Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich splits from wife

Roman Abramovich and Darya Zhukova

"After 10 years together, the two of us have made the hard decision to separate, but we remain close friends, parents, and partners in the projects we developed together", they said in a joint statement.

Part of it read; "After 10 years together, the two of us have made the hard decision to separate, but we remain close friends, parents and partners in the projects we developed together".

The statement did not make clear whether Abramovich and Zhukova are married, although they have two children together, a son and daughter.

A spokesman for Abramovich would not say if the couple planned a formal divorce.

Zhukova and Abramovich, who is ranked number 139 in the Forbes magazine list of the world's richest people, have two children together.

He is known for his love of luxury, owning the world's second-largest yacht and a portfolio of property across the world. The oligarch has owned Chelsea football club since 2003.

Zhukova, 36, is wealthy in her own right and is the daughter a Russian oil magnate, and educated in the US. And despite Russia's increasing isolation, the opening of the Garage Triennial of Russian Contemporary Art earlier this year drew a crowd of global collectors and curators.

"But we remain close friends, parents and partners in the projects we developed together".

This is the third marriage for Abramovic. He divorced his second wife Irina Malandina in 2007 after a marriage lasting 16 years.

The divorce will likely be granted in Russian Federation.

Mr Abramovich married his first wife, Olga Yurevna Lysova, in 1987 but was divorced just three years later. They had five children together and ended their marriage in Russian Federation with no details of the divorce made public.

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