"This is an amicable separation," spokesman Dan Klores said in a statement. "Following mediation, both Alison and Howard, who care for each other very much, have come to an agreement and settled all their concerns."
No official word on who will retain custody of their three daughters, ages 16, 12 and 6, but it is believed that the girls will stay with Alison on the family's Long Island estate, while Howard lives at his Upper West Side penthouse.
According to reports in New York papers, the Stern separation is a result not of Howard's incessant on-air lusting after big-breasted, clothes-eschewing female guests, but rather his workaholic ways. There's the syndicated radio program, the two TV shows--one for CBS, one for E!--and a list of projects in development that includes additional series, books and movies. While the busy slate earns the 45-year-old "King of All Media" upwards of $20 million a year, it doesn't make for quality family time.
As anyone who's ever listened to his morning show, read his autobiography, or seen Private Parts knows, Howard considered himself a devout family man and always professed his love for Alison, because she married him when he was still a struggling, gangly dee-jay, years before he became radio's pioneering shock jock.
In fact, Private Parts (the book) was dedicated to his wife "who stuck with me through thick and thin...who loved me before I had a radio show."
After four years of courting, Howard married the former Alison Berns--then a social worker--in 1978. They stayed together as he bounced from Connecticut to Detroit to Washington, before landing in New York.
Alison often became a grudging participant to the raunchy radio proceedings, phoning in to contradict Howard's complaints about their sex life. The only time the joking really got out of hand was after Alison's miscarriage when Howard made cracks like, "We got him in formaldehyde. Just because he's in a bottle doesn't mean he can't have a life of his own." He later apologized to his wife on-air about the remarks.