Hugh Jackman and fellow actor Deborra-Lee Furness are separating after over 25 years of marriage.
The duo announced the amicable decision on Friday, telling People in a statement that their focus is shifting toward “individual growth” for both Hollywood actor-producers.
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“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,” they shared in the joint statement. “Our family has been and always will be our highest priority. We undertake this next chapter with gratitude, love, and kindness.”
The public comment, which was noted as “the sole statement either of us will make,” concluded in an ask for privacy as the “family navigates this transition in all of our lives.”
Jackman and Furness first met on the set of the Australian legal drama Corelli, which aired in 1995. While Furness was already an established actress, the role served as one of the Logan and Broadway star’s earliest onscreen roles.
“I knew two weeks into meeting Deb that we were going to be together for the rest of our lives,” Jackman told Today in a 2018 interview.
Describing their early interest in one another to People, Jackman recalled how he confessed his feelings to Furness, who was then a friend, at a dinner party. “I invited 20 people. She came over, and I said, ‘Deb, give me a hand with the dessert,'” he recalled. “I said, ‘[I’ve] got a crush on you. I’ll get over it; I’m sorry.’ She goes, ‘Oh? Because I’ve got a crush on you too.’ I never in a million years thought she reciprocated.”
Jackman proposed four months into their relationship and the pair were married the next year in April 1996, remaining together for 27 years.
The duo have been open about their affection — and some of their familial struggles, including miscarriages — over the years. That includes shouting each other out on social media for anniversaries and birthdays, serenades on tour and sharing kisses on award stages.
“There is something I hold [in my heart] that is the reason why I’m here today, why any of this is possible, … why any of this means anything, and that is because my incredible wife and kids support me,” Jackman said while accepting a Special Tony during the 2012 Tony Awards, where they shared a kiss. “I love you with all my heart. I know how much you hate public speaking; this is probably the greatest thing you’ve ever done for me.”
The couple, who share a 13-year age difference, celebrated their 27th wedding anniversary on Instagram earlier this year, with Jackman writing: “I love you so much. Together we have created a beautiful family. And life. Your laughter, your spirit, generosity, humor, cheekiness, courage and loyalty is an incredible gift to me.”
Jackman and Furness share two kids, Oscar, 23, and Ava, 18.
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