Ronan Keating announces separation from wife of 12 years

Updated: May 20, 2010, 17:42 PM IST

London: Pop heartthrob Ronan Keating has announced that he has ended his 12-year-long marriage to model Yvonne Connolly.

The pair, who married in 1998, have three children together.

The 32-year-old star who first found fame with Irish boyband `Boyzone` before forging a solo career with chart-topping hits like `Life Is A Rollercoaster`, lived in Dublin with his family.

A brief statement on the singer`s website read, "With great sadness Ronan and Yvonne Keating today announce their separation."

"The separation is amicable and they will continue to work together in order to provide the best for their children," said the statement, reported Daily Mail online.

"Nobody saw this coming at all. We didn`t even realise they were having problems," said a source close to the couple. However, earlier this week it emerged that Keating, who has reformed Boyzone in recent months, had agreed to be a judge on the next series of `X Factor` in Australia.

That meant he would have been away from home for months, which would have put a huge strain on the couple`s marriage.

Keating had married Yvonne, now 36, in April 1988 on the Caribbean Island of Nevis.

They have three children together - Jack, 11, nine-year-old Marie and Ali, four.

The star was left devastated last autumn when his former bandmate Stephen Gately tragically died.

Since then, he and the rest of the band have toured again largely in tribute to the late star.