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Julia Roberts and Lyle Lovett Announce Split

March 29, 1995 GMT

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ They said it wouldn’t last. And it didn’t.

Eyebrows raised when ``Pretty Woman″ star Julia Roberts married the loose-jointed, laconic country singer Lyle Lovett in the surprise wedding of 1993.

The union warmed the heart of armchair romantics: A peculiar-looking guy gets the Hollywood beauty courted by a bevy of handsome leading men.

But the dream appears to be over. Roberts, 27, and Lovett, 37, released a brief statement Tuesday saying they have agreed to a legal separation. No reason was given for the split.

``Big surprise,″ said psychologist Joyce Brothers. ``The surprise is that it lasted as long as it did.″

Before the marriage, Roberts was linked romantically to several of her former leading men, including Liam Neeson and Kiefer Sutherland. She planned to marry Sutherland in an elaborate wedding on a Hollywood soundstage in 1991, but canceled just hours before the ceremony and took off a few days later with actor Jason Patric.

After a whirlwind romance, Roberts and Lovett were married June 27, 1993, in a small church in Marion, Ind. The wedding was a hush-hush affair put together in just two days while Roberts was on a break from filming ``The Pelican Brief.″ It was the first marriage for both; they had no children.

The actress had met the singer with the Eraserhead hairdo while filming the 1992 movie ``The Player.″

The two have long been fodder for supermarket tabloids, which often suggested that all was not well in the relationship. There were photographs of Lovett with other women and Roberts with other men.

``We remain close and in great support of one another,″ Roberts and Lovett said in a joint statement released by publicist Nancy Seltzer. The whereabouts of Lovett and Roberts weren’t disclosed.

``The marriage offered romance for Americans,″ said Brothers, who recalled seeing a videotape of Lovett helping Roberts out of a car. ``There was so much tenderness and love on his face. It lit up the screen.″