Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis "tried for months" to save their relationship, a source says.
The couple confirmed today they had split up after 14 years together, but friends admit they had tried for a long time to repair the cracks in their union.
A source told People magazine: "They've tried for months to save the relationship but have known for weeks that it couldn't be saved."
Last week, Paradis returned to her native France to promote her latest movie Je Me Suis Fait Tout Petit, and the insider claims the announcement of the separation purposefully coincided with the trip.
The source added: "It was all decided before she got on that plane."
Announcing their separation in a brief statement today, the couple appealed for privacy for the sake of their two children, Lily-Rose, 13, and 10-year-old Jack.
"Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis have amicably separated. Please respect their privacy and, more importantly, the privacy of their children," Depp's publicist Robin Baum said in a statement.
News of the split comes after the Dark Shadows star recently blasted untrue speculation about his relationship being over.
''The rumours are not true. They are absolutely not true," Depp said.
''No matter what I say about this, people believe the opposite. I can't say enough about it not being over."
Depp, 49, began dating Paradis, 39, in 1998, following his split from British supermodel Kate Moss. The couple appeared together in Roman Polanski's 1999 film The Ninth Gate.
Depp and Paradis have set up homes in France, Los Angeles and on a private island in the Caribbean.
The couple never married, although Depp has been married once before, to Lori Anne Allison between 1983 and 1985, and had a high-profile relationship with actress Winona Ryder in the early 1990s.