Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin split: Actress' ex Donovan Leitch on the goodbye kiss' that launched a thousand gossip columns

It's almost a week since the first announcement of Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin's "conscious uncoupling", and still, we can barely move for column inches.

Including from exes and rumoured partners, determined to pull themselves out of the media frame. Or perhaps, if one was to be so cynical, to well and truly place themselves back in it.

Enter Gwyneth Paltrow's ex-boyfriend Donovan Leitch, who has chosen now as the time to finally break his silence on the open-mouthed, on-the-lips goodbye kiss' he was snapped enjoying with the married actress in front of hers and Martin's kids in September 2013.

The British actor and documentary maker insists, however, the moment was "purely innocent", and not intended to be romantic.

"I was just saying goodbye to her. It was purely innocent," he told the Mail on Sunday.

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"We were sitting in the owner's box in front of 30,000 people with her two children right next to us. That isn't exactly the setting for a secret liaison.

"But the telephoto picture turned it into more. But it's her. Her life is constantly under surveillance. Gwyneth and I have always been close.

"I consider her to be one of my closest friends. We have tons of great friends in common."

Leitch and Paltrow dated for some time in the early 90s, shortly before the actress sparked up a romance with little-known actor Brad Pitt.

So far, Paltrow has vehemently denied claims that she was unfaithful to Martin a stance that Leitch fully supports.

"I've only witnessed a couple incredibly in love with one another," he continued. "That's my personal experience.

"They're great parents. Their relationship looks enviable. She definitely has a great life. She has a great family, kids and career."

The actress posted a joint statement from the couple (now an un-couple) last week, announcing that she and the Coldplay frontman were separating after 10 years of marriage.

"It is with hearts full of sadness that we have decided to separate," it read.

"We have been working hard for well over a year, some of it together, some of it separated, to see what might have been possible between us, and we have come to the conclusion that while we love each other very much we will remain separate."

On Friday, she thanked fans for their support via a PS' message on the end of a chicken recipe, as Chris Martin's dad attempted to explain to the press what on earth conscious uncoupling' was.

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