The L.A. Confidential star, 48, announced his split from psychologist Kate Mestitz in a statement, in which he insisted they ended on good terms and are still close friends.

Pearce wrote, "Kate and I will always love and support one another and be the best of friends... No-one knows me like Kate does, and we'll forever be appreciative of our mutual respect... We've both grown enormously through our relationship, but sadly, the time has come to part ways."

He later confirmed rumours they had actually separated in January (15) on, writing, "Rumours r (are) true I'm afraid - Kate and I parted ways back in Jan. Sorry 2 (to) be boring but we couldn't be closer. We'll love each other 4 ever (forever)."

Pearce then shared two photographs of the former couple, and in one of the captions, he added, "The best 20+ years of my life - with this beautiful lady".

They were childhood sweethearts, meeting at Geelong College in Australia in 1980. They married in 1997.