Robin Thicke and Paula Patton Separate

Paula Patton and Robin Thicke

Jim Smeal/BeImages

updated 02/24/2014 AT 3:00 PM ET

originally published 02/24/2014 AT 3:25 PM ET

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Paula Patton and Robin Thicke are ending their longtime marriage.

“We will always love each other and be best friends, however, we have mutually decided to separate at this time,” the couple tell PEOPLE on Monday in an exclusive statement.

The pair, who first met when Thicke was 14, have been married since 2005 and welcomed son Julian Fuego in April 2010.

The singer, 36, long had been very expressive about his marriage to the actress, 38, saying last fall, “We’re pretty sure we’ve loved each other for a few lives.”


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