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Peter Facinelli Calls Divorce from Jennie Garth 'Painful'

Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Actor Peter Facinelli says Jennie Garth will always be in his life, even though they have parted.

Speaking Wednesday on Live! With Kelly, Facinelli made his first public remarks about the split, telling host Kelly Ripa that it was "very painful to break up with somebody, especially after you've been together for 17 years and you have kids.

"It's even more painful when it's played out in the media, and I've tried to stay really quiet about it for the sake of my kids," he said. "But you know, Jen and I are doing really well....She'll always be in my life and I love her and, you know, we're just going to have a different relationship."

He added that he and Garth were "very dedicated to being great parents."

Facinelli was co-hosting Live! and he joked about the night last month that he donned a blond wig and went clubbing with Ripa and her friends.

"I blame ladies night out," he said, laughing. "We had ladies night out.  I woke up two weeks later in Mexico and then I got a divorce."

He also joked that his dressing like a woman "sparked a lot of rumors."

"That's when it all went wrong, I think," Ripa jokingly chimed in.

Facinelli, who plays Dr. Carlisle Cullen in the Twilight film series, filed for divorce from Garth, the Beverly Hills, 90210 star, last week. They had announced their separation earlier in March.

Both have been quick to deny rumors the demise of the marriage was caused by Facinelli's alleged infidelity.

They two were the ultimate Hollywood couple. With their 11-year marriage and three daughters, they appeared inseparable and even referred to themselves as "the Facinelli Five."

They have asked for joint custody of their daughters, Luca, 14, Lola, 9, and Fiona, 5.

Garth has told People magazine that Facinelli asked for the divorce. She acknowledged that there were problems with their relationship, but said she didn't want a divorce.

"I tried everything I could to save our marriage," she said. "I was very resistant. I didn't want it [divorce] to happen."

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ABC News Radio