NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Jason Aldean has filed for divorce.
The country music star filed the complaint for divorce against his wife, Jessica, on Friday afternoon in Williamson County, Tenn., citing irreconcilable differences. The two met in high school and have been married since August 2001.
"This is a really tough time for my entire family," Aldean said in a statement Monday afternoon. "Jessica and I have been together since we were teenagers. We've been through a lot of ups and downs over the years as we grew up together as a couple. She will always be important to me because she is the mother of my children, and I know that we will both always make our daughters our #1 priority."
Aldean's publicist confirmed last week the couple had separated after media reports surfaced. The filing comes six months after Aldean was photographed while appearing to kiss former "American Idol" contestant Brittany Kerr in a Los Angeles bar. Aldean later apologized to fans on Twitter for acting inappropriately.
Aldean and his wife met while in school in Macon, Ga., and were married long before Aldean found fame. He is country's top-selling male act, one of its top touring draws and recently won the Academy of Country Music's male vocalist of the year award. Aldean and his wife have two young daughters together, Keeley and Kendyl.
"I've learned that everyone always rushes to judgment when they hear news like this," Aldean said. "That's really hard because no one knows anything about our relationship but us. I understand that because of my job, I have to go through a lot of this in the public eye, but for my girls' sake I really wish people would give us some level of privacy and at the very least be respectful of them."