Pop princess Jessica Simpson(R) and former
"98 Degrees" singer Nick Lachey, seen here on November 17, have split up
after a three-year marriage that was chronicled on an MTV hit reality
show.(AFP)BEIJING, Nov. 25-- Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey officially announced their split on Wednesday after months of breakup rumors.
The couple jointly announced their separation through their publicists.
"After three years of marriage, and careful thought and consideration, we have decided to part ways," the couple said in a joint statement published on Teen People magazine's website Thursday.
"This is the mutual decision of two people with an enormous amount of respect and admiration for each other. We hope that you respect our privacy during this difficult time," the statement said.
There was no immediate word on whether a divorce was in the offing.
Simpson, 25, who starred in the film adaptation of the television series"The Dukes of Hazzard," met Lachey, 32, at a Christmas parade in 1998.
Lachey and Simpson wed in October 2002 and became household names in America when they starred in MTV reality show Newlyweds.
Rumors about tension between the two had grown louder and louder in recent months. Us Weekly first reported the couple's split in its Oct. 17 issue.