Chris Martin and Gwyneth: Uncoupling in the public eye
Gwyneth and Chris have split up, but is it for good, asks Deirdre Reynolds
Snuggled in close at a charity gala recently, Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin were the very picture of marital bliss.
But Gwyneth could be in line for another Best Actress Oscar after the embattled couple finally called it a day this week.
Following months of rumours and rebuttals about the state of their ten-year marriage, yesterday the pair confirmed: "It is with hearts full of sadness that we have decided to separate."
Entitled 'Conscious Uncoupling', the announcement on the actress's lifestyle website Goop continued: "We have been working hard for well over a year, some of it together, some of it separated, to see what might have been possible between us, and we have come to the conclusion that while we love each other very much we will remain separate."
Since tying the knot in 2003, the famously private couple, who have two children Apple (9) and Moses (7), have rarely appeared in public together.
"It doesn't behoove us to be a public couple," explained the actress, whose rep blasted rumours of an affair with entertainment lawyer Kevin Yorn as "completely false" in February. "[Chris] certainly doesn't want that.
"We've never ever walked down a red carpet together, and we never will."
As they battled to save their marriage however, ironically, Coldplay singer Chris and Gwyneth have never looked closer, putting up a united front at the Golden Globes, Sean Penn's Help Haiti Home Gala and Diane von Furstenberg's 'Journey of a Dress' exhibition in LA earlier this year.
The new 'co-parents', who relocated from London to LA to be closer to Paltrow's family during the summer, were even reported to have splashed out on a $14m Malibu estate last month.
"It's very sad for them," says Owen Connolly, consultant psychologist at the Connolly Counselling Centre in Stillorgan, Co Dublin.
"Most people would have seen Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin as a couple who were very much in love."
"They've said that they were trying really hard to get their marriage back on track.
"In that kind of situation, they're likely to have been encouraged by their therapist to spend more time together and be seen together.
"However, having to smile for the photographers at every occasion, when really what they needed to do was sneak away together to work on their marriage, probably only made things worse."
Just ask Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones.
When Hollywood's golden couple announced they were taking a break amid rumours that their 13-year marriage was in trouble last year, the writing seemed to be on the wall.
Yet six months after they separated, Michael's mother Diana Dill has spoken about how the stars' union is stronger than ever.
"They are together," she told HELLO! Magazine. "I knew they would work it out."
"They spent three long vacations together," the 91-year-old added. "They went to Canada, they have a place in Quebec, they went to Bermuda and they went to the Caribbean with the kids on vacation.
"They've had a lot of time in the last two months.
Although the pair haven't officially confirmed that they're back together, Behind the Candelabra star Douglas hinted at happier times when he thanked "Catherine, [and children] Carys, Cameron and Dylan" during his acceptance speech for Best Actor at this year's Golden Globes.
"Sometimes people take a little bit of a break," he previously said, "but it doesn't necessarily mean that's the end. I'm very hopeful."
Fans are sure to be hoping for a Hollywood ending for Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes too.
Just like Chris and Gwyneth, the couple hit the headlines recently amid speculation that their three-year relationship is on the rocks.
And what better time for the actress to go public about her love for the good-looking star, gushing in one recent interview: "He's the best."
For Chris and Gwyneth, it could be too late, with most assuming that 'conscious uncoupling' is just a fancy way of saying 'divorce'.
"It can be quite difficult for couples in the limelight," says marriage therapist Owen Connolly of counsellor.ie
"You're away from each other all the time, so when things go wrong it can be hard to get back on track.
"Gwyneth and Chris have both declared that they still love each other," he says.
"If they can find a place to spend time together, away from the glare of the media, I don't think it's impossible for them to save their marriage."