Chris Harrison Splits From Wife Gwen After 18 Years

Celebrity News May. 3, 2012 AT 6:15PM
Chris Harrison and Gwen Jones attend a pre-Emmy party on September 16, 2011 in West Hollywood, California. Chris Harrison and Gwen Jones attend a pre-Emmy party on September 16, 2011 in West Hollywood, California. Credit: Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

Chris Harrison is now a Bachelor himself.

The ABC host, 40, and his wife of 18 years, Gwen, are separating, Us Weekly can confirm. The couple -- who met as students at Oklahoma City University -- have two children: son Joshua, 9, and daughter Taylor, 7.

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"Though we have made this incredibly difficult decision to separate, our love and mutual respect remain, and we look forward to sharing in the lives of our wonderful children," they tell Us in a joint statement.

A rep adds: "They happily remain committed and caring friends with great love and mutual admiration for each other."

In February 2010, Bachelor contestant Rozlyn Papa accused Harrison of making a pass at a producer's wife while taping the show in New Zealand. "I won't even dignify that with a response," Harrison said during The Bachelor: The Women Tell All special.

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Harrison -- who previously hosted HGTV's Designers' Challenge -- has been with The Bachelor since its premiere in 2001. After 16 seasons of The Bachelor and seven seasons of The Bachelorette, only four couples are still together: Trista Rehn and Ryan Sutter, Jason Mesnick and Molly Malaney, Ashley Hebert and J.P. Rosenbaum, and Ben Flajnik and Courtney Robertson.

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The eighth season of The Bachelorette, starring Brad Womack's ex-fiancee Emily Maynard, premieres May 14 on ABC.

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