Duran Duran rocker Simon Le Bon and his model wife Yasmin insist they're "closer than ever", despite reports they're on the verge of splitting.

The pair's 18 year marriage was said to be floundering, as Simon this tear (03) reformed his chart-topping 80s band, and toured the world supporting Robbie Williams. Pals claimed the relationship was failing because he had spent too much time away from Yasmin and their family.

But on a shopping trip near their London home yesterday (21DEC03), the couple presented a united front, walking arm-in-arm, laughing and pulling in for a romantic clinch.

As Simon unloaded presents for Yasmin and daughters AMBER, 14, SAFFRON, 12, and nine-year-old TALLULAH, he scoffed at reports of a split, saying, "We are happier than ever - and we're closer too."

A friend adds, "They have rows like any other couple. But to say that their marriage is in crisis is nonsense."

23/12/2003 20:45