The Speidi split story continues.

Heidi Montag filed for legal separation from husband Spencer Pratt in a Santa Monica, Calif. courthouse on Tuesday, a court clerk confirmed to The forlorn reality star was also photographed entering the building -- and her wedding ring was missing from left hand.

Montag, 24, did not file for divorce; a legal separation means that Heidi's earnings will become hers alone from the date of separation.

Reality stars Montag and Pratt, 26, wed in April 2009.

But is Montag's court appearance -- a week after her rep confirmed a split to Us -- just another publicity stunt?

"This breakup is the latest part of Spencer's master plan," an insider recently told Us Weekly, explaining that the couple is in panic mode now that The Hills is winding down. Another source adds that duo is "laughing over" the breakup headlines "and having a blast."