London: Australian cricketer Shane Warne issued a statement on Monday that he has split from his wife Simone Callahan, following reports he is dating British model-actress Elizabeth Hurley.
The spinner was pictured kissing and cuddling Hurley in a report by Britain's News of the World newspaper on Sunday, prompting her to reveal she split from her India-born businessman husband Arun Nayar "a few months ago", reports contactmusic.com.
Warne refused to comment as he arrived back at his home in Melbourne in the wake of the scandal - but issued a statement confirming he is no longer with his wife Callahan, the mother of his three children.
Liz Hurley, Elizabeth Hurley (Reuters)
In a message posted on his website, Warne writes, "Sadly and unfortunately, Simone and I split up a while ago, our close friends and family were informed at that time. It is a private matter, so we did not make it public. We remain friends and will continue to be good parents."
He later added on Twitter.com: "Hope that clears things up for everyone who is interested."
A source close to Hurley revealed she has become "very close" to the 41-year-old former bowler following her separation but is concerned about the distance between them as she lives in Britain and Warne in Australia.
"Shane has been a real support through the tough time she's had splitting with Arun. They have grown very close and there is an intimate bond between them. The only thing standing in their way is geography," said the source.
Now the break-up has been made public, Arun is said to be "embarrassed" by the revelations because of how people will receive the news in his home-country India.
"He is hugely embarrassed and upset. This will be devastating for him. The family had no idea their relationship was over," added the source.