In a statement, the 36-year-old comedian said: "Sadly, Katy and I are ending our marriage. I'll always adore her and I know we'll remain friends."
The couple met at the MTV Video Music Awards in September 2009 and married in a lavish ceremony in India in October last year. But rumours of cracks in their relationship circulated right from the start as their respective careers meant they were rarely even in the same country.
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Talk of a break-up increased as the pair spent Christmas apart. Russell was pictured in Cornwall while pop singer Katy, from Santa Barbara, California, was seen spending it with friends in Hawaii.
Essex lad Russell offered no other details about the split but cited irreconcilable differences in divorce papers filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on Friday.
Prior to their marriage he was famous for being a lothario with a string of sexual conquests under his belt. One of his liaisons proved to be his undoing when the Sachsgate scandal saw him resigning from his Radio 2 show.
During a pre-recorded show he and Jonathan Ross left a phone message for veteran actor Andrew Sachs in which Jonathan made crude comments about Brand's relationship with the Fawlty Towers star's granddaughter Georgina Baillie.
He has gone on to establish a successful Hollywood career and became a surprise publishing success with his memoir. This year Russell played the animated heir to the Easter Bunny's throne in the family film Hop and took on the title role in Arthur, a reworking of the 1981 Dudley Moore classic.
Katy rose to fame with the release of her second single I Kissed A Girl in 2008. Her run of US number one singles earned her the distinction of becoming MTV's first artist of the year earlier this month.