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Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillippe

Split

10/30/2006 3:40 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF

reese_ryan_excl_200-1Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillippe have separated. The couple's rep released a statement to TMZ Monday morning that says "We are saddened to announce that Reese & Ryan have decided to formally separate. They remain committed to their family and we ask that you please respect their privacy and the safety of their children at this time."

Sources tell TMZ Witherspoon has contacted celebrity divorce lawyer Robert Kaufman, who has represented Jennifer Aniston, Roseanne and Lisa Marie Presley.

reese-ryanSources say Witherspoon spoke with Kaufman about divorcing Ryan Phillippe, her husband of seven years. The couple has two children. They met at Witherspoon's 21st birthday party.

As for why Witherspoon contacted Kaufman, we're told it was not triggered by one event. Rather, one connected source says it was "cumulative."

Divorce papers have not yet been filed.

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