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Demi Moore, Ashton Kutcher call it quits

Actor Ashton Kucher and his wife Demi Moore arrive at The Huffington Post Pre-Inaugural Ball in Washington January 19, 2009. REUTERS/Mitch Dumke

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Film and television stars Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher said on Thursday they are ending their marriage after six years, breaking up one of the most widely followed May-December romances Hollywood has seen.

The marriage between Moore, 49, and Kutcher 33, has been in trouble since late September when a San Diego woman went public about an brief affair she had with Kutcher, a star on CBS television comedy “Two and a Half Men,” during a weekend of partying in the southern California city.

“It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that I have decided to end my six-year marriage to Ashton. As a woman, a mother and a wife there are certain values and vows that I hold sacred, and it is in this spirit that I have chosen to move forward with my life,” Moore said in a statement.

“This is a trying time for me and my family, and so I would ask for the same compassion and privacy that you would give to anyone going through a similar situation,” said Moore, star of films such as “Ghost,” “G.I. Jane” and “Indecent Proposal.”

Moore released her statement first and Kutcher quickly followed on Twitter, where he has a large and active fan base.

“I will forever cherish the time I spent with Demi. Marriage is one of the most difficult things in the world and unfortunately sometimes they fail. Love and Light, AK,” Kutcher tweeted.

Moore was married twice previously, the first time to singer Freddy Moore and the second to film star Bruce Willis, with whom she has three children. They divorced in 2000.

She began dating Kutcher a few years after breaking up with Willis when Kutcher was rising to stardom on the TV sitcom “That ‘70s Show.” Their affair immediately became fodder for the tabloid press because of their 16-year age difference.

Editing by Jill Serjeant