LOS ANGELES-Oscar-winning actress Gwyneth Paltrow and Coldplay frontman Chris Martin announced their separation on Tuesday, signaling the end of the A-list couple’s 11-year marriage.

In a statement entitled ‘Conscious Uncoupling’ posted on Paltrow’s lifestyle website, the stars said they had decided to ‘remain separate’ after battling unsuccessfully to save their marriage over the past year. ‘It is with hearts full of sadness that we have decided to separate,’ said the couple, who moved back to Los Angeles recently after spending several years in London.

‘We have been working hard for well over a year, some of it together, some of it separated, to see what might have been possible between us, and we have come to the conclusion that, while we love each other very much, we will remain separate.’ Paltrow, 41, and Martin, 37, have two young children, Apple, nine, and Moses, seven, and appealed for privacy as they navigated their break-up.

‘We are, however, and always will be a family,’ the couple said. ‘We are parents first and foremost, to two incredibly wonderful children and we ask for their and our space and privacy to be respected at this difficult time.’ The statement - signed ‘Love, Gwyneth & Chris’ - was accompanied by an old photo of the couple, smiling as they lounged on grass.

Soon after the statement went online, crashed for several hours after being overwhelmed with visitors. Paltrow, who co-stars in the billion-dollar blockbuster ‘Iron Man’ movies, won a Best Actress Oscar in 1999 for her role in ‘Shakespeare in Love.’ As recently as January, the couple had been seen cuddling affectionately together at the Golden Globes Awards in Beverly Hills.

However their marriage has been the subject of tabloid speculation for years, with reports as recently as February indicating that Martin was unhappy at the couple’s move to Los Angeles late last year. And in a wide-ranging interview with Harpers Bazaar last April, Paltrow admitted her marriage to Martin was sometimes challenging. ‘We are growing into very similar people,’ she said. ‘It’s cool, it’s good.

It’s not always easy though.’ In a separate June interview, however, Paltrow hinted at strains. ‘It’s hard being married,’ Paltrow said. ‘You go through great times, you go through terrible times. We’re the same as any couple.