COLDPLAY'S Chris Martin tried desperately to save his 11-year marriage to Gwyneth Paltrow, but they simply couldn't overcome their problems, friends have said.
More details are emerging of the celebrity pair's 'conscious uncoupling' which was announced on Paltrow's website Goop.
And the couple, who have two children together Apple (9) and Moses (7), revealed how they had spent most of the past year working hard to save their marriage.
Sources close to the Coldplay singer say he was desperate to salvage their relationship, even suggesting counselling and a move back to London from their LA base.
But despite their best efforts, Chris (37) and Gwyneth (41) have decided to separate and end one of the most high-profile celebrity relationships.
The joint statement read: "We have come to the conclusion that while we love each other very much, we will remain separate. We are, however, and always will be a family and in many ways, we are closer than we have ever been.
"We have always conducted our relationship privately and we hope that as we consciously uncouple and co- parent, we will be able to continue in the same manner."
The website crashed shortly after they posted the statement, such was the volume of traffic.
The couple went to the Bahamas with their two children to lie low, shortly before dropping the bombshell.
With a combined wealth of €72m, attention has now turned to how they will divide their sizeable assets as they work out the best agreement for their family.
Earlier this month, the pair bought a John Lautner-designed house in Malibu for a cool €10m.
Set on a secluded acre of land and surrounded by tropical landscaping, the single-storey house is rumoured to be Chris Martin's new bachelor pad as he makes a fresh start as a single man.
The pair, who married at a secret ceremony in Mexico in December 2003, were last photographed together in January at a fundraising bash hosted by Sean Penn.
There were no signs that anything was amiss in the relationship as they were pictured laughing and looking relaxed.
Their shock statement was followed by tips for 'Conscious Uncoupling' by Dr. Habib Sadeghi and Dr. Sherry Sami.
Making it clear that the couple are heading for divorce, the tips said: "Divorce is a traumatic and difficult decision for all parties involved and there's arguably no salve besides time to take that pain away."
The state of their marriage has long come under scrutiny – and Gwyneth often called rumours they were breaking up "ridiculous".
Last October, she was forced to deny any "romantic relationship" with supermodel Elle Macpherson's billionaire husband Jeff Soffer. It was claimed their friendship may be probed in a Vanity Fair article, which was later scrapped.
Gwyneth raised eyebrows with a 2011 interview where she was outspoken on her views on adultery.
She said: "I am a great romantic, but I also think you can be a romantic and a realist. Life is complicated and long and I know people that I respect and admire and look up to who have had extra- marital affairs."
The term 'conscious uncoupling' is thought to be a Kabbalah term aimed at easing the pain when two people separate.