy had small roles in British series and films before he hit it big with the 2006 movie, The Last King of Scotland, a film that got him noticed in Hollywood. Afterwards, McAvoy starred in Becoming Jane, Atonement, Wanted, and The Conspirator before he landed his biggest role to date, the younger version of Professor Charles Xavier, in the X-Men film series reboot X-Men: First Class.
Anne-Marie Duff is not a household name in America, but she has worked steadily in British films, series, and theater. One of her most popular roles was the original Fiona Gallagher for the first two seasons of Shameless. Emmy Rossum plays the American version of Fiona in the U.S. series of the same name, which first aired in 2011.
James McAvoy has one more film that will be released later this year, The Coldest City, with Charlize Theron and John Goodman. The American spy thriller is based on the 2012 graphic novel by Antony Johnston, and is about a female spy that has to track down double agents during the Cold War era.
Duff last appeared in the 2015 film Suffragette, with Carey Mulligan, Meryl Streep, and Helena Bonham Carter. She does have a role in the animated British miniseries, Watership Down, that McAvoy will also stars in. The four-part miniseries will air on the BBC and Netflix sometime in 2017, according to The Independent.
[Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images]