Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones have confirmed rumours that they have separated after 13 years of marriage.

The Hollywood couple, who tied the knot in 2000, released a statement announcing their split following reports that their relationship was on the rocks.

"Catherine and Michael are taking some time apart to evaluate and work on their marriage. There will be no further comment," a publicist told the BBC.

The pair were last photographed together on the red carpet in April and have been reported as leading separate lives. Douglas was holidaying in Sardinia solo while Catherine remained in New York.

Neither were believed to have filed for divorce or moved towards a legal separation.

A source told People magazine that the marriage had had to cope with the stress of dealing with Douglas' cancer battle, his son Cameron's incarceration on drugs charges and Zeta-Jones' struggle with bipolar II disorder. All had "taken a toll", said the source.

Douglas, who is the son of screen veteran Kirk Douglas, started dating Zeta-Jones, who is 25 years his junior, after she appeared in the 1998 film The Mask Of Zorro. They were married the following November. They have son Dylan, 13, and daughter Carys, 10 together.

News of their separation came weeks after Douglas opened up about his divorce from his first wife Diandra, which he admitted should have ended sooner.

He said: "I have nothing against her and I'm very fond of my first wife but we should have ended that marriage eight or 10 years earlier.

"It took me too long to realise that if you go to a marriage counsellor to resolve problems, it's in his interest to keep the marriage going. Because if I end the marriage he's got no business.'

Diandra won a reported $45m in the divorce settlement. In 2011, she unsuccessfully tried to sue Douglas for half of his earnings from the movie Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.