'Notebook' Author Nicholas Sparks Splits From Wife of 25 Years

Associated Press
Nicholas Sparks and wife Cathy at the 2013 premiere of "Safe Haven"

"This is, of course, not a decision we've made lightly"

Nicholas Sparks, author of such best-selling romantic novels as The Notebook and Message in a Bottle, has split from his wife of 25 years.

"Cathy and I have separated," Sparks told The Hollywood Reporter in a statement. "This is, of course, not a decision we've made lightly. We remain close friends with deep respect for each other and love for our children. For our children's sake, we regard this as a private matter."

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The couple, who met during college and wed in 1989, have three sons and twin daughters.

Sparks, 49, once said that Cathy served as the inspiration for his writing.

“Every morning when I wake up and see my wife; that is the kind of love that I write about in the novels,” he said in a 2013 interview.

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Sparks has written 17 novels (and one nonfiction book), many of which have been adapted into movies. In addition to Notebook and Bottle, other films adapted from his works include A Walk to Remember, Safe Haven, The Lucky One, Nights in Rodanthe, The Last Song, Dear John and, most recently, The Best of Me.

Meanwhile, The Longest Ride is set to hit theaters April 10, while another adaptation, The Choice, is in the works.

People first reported the news of the split.