CORRECTS - Canada’s Prime Minister Trudeau splits with wife

CORRECTS - Canada’s Prime Minister Trudeau splits with wife

Couple married 18 years, have 3 children

CORRECTS NUMBER OF YEARS COUPLE WAS MARRIED

By Barry Ellsworth

TRENTON, Canada (AA) - Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Wednesday that he and his wife Sophie are separating after 18 years of marriage.

"Sophie and I would like to share the fact that after many meaningful and difficult conversations, we have made the decision to separate," Trudeau wrote on Instagram.

Truduea, 51, prime minister since 2015, and Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, 48, married in 2005 and have three children.

The split is apparently amicable.

“As always, we remain a close family with deep love and respect for each other and for everything we have built and will continue to build,” he said.

A statement from his office said: “They remain a close family and Sophie and the Prime Minister are focused on raising their kids in a safe, loving and collaborative environment.”

“Both parents will be a constant presence in their children’s lives and Canadians can expect to often see the family together.”

For better or worse, Trudeau is following in the footsteps of his late father, Pierre Elliott Trudeau, who was the first prime minister to divorce while in office. He divorced Justin’s mother Margaret in 1984 and he died in 2000.

But in the younger Trudeau’s case, it is not just the dissolution of a marriage, but of a political partnership.

Sophie was heavily involved as her husband’s advisor through three successful federal elections and she had a hand in every major decision.

Trudeau told the story in his biography of how they met in 2003 when they were cohosts of the Starlight Children’s Foundation gala. Chatting, Justin discovered that Sophie had gone to school with his late brother, Michel, and that she had dated one of Michel’s friends in high school.

It wasn’t long before Justin declared his intentions toward Sophie.

“I’m 31 years old, so I’ve been waiting for you for 31 years,” he wrote. “Can we just skip the boyfriend/girlfriend part and go straight to engaged, since we’re going to spend the rest of our lives together?” he wrote.

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