January 20, 2015 - 14:37 GMT hellomagazine.com The Spanish star said he would always love Melanie during a TV interview. Antonio Banderas has spoken for the first time about his separation from Melanie Griffith. The Spanish hunk wanted to make it clear there will always be a place in his heart for the American actress, saying he would always love her. The Mask of Zorro star was asked about the split on Spanish TV while promoting Automata, a science fiction film in which she also has a part. Melanie Griffith filed for divorce last June He replied: "It's been an intense year... Life goes on. I admire and respect for Melanie first and foremost as a great actress. I have always said that. That's why she's in the movie. "And she's also the person that I loved, that I love and will always love." Melanie, 57, applied for a divorce last June after nearly 20 years of marriage and began the process of removing a tattoo of her ex's name from her arm. She spent Christmas enjoying a snowy getaway in Aspen with friends and the couple's daughter Stella. Although it's clear that he is still on her mind as earlier this month she posted a throwback picture of the two of them together with Stella. Antonio Banderas is now dating Nicole Kimpel Meanwhile, the 54-year-old has moved on with a Dutch girlfriend, who is thought to be 20 years his junior, Nicole Kimpel. On his chat show appearance, the presenter wrapped up the interview by saying: You are lucky to have fallen in love again. So all the best. I hope you are happy and Melanie too." To which the actor replied: "Thank you very much".