18/11/2011 06:26 GMT | Updated 18/01/2012 05:12 GMT

Demi Moore And Ashton Kutcher Divorce: Love And Loss In Twitterland (PICTURES)

Theirs was one of the most publicly documented relationships in the world. By adopting Twitter as their preferred form of sharing intimate nothings, Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher always put their relationship up to an unprecedently public global gaze.

Ashton Kutcher has 8,392,247 followers, his soon-to-be ex wife a mere 4,261,188. So there were a lot of eyeballs to witness at close hand the disintegration of their union, six years after it began.

When they first got together in 2003, it all seemed unlikely but wonderful. Moore's career was on the wane after a string of hits (St Elmo's Fire, Ghost, Indecent Proposal, Disclosure, GI Jane), and she had behind her two divorces, one from singer Freddy Moore and her husband of 13 years, Bruce Willis.

She had moved inland from Los Angeles to bring up her three daughters alone. In interviews, she gushed of her surprise that a tall, dark, handsome young stranger, 16 years her junior, had not only fallen for her but was prepared to take on her family as his own.

Kutcher also took on her religion, marrying Moore in a Kabbalah ceremony in 2005. And he embraced her history. Willis was among the 150 guests at the ceremony, and then frequently seen in photographs of the extended family at play. It all seemed almost European in its confounding of social expectations.

If Kutcher and Moore were modern in their attitude, they were cutting-edge in their communications, using Twitter to type sweet nothings to each other for years, and share cheeky pictures (@mrskutcher in underwear in the bathroom was highlight) to prove all was well in the household.

But the balance of power was always shifting, and not in Moore's favour. When they started, her young husband was just another up-n-comer in Hollywood - a former Calvin Klein model, but still - recognised mostly for his role in That '70s Show.

The same year he met his future wife, Kutcher cranked into another gear, producing and starring in his own MTV series Punk'd, which filmed cranks played on celebrities. His production company flourished, helped in no small way by his frequent appearances on the red carpet alongside one of the world's most photographed women, and the company is the money-box behind TV series Beauty and the Geek, and The Real Wedding Crashers.

Kutcher hit a new high earlier this year, taking over the lead role in Two and A Half Men left vacant by Hollywood's resident bad boy, Charlie Sheen. Kutcher, who enjoyed record ratings for his debut appearance on the Comedy Central show, has a one-year contract with the show, rumoured to be worth around $20million.

It may be no coincidence that it was when Kutcher took over the role of an eternal bachelor that the cracks in his marriage began to show. No sooner had he stationed his enormous trailer in the studio parking lot, than tales of wild antics were circulating.

Their sixth wedding anniversary came around in September and, with it, claims by 23-year-old Sara Leal that Kutcher had celebrated the date in style, romping with her and her friends in a Las Vegas hot-tub.

Twitter where the openly affectionate pair had openly crooned to each other became the forum whereby Kushter's behaviour was widely reported and discussed, and ultimately where Moore laid bare her anguish with a cryptic statement the same weekend..."I see through you."

And in a burst of philosophical reflection, she also quoted philospher Epictetus: "When we are offended at any man's fault, turn to yourself and study your own failings. Then you will forget your anger."

The pair were seen heading off to a Kabbalah mountain retreat in a bid to resolve their issues following the scandal, but Moore's significant recent weight loss provided clues that her anguish was continuing, and the pair are now set on a tussle over their joint $290 million fortune.

She made her statement of divorce yesterday, with what she described as "great sadness and a heavy heart" but resolution to follow "the certain values and vows that I hold sacred". Which presumably include forsaking all hot-tubs.

Meanwhile, Kutcher took time to reflect, ponder and seek comfort with his closest friends, telling all eight million of them that he "will forever cherish the time I spent with Demi. Marriage is one of the most difficult things in the world and unfortunately sometimes they fail. Love and Light, AK."

Which I guess is the 21st-century equivalent of a group hug, people.

See Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher through the years in our Slideshow below, and ponder the big question... would it have worked if she'd ever stood on his right?

Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher through the years