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Swimmer Grant Hackett separates from singer wife Candice Alley

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Grant Hackett

© WENN / Robert Wallace

Former Olympic swimmer Grant Hackett and his wife have separated, it has been confirmed.

It was reported early on Thursday morning (May 3) that the couple, who first met in 2004, had gone their separate ways, with sources telling the Gold Coast Bulletin that Hackett had moved out of the Melbourne apartment he shared with singer-songwriter Candice Alley.

Hackett has now confirmed the news in a statement, saying: "I can confirm media speculation this morning that Candice and I have separated. I want to be dignified in my approach to everything and ensure the children's needs are paramount and put first.

"I wish Candice every success. It is my hope that everybody can respect the process and be kind to all parties involved, as it is a very difficult time."

Hackett and Alley married in Melbourne during spring 2007. They are parents to 2-year-old twins, son Jagger and daughter Charlize.

Police were called to the couple's home in October last year to investigate an incident following the Melbourne Cup Derby Day.

Hackett later explained that the couple had been dealing with some "private issues" and spoke of his embarrassment at the "unfortunate [and] out of character" events.

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