Jennifer Lopez to divorce husband Marc Anthony

American Idol judge Jennifer Lopez has announced that she and husband Marc Anthony are to divorce after seven years of marriage

The couple, who have three-year-old twins Max and Emme, revealed the news in a joint statement on Friday.

“We have decided to end our marriage,” the statement said. “This was a very difficult decision. We have come to an amicable conclusion on all matters.

“It is a difficult time for all involved and we appreciate the respect of our privacy at this time.”

The singer and actress – whose hit films include Out of Sight and The Wedding Planner – married the Puerto Rican singer in 2004 soon after calling off her engagement to actor Ben Affleck.

The pair worked together on several occasions during their marriage, most recently performing a duet during the final of American Idol in May.

They also announced plans for a TV show, Q’Viva! The Chosen earlier this year, which would aim to find the best performers in Latin music and dance.

Jennifer has been married twice before, to Cuban-born restaurateur Ojani Noa, which ended in 1998, and to dancer Cris Judd, whom she divorced in early 2003.