Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver during his inauguration ceremony as California governor in 2007 . (© POOL New / Reuters/REUTERS)

The L.A. Times reports that Schwarzenegger, movie star and former governor of California, and Shriver, journalist and member of the Kennedy family, are currently living apart but have not announced plans to divorce.

“This has been a time of great personal and professional transition for each of us,” the couple said in a statement to the Times. “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.

“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.”

Related links:

More on the Schwarzenegger/Shriver break-up

From the Style archives: Maria Shriver prepares for life after the governor’s mansion

Photo gallery: The marriage of Schwarzenegger and Shriver

Video: Schwarzenegger, Shriver separating

Schwarzenegger, 63, first met Shriver, 55, in 1977, via an introduction by Tom Brokaw at a charity tennis tournament. They married on April 26, 1986.

The surprising separation announcement comes almost exactly a year after the shocking rupture of another political marriage: the one between Al and Tipper Gore. The Gores announced last June that they were separating after 40 years of marriage. Their divorce has not been finalized.