Morgan Freeman divorce shocker

Aug 6, 2008 at 3:31 p.m. ET

Morgan Freeman's bad week just got worse.

The couple in happier daysA close friend of the "Dark Knight" star confirmed to Access Hollywood today that the actor is divorcing his wife of 24 years, just days after a serious car accident nearly cost him his life.Freeman and his wife, costumer Myrna Colley-Lee, "are involved in a divorce action," the actor's Mississippi-based attorney and business partner Bill Luckett told Access Hollywood. "And for legal and practical purposes, (Freeman and Colley-Lee) have been separated since December of 2007."

That legal separation stipulation is important, because it means that any cash Freeman has made since that date is not considered marital property and can not be divvied in the divorce.

Over the weekend the actor and a woman named Demaris Meyer, described as a family friend, were driving to Freeman's home in Mississippi when the car Meyer was driving flipped. Freeman underwent surgery after suffering a broken arm, broken elbow and minor shoulder damage in the crash.

Local police say Freeman described Meyer as merely a friend. "He said that she had offered him a ride home; that they were friends and she had offered him a ride home and she didn't really know the way and so he was going to drive the vehicle," said Bill Rogers, a retired police officer who was present at the accident scene.Doctors say Freeman will make a full recovery from his injuries.