Hollywood couple Tom Cruise and Penelope Cruz have split - after less than three years together.

The glamorous pair met on the set of the 2001 film Vanilla Sky as Cruise's marriage to Nicole Kidman fell apart, and they began dating publicly in July 2001.

Cruise's sister and publicist LEE ANNE DeVETTE confirmed the couple "broke up at the end of January (04) and it's amicable".

The Spanish beauty's spokesman ROBERT GARLOCK told American magazine PEOPLE that both actors remain single since their split and "remain good friends".

The separation is believed to have been fuelled by the long periods the couple are apart. Cruise spends the majority of his time in his native America, while Cruz is regularly at home in Madrid and has recently been filming SAHARA in Morocco.

Both stars were involved in different religions. Cruise has well-publicised involvement the controversial Scientology religion, while Cruz has been a Christian since birth.

Garlock says Cruz had not become a Scientologist "but she has taken church courses and she's found them beneficial".

He adds Cruise's religions was not a factor in the split.

26/03/2004 09:27