The announcement follows strong speculation that the couple was heading for a split after Samantha had dropped her married name, Akkineni, from her social media handles. However, both the couple and their family members remained tight-lipped about the rumours until Saturday.
In a joint statement posted on their social media handles and addressed to their “well-wishers,” the couple said they had decided to part ways and pursue their own paths after much deliberation and thought. “We are fortunate to have a friendship of over a decade that was the very core of our relationship which we believe will always hold a special bond between us,” they added.
Requesting privacy, the couple asked their fans, well-wishers, and media to support them during “this difficult time.”
Hours after the couple announced their separation, Chaitanya’s father and actor Nagarjuna Akkineni, posted a statement saying that Samantha will always be “dear” to the family. “With a heavy heart, let me say this. What ever happened between Sam and Chay is very unfortunate. What happens between a wife and husband is very personal. Sam and Chay both are dear to me. My family will always cherish the moments spent with Sam and she will always be dear to us. May God bless them both with strength.” The statement was also quote tweeted by Nagarjuna’s wife, actor Amala Akkineni.
Samantha and Chaitanya met on the sets of the 2010 Telugu film Ye Maaya Chesave, in which they played the leads, during the early stages of their careers. In 2017, the actors got married as per Hindu and Christian customs on October 6 and 7, respectively.
On the work front, Samantha is currently working with Vijay Sethupathi and Nayanthara in the Tamil film Kaathu Vaakula Rendu Kaadhal. Chaitanya, whose latest film Love Story is running successfully in theatres, will next be seen alongside Aamir Khan in Laal Singh Chaddha.