Singer Fergie and actor Josh Duhamel split after eight years of marriage

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Singer Fergie has separated from her actor husband Josh Duhamel after eight years of marriage.

The stars announced the sad news on Thursday, revealing they called it quits months ago.

“With absolute love and respect we decided to separate as a couple earlier this year,” the estranged couple wrote in a statement issued to People. “To give our family the best opportunity to adjust, we wanted to keep this a private matter before sharing it with the public. We are and will always be united in our support of each other and our family.”

The news is likely to come as a shock to fans of the pair – Transformersstar Josh frequently gushed about his marriage to Fergie, including in a Haute Living magazine interview in May.

“We genuinely like each other,” the 44-year-old told the publication when quizzed on the secret to his happy union with the M.I.L.F. $hitmaker.

“(We) have a lot of love for our son and have a good time together,” he added. “And that’s about it.”

Just a month later, in June, Josh praised Fergie’s parenting skills during an interview on America’s The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

“Having a kid at 40 years old is much different than having one at 22, you know, so I’m a little more mature than I was then,” he smiled. “I’m just doing the best that I can, trying not to screw him up for life. You never know. (But Fergie) is definitely more evolved than I am, and more patient.”

The stars tied the knot back in 2009 in a Catholic ceremony after becoming engaged in 2007. They first met on the set of Josh’s TV show Las Vegas in 2004, when Fergie’s band the Black Eyed Peas made a cameo on the series.