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James McAvoy and Anne-Marie Duff to divorce

James McAvoy and Anne-Marie Duff to divorce

James McAvoy and Anne-Marie Duff are divorcing after nine years of marriage.

The 37-year-old actor and the 'Suffragette' star, who have five-year-old son Brendan together, have confirmed in a joint statement that they are ending their marriage.

The statement reads: "It is with tremendous sadness that we have come to the decision to divorce. We enter this next phase with continued friendship, love and respect for one another and the shared focus of caring for our son. We ask that you respect our and, most importantly, our child's privacy during this time."

The couple - who wed in 2006 - first met on the set of television comedy 'Shameless' and have largely kept their personal lives out of the public eye.

However, James previously revealed they had been offered a chance to star opposite each other on screen a number of times but have turned it down as they don't want to become a "target".

He shared: "We've been offered a hell of a lot of parts playing opposite each other in films and TV and we just turn them down.

"If you do work together you put yourself up, you make yourself a target and you make your relationship a target and all of that. We're very keen not to do that."

James' international fame has rocketed thanks to his parts in the 'X-Men' series but he previously admitted he finds it "difficult" to leave his family behind when he goes to shoot films in other countries.

He said: "It's always difficult to go away [and film a movie] as a family person. Paparazzi don't really bother me. I get stopped but people are nice. I don't mind that. I've never minded that. It's just the separation of family life, relationship and child."