In some very unfortunate news this evening, Chris Rock, 49, and wife Malaak Compton-Rock, 45, have just announced they’ve decided to split after nearly 20 years of marriage.
In a statement to PEOPLE, it was Compton-Rock who made the announcement she and the actor and comedian had separated. “After much contemplation and 19 years of marriage, Chris and I have decided to go our separate ways,” Malaak Compton-Rock, a philanthropist and founder of the nonprofit styleWorks, said in a statement Sunday. “Being fortunate enough to lead a life of service by working with those most vulnerable makes me well aware of life’s blessings, even when faced with difficulties.”
“While recognizing that this is a significant change, my children remain at the center of my life and their well-being is my top priority. It is in this spirit that I sincerely ask that their privacy and the privacy of our family be respected during this transition in our lives.”
Rock’s attorney, Robert S. Cohen, has also confirmed that the couple have split. In doing so, she also revealed that it was the comedian and actor who filed for a divorce.
“Chris Rock has filed for divorce from his wife, Malaak,” Cohen said in a statement. “This is a personal matter and Chris requests privacy as he and Malaak work through this process and focus on their family.”
The couple’s split comes right on the heels of Rock’s most recent and critically acclaimed film, Top Five.
The couple exchanged vows in 1996 and would later welcome daughters Lola Simone, 12, and Zahara Savannah, 10.
We wish Chris and Malaak all the best at this troubling time.