South Korean celebrity couple Song Joong-ki and Song Hye-kyo, who tied the knot in 2017 after playing a sizzling couple on-screen, have announced their split.
Song Joong-ki, 33, who gave a statement to fans through his lawyer, said he hoped for an amicable divorce.
He officially filed for divorce from Song Hye-kyo, 37, at the Seoul Family Court on Wednesday.
The statement shared with online portal Soompi read: "Hello. This is Song Joong-ki. First, I'd like to apologise for delivering this unfortunate news to the many fans who love and care for me.
"I have begun the process of filing for divorce from Song Hye-kyo. Rather than denouncing each other and arguing over who is to blame, I hope that the divorce process can be wrapped up amicably.
"I ask for your understanding in regard to the fact that it is difficult to discuss the details of my personal life, and I will recover from my wounds and do my utmost as an actor to repay you through great productions in the future. Thank you."
Song Hye-kyo's agency, United Artists Agency, also released an official statement yesterday about the divorce proceedings, saying the split was due to differences in their personalities.
Five things about the couple
• Song Joong-ki, 33, shot to fame after playing a mischievous student in the popular historical drama Sungkyunkwan Scandal (2010). He was also part of the original cast of Running Man when the variety show debuted in 2010. He left it in 2011 to concentrate on his acting career.
• Song Hye-kyo, 37, catapulted to fame after playing half of a star-crossed couple in the tearjerker Autumn In My Heart (2000), which starred South Korean hunks Song Seung-heon and Won Bin. She has also starred in hit television shows such as Hotelier (2001), All In (2003) and Full House (2004).
• Song Hye-kyo famously fell for South Korean heart-throb Lee Byung-hun on the set of gambling drama All In, in which they played a couple. When they split up in 2004, it was the hottest story in South Korean show business.
• Song Hye-kyo dated another South Korean heart-throb, Hyun Bin, after they played a couple in TV series Worlds Within (2008). They broke up after he enlisted for mandatory military service.
• The on-screen couple of the hit military romance Descendants Of The Sun (2016) announced in July 2017 that they would tie the knot on Oct 31 that year, after previously denying they were dating in real life.
Lim Ruey Yan
A representative of the agency said in a statement to Soompi: "We find it unfortunate that we are greeting you with unhappy news. After careful consideration, actress Song Hye-kyo and her husband are taking the first steps towards a divorce.
"The reason for the divorce is differences in personality, and because the two were unable to overcome their differences, they were forced to come to this decision.
"We respectfully ask for your understanding in regard to the fact that we cannot confirm any further details out of respect for the two actors' personal lives. Additionally, we urge you to refrain from making scandalous posts and speculative comments."
Earlier this year, South Korean media had speculated that the Song-Song couple, as they are most popularly known, were going through a possible divorce as Song Hye-kyo had appeared in public without her wedding ring.
During his press conference last month for his latest drama, Arthdal Chronicles, Song Joong-ki seemed to have put the rumours to rest after he spoke about how his relationship with Song Hye-kyo has changed since their marriage.
He said: "Nothing changed too drastically, but I do feel like I've become more emotionally stable as a result. I feel like all married people would understand this feeling."
Song Joong-ki and Song Hye-kyo married on Oct 31, 2017, in an intimate outdoor ceremony at Yeong Bin Gwan, a Korean-style banquet annex to The Shilla hotel in Seoul.
Despite tight security, photos of the couple on a lawn - she, in a low-cut white gown, looking at him - surfaced on Weibo.
According to reports, the groom was in tears before he said his vows. The bride also shed tears during the ceremony.
It was reported that they had their honeymoon in Europe.
The celebrity couple met while filming 2016 hit drama series Descendants Of The Sun. He played special forces captain Yoo Si-jin, while she played doctor Kang Mo-yeon.