After 13 years together--and, unbeknownst to most of the world, nine years as actual hubby and wife--Elizondo filed the petition today in Los Angeles Superior Court citing "irreconcilable differences" with his superstar wife.
"We simply grew apart," Elizondo tells E! Online. "We became more business and creative partners than actual lovers. We've been in negotiations for the past four to six months, and we decided to file for divorce and get this over with."
Despite repeated denials over the years, the couple actually got married in March 1991 in a ceremony performed by a priest at their North San Diego County home.
Jackson, 34, announced her split from Elizondo, 37, last February--but even then, Jackson only called it a "personal relationship." It was Jackson's sisters, Rebbie and LaToya, who had already begun spilling the beans about the couple's marriage, but the reports never were officially confirmed.
"We noticed early on that high-profile couples tended to split up," Elizondo says. "We didn't want the added stress, and we decided to keep our private lives private."
At the time of their split last year, Jackson said she and Elizondo planned to remain friends. He's also had a tight link with Jackson professionally, directing several of her videos and collaborating musically on songs for her 1997 release, The Velvet Rope. (Oh yeah, and those were his hands covering her breasts on the infamous cover of Rolling Stone.)
Elizondo says he last spoke with Jackson a month ago, but they have not collaborated professionally since last year.
This was the second semi-hush-hush marriage for Jackson, who also quietly married former popster James DeBarge in 1985. Before the press could even get their hands on that one, the marriage was annulled. Currently, she's making the press rounds for the summer flick Nutty Professor II: The Klumps, in which she co-stars with Eddie Murphy.
Meanwhile, Elizondo says he's polishing up a script to his own feature film called Tom, Dick and Harry, and he has a new (unnamed) significant other, whom he's been dating for several months.