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Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich and his wife announce separation

Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich and his wife announce separation

BILLIONAIRE Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has announced he has separated from his third wife, Dasha Zhukova.

She is the daughter of Russian oil magnate Alexander Zhukov and molecular scientist Yelena Zhukova.

Their marriage remained a secret until the Wall Street journal published brief details of the relationship in 2014. He divorced his second wife Irina Malandina in 2007 after a marriage lasting 16 years.

Zhukova founded a popular contemporary arts centre and gallery in Moscow, Garage, which is located in the city's Gorky Park, also collaborating with Abramovich on the New Holland arts centre in Saint Petersburg.

The press release was initiated by both spouses: "After ten years together we have reached to this hard decision to separate, but we will remain close friends, parents and business partners".

A source close to the couple claims Roman and Dasha lived separate lives since previous year but they struggled to maintain a normal relationship for their children's sake.

Roman Abramovich and Darya Zhukova got married in 2008, but did not make a public announcement at the time.

The couple's joint statement said they "are committed to jointly raising our two children" and will continue to work together on joint projects, including Garage, and New Holland in St Petersburg, a formerly derelict area that has been transformed into a cultural centre.

Mr Abramovich is now estimated to be worth around £7 billion.

The couple own homes in London, Moscow, Colorado, the Caribbean and the South of France, along with a number of yachts. They have five children.

The couple secretly married around nine years ago.

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