LONDON, UK Thursday May.18.2006 / -- After almost four years of marriage, former Beatle Paul McCartney and his second wife, Heather Mills McCartney, are going their separate ways.

McCartney, 63, and Mills, 38, said that the constant intrusion of the media into their private lives was a big factor in the split and that the decision to end their marriage is amicable.

"Having tried exceptionally hard to make our relationship work given the daily pressures surrounding us, it is with sadness that we have decided to go our separate ways," the couple said in a statement issued Wednesday. "Our parting is amicable and both of us still care about each other very much."

McCartney and Mills met in 1999 through the Heather Mills Health trust, Mills' charity organization. They married in June 2002 and have one daughter, Beatrice, who was born in October 2003.

McCartney has three children from his first marriage to Linda McCartney, who died in 1998 of breast cancer. He also has a stepdaughter from Linda McCartney's first marriage.

"Separation for any couple is difficult enough, but to have to go through this so publicly, especially with a small daughter, is immensely stressful," McCartney and Mills said. "We hope, for the sake of our baby daughter, that we will be given some space and time to get through this difficult period."

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