Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber announced yesterday that they’re over releasing a statement confirming the end of their romantic relationship:

"Over the past few months we've come to the conclusion that the best way forward for us as a family is to separate as a couple. It is with great love, respect, and friendship in our hearts that we look forward to raising our children together and exploring this new phase of our relationship. While we appreciate your curiosity and support, we ask the press to be mindful of our children and respect their right to privacy."

It happened exactly a week after Brange. And under much different circumstances. Brange is dominating the celebrity breakup landscape. That was already a bonus for Naomi and Liev. And there was another spectacle happening last night. Most of the headlines today are about the debate. It was the most ideal time for them then to reveal a not-so-ideal piece of news.

Naomi and Liev were together earlier this month in Venice and at TIFF to promote their film The Bleeder. Liev then attended the Emmys with their son. You can see the calendar marks now about how this would roll out, right? They waited out the festivals and the award shows, avoiding speculation about their relationship while they were in front of the media. And then took advantage of all the attention being paid to Brange and the political arena to ensure that their split would receive as little scrutiny as possible. With, maybe, some advance notice. Liev, by the way, is represented by entertainment lawyer Robert Offer. That name might sound familiar to you. Because he released a statement last week on behalf of another client, Angelina Jolie. Coincidence or conspiracy?

Earlier this year Naomi and Liev’s NY apartment was featured in Architectural Digest. Someone wrote to me at the time wondering if this meant that they’d be listing the place soon. Like a pre-sale promotion for the property. It’s an excellent observation, in hindsight, and props to the person who sent that in. What, though, could be different now from, you know, before? For years there have been rumours about Liev. I remember he was shooting a few years ago in Montreal and people there were always seeing him with a not-Naomi. Those sightings could never be substantiated. So, of course, there’s nothing slamdunk to suggest that they are connected to the separation. And they did a great job fronting closeness and affection when they were together in Toronto a couple of weeks ago. Whatever it is, then, they’re playing like they’re over it. And anything resembling civil, right now, in the wake of Brange, doesn’t invite a lot of digging.

Attached - Naomi on the set of Gypsy in New York yesterday.