Welsh actor Michael Sheen has spoken out about his break-up with ex-girlfriend Kate Beckinsale, claiming the actress was his "soul mate".

Beckinsale left Sheen, the father of her seven-year-old daughter LILY, for director Len Wiseman after meeting him on the set of Underworld.

But Sheen insists that, despite his heartbreak, the split was for the best.

He says, "It was obviously not easy, but in the end it was absolutely fine. I think we were both brave to have given each other the opportunity to say, 'This isn't making us happy any more. We need to try for something different.'"

Sheen also laughs off lingering speculation Beckinsale's relationship with Wiseman developed while they were still a couple.

He insists, "He's a lovely bloke, Len, and I never felt like anything had gone on behind my back."