Hugh Jackman and Deborra-Lee Furness have announced their plans to separate after nearly three decades of marriage.
In a statement shared with People on 15 September, the couple said: “We have been blessed to share almost three decades together as husband and wife in a wonderful, loving marriage. Our journey now is shifting and we have decided to separate to pursue our individual growth.
“Our family has been and always will be our highest priority. We undertake this next chapter with gratitude, love, and kindness. We greatly appreciate your understanding in respecting our privacy as our family navigates this transition in all of our lives.”
They signed the statement with“Deb and Hugh Jackman,” concluding: “This is the sole statement either of us will make.”
The Australian power couple have been married for more than 27 years and share two children together: Oscar, 23, and Ava, 18. In November 2020, Furness explained how much she values family to People, telling the outlet: “Family, to me, means you feel safe.”
“I always use the expression: ‘All of us need to know that we’re precious,’” she added. “So, with family, you’ve always got that you’re important in someone else’s life.”
Jackman first met Furness in 1995 on the set of the Australian TV series Corelli. At the time, she was an established actress, and Hugh was fresh out of drama school and was just making his foray into acting. Despite their 13-year age gap, the pair quickly fell head over heels for each other, and less than a year later, on 11 April 1996, they married.
In an interview with People in 2017, Jackman reflected on their meeting, saying: “Deb, she was a big star…I get picked up, and Deb is in the front seat of the car. I’ll never forget.”
“She took off her seatbelt and she turned around and put out her hand and took off her sunglasses and said: ‘Hi, I’m Deborra-Lee Furness, nice to meet you.’ I remember thinking: ‘I like this girl,’” he recalled.
For Jackman, it was love at first sight. “I knew very early, I knew before Deb knew. Even when she tried to break up with me, I knew,” he continued. “She kind of [broke up with me], a little bit. Early on, three weeks in. I managed to talk her out of it, thank God.”
“I’m a very indecisive person, Deb really knows this about me,” he added. “I can count on my hand the amount of times in my life anything has felt that clear to me, and when it happens it’s such a relief for me.”
The Greatest Showman star posted a sweet photo of him and Furness on Instagram in honour of their 27th wedding anniversary in April, gushing about his then-wife: “I love you so much. Together we have created a beautiful family. And life. Your laughter, your spirit, generosity, humour, cheekiness, courage and loyalty is an incredible gift to me.”
Jackman frequently paid tribute to his wife on his Instagram, often sharing memories and writing loving captions about Furness on important holidays and anniversaries.
The couple’s last public appearances were at the Met Gala in May, in which both wore outfits honouring the late Karl Lagerfeld, and at the men’s finals at Wimbledon in July.