01/22/2012 AT 11:30 PM ET
Heidi Klum and Seal confirm that they are splitting after almost seven years of marriage.
In an exclusive statement to PEOPLE, the Project Runway host and the singer say:
“While we have enjoyed seven very loving, loyal and happy years of marriage, after much soul-searching we have decided to separate.
“We have had the deepest respect for one another throughout our relationship and continue to love each other very much, but we have grown apart. This is an amicable process and protecting the well-being of our children remains our top priority, especially during this time of transition.
“We thank our family, friends, and fans for their kind words of support. And for our children’s sake, we appreciate you respecting our privacy.”
The couple are parents to Leni, 7½, Henry, 6, Johan, 5, and Lou, 2.