Sandra Bullock's ex Jesse James announces engagement to 'best friend' Kat Von D

Their very public declarations of love have signalled a growing commitment to one another.

And now Jesse James and Kat Von D have decided to make it official – by announcing their engagement.

"You know sometimes the public and press gets it wrong," Jesse said in a statement to People magazine. "This is one of those times.

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"2010 was actually the best year of my life because I fell in love with my best friend. An amazing woman who stood behind me when the world turned their backs.

"I have never met anyone so kind and loving and committed to making the world a better place every day. My love for her is beyond description. So honoured that she said 'yes'. Growing old with her is going to be a f----n' blast."

Jesse, 41, and tattoo artist Kat, 28, started dating last summer following the collapse of his marriage to Sandra Bullock. Their divorce was finalised last June.

Reports of a possible engagement surfaced when heavily-tattooed Kat was spotted wearing a ring on her third finger.

It has since been confirmed that it is a four carat platinum and diamond Neil Lane sparkler.

"It’s a beautiful ring set with a central round diamond in the middle with smaller surrounding diamonds for an overall dome shape," confirmed designer-to-the-stars Neil. "It has a delicate filigree pattern with very pretty scroll work."

Despite their engagement, Kat and Jesse still live in different states – she in LA and he in Austin, Texas – where ex-Sandra and her son Louis (pictured this week) also live.

Asked if she will relocate to be with her new fiancé, Kat told People: "If only it were that easy. Having two places we call home will be good for now. In the end, home is where the heart is, and my heart's with him."

Following news of their proposal, Jesse and Kat have been proclaiming their love for each other via Twitter.

"Waking up to what @FreeJesseJames said about our engagement this morning brought tears to my eyes, in the best possible way," tweeted Kat. "I guess that 'kat' is outta the bag eh?"

Her husband-to-be responded: "I only said it cuz it's true!" before saying he loved her.

The couple frequently use the public forum to acknowledge their affection; on January 13, Jesse tweeted: "They say true love will always shine through. The reason I started Twitter again? So I could publically profess my love for @thekatvond."

"Thank you for always supporting me and believing in everything I do," she responded. "But most of all, thanks for being my best friend."

It will be the fourth time Jesse has been married – he was married to Karla James from 1991 until 2002, – with whom he had two children - and was then wed to Janine Lindermulder – mother of his third child - from 2002 until 2004 before tying the knot with Sandra in 2005.

Kat, meanwhile, has been married to fellow tattoo artist Oliver Peck.