Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg (51) and Stephanie zu Guttenberg (46) separated several months ago. According to a media report, the couple’s lawyer has now confirmed this.

“Yes, it’s true, the couple separated on good terms last winter and will continue to remain close friends,” Christian Schertz confirmed to the German Press Agency. Now we also ask “in the interest of protecting the privacy of the Guttenberg family and also with regard to their children, to respect them and to refrain from making further inquiries.”

The former Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Defense and the née Countess von Bismarck-Schönhausen had a public appeal like hardly any other couple in the orbit of German politics. For a time he was by far the most popular politician in the country. According to various surveys, most people would have preferred to see him as the successor to Angela Merkel (69).

The couple married in 2000 and had two daughters together shortly afterwards. However, after a plagiarism scandal surrounding his dissertation, the CSU politician had to change careers in 2011 and the Guttenbergs moved to the USA.

“In a very friendly conversation, I informed the Chancellor that I would be withdrawing from my political positions and asked for my dismissal,” explained Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg at the time. In his resignation statement, which the “SZ” published in full, he also said: “I was always ready to fight, but I have reached the limits of my strength.” And the former power couple is now going their separate ways.