Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver Separate

The couple announces split in a joint statement. Shriver has moved out of their Brentwood mansion

Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and his wife, Maria Shriver, have announced their separation in a joint statement.

Shriver – mother of their four children – is moving out of their Brentwood mansion while the two determine the next step in their 25-year marriage.

"This has been a time of great personal and professional transition for each of us," the statement read. "After a great deal of thought, reflection, discussion and prayer, we came to this decision together. At this time, we are living apart while we work on the future of our relationship."

They added: "We are continuing to parent our four children together. They are the light and the center of both of our lives. We consider this a private matter and neither we nor any of our friends or family will have further comment. We ask for compassion and respect from the media and the public."

The couple made the statement in response to a request by the Los Angeles Times. The paper wrote: "Since Schwarzenegger left office, it had seemed as though the two were living separate lives."

Also read: Schwarzenegger Wasn't Kidding: He's Diving Back Into Movies

Schwarzenegger left the governorship earlier this year. But Shriver and the children never moved to Sacramento during his governorship from 2003 to 2011. 

The couple had met when the Austrian-born movie star was a body-builder and Shriver, a scion of the Kennedy dynasty, was a television journalist.

The couple is accustomed to the spotlight. Schwarzenegger is a Republican who was drawn to right-of-center politics in the wake of Communism.  Shriver is the daughter of liberal political icons Eunice Kennedy and Sargent Shriver. Both her parents passed away in recent years.

It was unclear what Schwarzenegger would focus on as he left the governorship, but he recently signed on to star in three films, including a new installment in the "Terminator" series.

Schwarzenegger also scored a $12.5 million payday for "Cry Macho," in which he is slated to  play a horse trainer enlisted to kidnap his wife's son.

During his initial campaign for governor, Schwarzenegger was dogged by reports that he groped several women. Though he claimed some of the allegations were false, Schwarzenegger did apologize and admitted he "behaved badly sometimes." Throughout that ordeal, Shriver stood by him.

Among the alleged offenses, Schwarzenegger apparently touched women and pulled one woman onto his lap while discussing sexual activities.

Schwarzenegger and Shriver celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary on April 26.