After eight years of marriage, Fergie and Josh Duhamel separated in January and now are confirming it publicly.

The singer and actor confirmed Thursday that they had decided to split up earlier this year, but kept the news quiet to give their family "the best opportunity to adjust."

“With absolute love and respect we decided to separate as a couple earlier this year,” the couple said in a joint statement sent to USA TODAY by her publicist, Luke Burland, and his publicist, Ruth Bernstein.

"To give our family the best opportunity to adjust, we wanted to keep this a private matter before sharing it with the public. We are and will always be united in our support of each other and our family.”

As recently as January, the couple were together celebrating their wedding anniversary in Instagram pictures: "8 years! Love you, babe," he posted.

Fergie and Duhamel have a son, Axl, who was born in 2013.

Fergie is a member of the Black Eyed Peas. She released her solo debut, "The Dutchess," in 2006, and is releasing "Double Dutchess" later this month.

Duhamel has appeared on TV shows including ABC's "All My Children" and in films such as "Transformers."

The breakup news was first reported by People magazine.

Material from USA Today and The Associated Press