2:11 PM PT -- 8/16 -- Francesca Hetfield tells TMZ ... "After 30 years of ups and downs but always with a lot of love, I am extremely saddened that my marriage has come to this."
Metallica frontman James Hetfield and his wife of more than two decades are no more, TMZ has learned.
Sources close to the former couple tell us James filed divorce docs against Francesca Hetfield in Colorado earlier this year. Surprisingly, the filing was never reported, and the couple kept it out of the spotlight.
We're told the two are still in touch, as they have kids together.
James and Francesca met in 1992, and got hitched in 1997. They have two daughters and a son together. James credited Francesca over the years for helping him through tough times, including his anger management issues.