COURTNEY COX and hubby DAVID ARQUETTE announce separation.

Ending weeks of media speculation the Friends beauty and Cougar Town star, 46, and Arquette, 39, issued a joint statement.

"The reason for this separation is to better understand ourselves and the qualities we need in a partner and for our marriage," the statement says.

"We remain best friends and responsible parents to our daughter and we still love each other deeply." 

The couple met and fell in love on the set of seminal post-modern hoprror flick Scream in 1996. They wed in 1999 and have a daughter, 6.

Oddly enough, they are both costarring in the fourth installment of the Scream series which is undergoing a reboot and is due on the big screen next year.

While Courtney stars in Cougar Town from ABC, Arquette is an exec producer of the show.  The separation should come as no surprise to ENQUIRER readers (see below).