Memphis celebrity chefs, Gina and Pat Neely, file for divorce

(WMC) - Gina Neely filed for divorce from her husband, Pat Neely, after nearly two decades of marriage. The complaint cites "irreconcilable differences."

The celebrity chefs from Memphis gained national fame on Food Network's "Down Home with the Neelys" cooking show.

The best-selling authors recently released a new book, "Back Home with the Neelys: Comfort Food from our Southern Kitchen to Yours."

Last year, the couple closed their Memphis barbecue restaurant chain to pursue projects on the national level, including Gina Neely's George Foreman Weight Loss Challenge, her new line of Green Giant foods and Pat Neely's partnership with Family Dollar to show people how to food shop on a budget.

The Neelys still own a barbecue restaurant in New York City.

The couple released a joint statement:

"Today we announce that we are ending our marriage of 20 years for irreconcilable differences. This was a tough decision, but we believe it is the best decision for us. As parents of two beautiful adult daughters that we love dearly, we will continue to be involved in each other's lives as parents and friends. Together we have built a strong brand as The Neely's . Moving forward our focus will be on our individual brands and we are optimistic about our respective futures. We ask for your prayers as we go through this transition and honor our request for privacy at this time."

Sources close to the couple say they love each another, but drifted apart.

They own four properties together, including some of the closed restaurants. The filing says if the two cannot come to an agreement on how to dissolve their holdings, the court would do it.

The court is now awaiting Pat Neely's response.

Fans are expressing their sadness about the announcement on social media.

Are you a fan of the Neelys? How do you feel about the split? Do you think their individual brands will be as successful as their brand as a couple? Sound off on the WMC Action  News 5 Facebook page.

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