Mexico's ex-1st lady confirms divorce from Peña Nieto
Former Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto (c-left), and his wife, Angelica Rivera (c-right), participate together with their children on Sep. 15, 2018, during the celebration of Mexican Independence in Mexico City, Mexico. EPA-EFE / Jorge Nunez / FILE
Mexico City, Feb 8 (epa-efe).- Soap opera star and former first lady Angelica Rivera said Friday that she made the "painful" decision to divorce Enrique Peña Nieto, who was president of Mexico from 2012 to 2018.
"I deeply regret this situation, which is so painful for me and our children. That is why I decided to get a divorce," the actress wrote on Facebook, without mentioning the status of the legal proceedings.
Rivera said that she always lovingly dedicated "time and effort to fulfill the roles of wife, companion and mother."
The actress, known as "La Gaviota" (Seagull) for a character she played in a 2007 telenovela, said she will strive to "remain a good mother" as she goes about recovering her life and career.
"I appreciate respect to maintain the emotional stability that our children deserve," Rivera said a day after ¡HOLA! magazine reported on the end of the marriage.
"Enrique Peña Nieto and Angelica Rivera separated in December. As confirmed to ¡HOLA! by sources close to the couple," the magazine said in an online teaser for its forthcoming issue.
The news item appeared hours after the publication of a photograph showing Peña Nieto with Mexican model Tania Ruiz among a group of people strolling on the streets of Madrid.
EFE journalists have spotted Rivera attending theater premieres and other cultural events in Mexico on her own in the months since the end of the Peña Nieto presidency.
Peña Nieto, 52, lives in Mexico with his three children, while the 49-year-old Rivera moved to the United States to be near her children from her first marriage, according to the magazine story.
Their 2010 nuptials, a second marriage for both bride and groom, captured enormous attention as the union of the then-governor of the state of Mexico and one of the leading telenovela stars.
In late 2014, a scandal erupted over Rivera's ownership of a mansion in the Mexican capital's upscale Lomas de Chapultepec district.
The house, worth an estimated $7 million, was built between 2010 and 2012 by Grupo Higa, which was the recipient of several public works contracts during Peña Nieto's tenure as governor of Mexico state.
Rivera purchased the Casa Blanca (white house) property with money she earned during her successful career as a soap opera actress, government spokesman Eduardo Sanchez said in November 2014.
The then-first lady ultimately sold the residence.
Peña Nieto, who fathered two children out of wedlock during his first marriage, has long had the reputation of being a lady's man.