“With absolute love and respect we decided to separate as a couple earlier this year,” Duhamel and Fergie said in a joint statement exclusively to PEOPLE
The actor, 44, took a walk through a hiking trail in Brentwood, Calif., on Thursday, wearing a blue hat, black shirt and jeans.
“With absolute love and respect we decided to separate as a couple earlier this year,” the couple said in a joint statement to PEOPLE. “To give our family the best opportunity to adjust, we wanted to keep this a private matter before sharing it with the public. We are and will always be united in our support of each other and our family.”
The pair’s differences ultimately played a role in their separation.
“People close to them won’t be surprised that this ended,” a source previously told PEOPLE. “A big factor is how different Fergie and Josh are,” the source adds. “In the beginning, it was what attracted them to each other and made them so fun to be around.”
WATCH: Fergie and Josh Duhamel Separate After 8 Years of Marriage: ‘We Are and Will Always be United’
In the end, their lives “were heading in two separate directions and [they] are often apart because of work,” added the source.
However, the couple will always be bonded for the sake of their son.
The split “has been a long time coming. Still, they both are obsessed with Axl and love being parents,” the source concluded.