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    Seal Talks Heidi Klum Separation: "We Were Shocked"

    Well, that was like clockwork!

    Right after Billboard exec Bill Werde told E! News that Seal's split from Heidi Klum might actually help the singer's career by drawing attention to more than just his new album, interviews between Seal and Ellen DeGeneres (airing Tuesday) and PBS' Tavis Smiley (airing Friday) hit the web.

    And if you think the topic of his separation was off the table, think again.

    MORE: Seal Emerges In Wake of Heidi Klum Split—but Is He Still Wearing His Wedding Ring?

    In fact, it seems like Seal is more than willing to openly speak about what shocked us all. And apparently, them, too.

    "I think we were shocked," Seal explains on Ellen. "You go into these things with the greatest intentions when you say 'I do' and you say ''Till death do us part.' Those vows hold value. They are not just words. These things happen. We pretty much said how we feel and made it clear in the release statement.

    "But, for intents and purposes of this show, you just grow apart after awhile. You try and you work through it and the thing that you quickly realize when you are married and you become a parent is you do the best that you can. It makes you actually appreciate your parents a lot more.The thing that I'm most proud about this great woman who married—and I really do mean that from the bottom of my heart—is that together she has given me four incredible gifts…four beautiful children. 

    "She still, in my opinion, the most wonderful woman in the world. I think our priority was to remain civil and do this thing with dignity. We still very much love each other. It's not a question of we were never to follow suit of some breakup or separations that you hear about, especially in our industry. It's a shame. To say that neither of us were grieving would be an out and out lie, and I don't mind telling you that. I think the operative here is that we are civil to each other and we both have a tremendous amount of respect and love and we try and do this with as much dignity as we possibly can. And of course, when you have four children, you hope and pray that the rest of the world will respect that we have four children and that their little hearts are at stake, too."

    MORE: Afternoon Mail! Heidi Klum and Seal's Split: Was a Vice to Blame?

    And why is Seal still sporting his wedding ring?

    "I think it's just pretty much a token of how I feel about this woman. We have eight years. Eight wonderful years together. Just because we have decided to separate doesn't necessarily mean you take off your ring and you're no longer connected to that person. 

    "We will be connected in many ways till the rest of our lives…through our children and also through this tremendous admiration, respect and love that we have for each other. Will we wear the ring for the rest of our lives? Who knows? But right now it feels really comfortable on my hand, so I have intentions of taking it off anytime soon."

    When it came to Smiley's interview, he asked Seal about the timing of his split with the release of such a "romantic" album, and how he stays focused on the music with everything in his personal life "falling apart", the singer seemed to have similar answers.

    "We have a tremendous amount of love and respect for each other, and also, of course, our children are our first priority. I think we've pretty much said everything that we needed to say about it in the statement that we released.

    "But how does one stay focused? Um, just because you decide to separate—I don't think you all of a sudden stop loving each other, I don't think you all of a sudden stop becoming friends. Especially when there are other things to take into consideration, like family. So to be honest, it's not really that difficult and it's not really that much of an issue. What one has to do in this situation is to remain civil and to retain one's dignity and to be professional and to understand we are not the only people on this planet that go through this. It is just, unfortunately, a chapter of life."

    MORE: Heidi Klum and Seal: Anatomy of a Split

    Clearly, Heidi and Seal are not the first to celeb couple in Hollywood to call it quits (and we've seen some pretty ugly splits). Do the examples before them affect how they will handle their separation?

    "It's not really a question of not wanting to emulate it, we're just not those kind of people. We never really have been. We've never been attracted to that. And so, of course it's a difficult situation that we have to handle right now, and it's never easy, but in terms of our love and respect for each other—that hasn't changed at all. Yes, these are difficult times, but there's a lot to be positive about. And I think that when two people feel that way about each other it is easier to make that transition."

    GALLERY: Heidi Klum & Seal—Romance Rewind

    (Originally published Jan. 23, 2012, at 8:15 p.m. PT)

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