Keira Knightley and Rupert Friend split after 5 years

British actors Keira Knightley and Rupert Friend have decided to end their relationship after 5 years together.

The 25-year-old Pirates of the Caribbean star has been left heartbroken, even though the split was a mutual decision.

Keira’s father, theatre and TV actor Will Knightley, confirmed the separation to The Sun, saying:

“Yes, they have broken up. But that’s the way things go, unfortunately. The only option is to get on with things.”

Speaking from the family home in Richmond, South West London, Mr. Knightley added: “They were together for quite a long time and it is always hard breaking up. She’s focused on her work.”

The couple met on the set of Pride and Prejudice in 2005. Knightley was starring as Elizabeth Bennett, while Friend played Mr. Wickham.

Sources close to the pair have said that the decision to split was in part due to the pressure of constantly being in the public eye.

“Rupert hates the idea of being followed and photographed. Keira partially had to accept it because of her rising profile,” a friend told The Sun.

“It affected the harmony in the relationship. The pressure took its toll and both decided they should go their separate ways. They will remain life-long friends.”

Knightley’s career has recently gone from strength to strength, earning her an Oscar nomination and even a deal with Chanel. The actress is now thought to have amassed a fortune of almost $50 million, according to the Daily Mail.

Yet Keira has also admitted that she finds it difficult to deal with constant media scrutiny. In an interview for the January issue of Vogue the star made her feelings clear, the Daily Mail cites:

“I was told very early on that if I didn’t go out to openings and parties and events I would be left alone. I didn’t, and they still didn’t leave me alone,” she told the fashion magazine.

[adsense]“I knew it was part of the deal in the life I had signed up to, but the fear of it has never left me…I’m still not good at being recognised. I wear scruffy clothes and hats and keep my head well down.”

The actress also talked about taking a break from acting after spending years working non-stop and even wondered whether she would come back at all.

“I wasn’t enjoying what I was doing and I felt terribly guilty about that. I remember hating the idea that I was in a privileged position and couldn’t see the point of any of it,” she said.

“I had worked solidly since I was 16, till 22, and I had not been on holiday in all of that time. I didn’t know if I was going to go back to acting at all. I think for a long time I thought I wouldn’t.”

Keira Knightley will not be starring in the fourth Pirates of the Caribbean movie On Stranger Tides but is due to appear on the big screens later this month in Never Let Me Go.

Keira and Rupert are the latest in a number of A-listers calling it quits on their relationships. Read here about Elizabeth Hurley and Arun Nayar, Dexter stars Michael C. Hall and Jennifer Carpenter, Christina Aguilera and Jordan Bratman, and Courteney Cox and David Arquette,

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