Australian pro surfer Mick Fanning has announced the end of his eight-year marriage to wife Karissa following a tumultuous year which saw the shock death of his brother and a terrifying shark attack.
In a heartfelt post to his Facebook page, Fanning wrote that he has "nothing but love and respect" for his wife, but the pair had mutually decided to split.
The pro surfer also addressed the recent speculation that he and Karissa were no longer together, saying they denied reports because they were "committed to working things out".
"Karissa has stood by me since we first met in 2004. We have shared plenty of great times but more importantly she has helped me through some of the toughest moments in my life, especially this past year," he wrote.
"There has been some speculation about our marriage coming to an end over the past six months. We refuted those claims because we were both committed to working things out since we separated last February. After giving it our all though, late last year we made the tough mutual decision to move on separately.
"It feels weird to put our personal life out there like this but we want to eliminate any speculation about this decision. We're still close and there's a lot of love there. This is the only statement we'll be making about our relationship and we appreciate everyone respecting our privacy concerning this matter. Thanks so much."
In August last year reports that the pair were no longer together were published by New Idea magazine, but widely denied by the couple, Mr Fanning's manager, and even his mother.
The pair, who married in 2008 after meeting through mutual friends in 2004, have been open in the past about the struggles of juggling careers and their marriage.
Fanning travels for nine months of the year with his surfing, while his wife runs her wedding business from the Gold Coast.
The 32-year-old is behind "wedding and lifestyle publication" The Lane, an online style guide and brand directory.
She told a 2014 Sunday Style profile that Fanning won her over with a roast dinner when she was just 21 years old. She was just 23 when he proposed in 2006.
Fanning made headlines across the world when he fought off a shark attack in the final round of the J-Bay Open in South Africa in July.
The three-time world champion punched the shark in the back and managed to miraculously escape unharmed from the ordeal.
More recently Fanning's brother Peter, 43, passed away in December from an "enlarged heart" after suffering from a serious hyperthyroid disease that had almost killed him three years earlier.
His mother Elizabeth Osborne told the Gold Coast Bulletin at the time her son's death had been unexpected as Peter had been eating healthy and taking medication for the thyroid condition after the health scare back in 2012.
- Daily Mail