Colin Firth and his wife Livia Giuggioli divorce after 22 years of marriage, the management of the British actor says in a statement to the British press.

"Colin Firth and Livia Giuggioli are separated. They will always be good friends and share the love for their children together. They appreciate it if their privacy is respected," the statement says.

Firth (59) met fifty-year-old Giuggioli (50) in 1996 on the film set of the BBC series Nostromo . The couple married a year later. They are parents of sons Matteo and Luca. the family lived alternately in London and Italy.

This year it was announced that the couple were separated a short period a few years ago, after Giuggioli got into a relationship with a friend. The two soon came back together.

Firth is known for his roles in the Pride and Prejudice series and films such as Love Actually , A Single Man , Bridget Jones' Diary and The King's Speech . Giuggioli, originally Italian, is a film producer.