The Queen of Shops star Mary Portas admitted in a statement that the pair separated a year ago.
Mary and Melanie started dating in 2003, with Mary divorcing her husband of 13 years, Graham Portas, the same year.
Last year, she opened up about entering into a relationship with a woman for the first time. Mary told the Guardian: ‘In one way, it was just about Melanie. But there was a sexual attraction. I do love women.
‘What surprised me afterwards was that so many women are fluid in this way. I would meet them and they would say: “I was married, now I’m with a woman.”’
Mary has two children from her relationship with ex-husband Graham: a son called Mylo and a daughter called Verity. She also has a six-year-old son called Horatio with Melanie. He was born through IVF using sperm donated by Mary’s brother Lawrence.
45-year-old Melanie, who works as a fashion journalist and brand consultant, met Mary at a dinner at the Royal College of Art. She moved in with Mary and her two children in 2005, before the pair entered into a civil partnership in May 2010.
The couple converted their civil partnership to a full marriage in 2014, just after gay marriage was legalised.
But in a statement last week, they sadly revealed: ‘After 17 years together we have decided to separate. There is no one else involved.
‘We have spent the last year consciously managing our separation in as good-heartedly, open and mature a way as possible to ensure a smooth, amicable evolution for us.’
‘In the end they decided they were better off as wonderful friends,’ a friend of the couple told the Sun.
58-year-old Mary began her retail career designing window displays for shops including Topshop and Harvey Nichols before rising to fame on the TV show Mary Queen of Shops in 2007. A few years later, David Cameron made her the UK’s first ‘shopping tsar’.