LOS ANGELES – It was a storybook marriage in 1986 on a spring weekend on Cape Cod that united a princess of an American political dynasty, Maria Shriver, and the gap-toothed, muscle-clad movie star famous enough to be known by one name, Arnold.

In many ways, it was a pairing of opposites: She was the rising star of a network TV news show; he was the pot-puffing star of “Pumping Iron.” He was a Republican with a soft spot for Richard Nixon; her family was a pillar in the nation’s Democratic establishment.

Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, 63, and Shriver, 55, announced their separation late Monday, cleaving a sometimes-turbulent 25-year relationship after “a time of great personal and professional transition for each of us,” the couple said in a joint statement.

The breakup comes about four months after Schwarzenegger ended a bumpy, two-term run as California governor, a job his wife never wanted him to pursue.

The joint statement said they were working on the future of their relationship while living apart, and that they would continue to parent their four children — Katherine, 21, Christina, 19, Patrick, 17, and Christopher, 13.

“After a great deal of thought, reflection, discussion and prayer, we came to this decision together,” the statement said.

Want to hear new Gaga music? You’ll have to earn it

LOS ANGELES – Lady Gaga is turning to an unusual method to cultivate her fan base: The pop icon is releasing songs from her new album on a section of online game FarmVille before they can be heard anywhere else.

The singer, known for her outrageous styles and hits such as “Poker Face” and “Bad Romance,” will allow singles from “Born This Way” to be heard within a neighboring farm in the game called “GagaVille.”

Players have to complete tasks to hear one exclusive new track per day from May 17 to 19. Additional songs that aren’t exclusive can be unlocked over the following three days. The album is due to be released May 23.

About 46 million people worldwide play FarmVille every month.

Ferguson: Wedding snub ‘difficult’ but deserved

CHICAGO – Not receiving an invitation to the royal wedding was “so difficult,” Sarah Ferguson tells Oprah Winfrey in an interview scheduled to air today.

The Duchess of York says on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” that she went to Thailand instead of attending last month’s marriage of Prince William to Kate Middleton, now the Duchess of Cambridge.

“It was so difficult,” Ferguson said in quotes provided by Harpo Productions. “Because I wanted to be there with my girls and to — and to be getting them dressed and to go as a family.”

Ferguson’s daughters, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie, attended the wedding with their father and Ferguson’s former husband, Prince Andrew.

Ferguson went on to say she thought it “was quite right they didn’t invite me.”

“I felt that I ostracized myself by my behavior, by the past,” she said.

Charges erased in shooting  

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – A prosecutor in North Carolina is dropping charges against six men in a Feb. 16 shootout at a store where rapper Waka Flocka Flame had been talking with fans.

A spokesman for the rapper said the shooting at a car stereo shop started after several men tried to take some of Waka Flocka Flame’s jewelry. One man was injured.

Prosecutors in Charlotte said none of the witnesses identified any of the shooters. Prosecutors also said there was no evidence of an attempted robbery.