Today, in a classic “let’s bury this story on a Friday afternoon” PR move, Hugh Jackman and Deborra-Lee Furness announced their plans to separate after 27 years of marriage.
Hugh, 54, and Deborra-Lee, 67, shared this joint statement to People:
“We have been blessed to share almost 3 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.”
The statement, signed “Deb and Hugh Jackman,” concludes: “This is the sole statement either of us will make.”
Hugh and Deborra-Lee met in 1995, while co-starring in the Australian TV show, Correlli. At that time, Deborra-Lee was an established actress and Hugh had just graduated acting school. They married in April 1996 and have two kids: Oscar, 23, and Ava, 18.
I’m actually shocked by this one. Hugh and Deborra-Lee seemed so solid. Their last public appearance as a couple was in July, at the Wimbledon finals. In May, they went to the Met Gala together, and, the month before that, Hugh posted this very sweet 27th anniversary post:
The (nosy) question is, why are Hugh and Deborra-Lee calling it quits? And why now? The safest guess re: timing is that their daughter is in her last year of high school, and they were waiting for the kids to get older to separate (the ol’ empty nest split). And, of course, my gossipmonger-brain couldn’t not think of all those rumors regarding Hugh’s sexuality. Now, to me, the speculation always seemed sexist (ft. homophobic); God forbid a male movie star marry an older woman and kill it on Broadway as a song-and-dance man. Last year, Deborra-Lee went on a podcast and said the gay rumors were “silly” and “boring.” She added, “if he was gay, he could be gay”, and “he’d be dating Brad Pitt.” Oh please, Hugh could do way better than Brad.
In that same interview, Deborra-Lee said she and Hugh had “an incredible connection from the get-go.” She described their courtship as “magic”, and revealed Hugh proposed after just four months of dating. “It was the first time ever I’d known what it was like to be in love.” Aw, now I’m sad. They both seem so nice.
Add Hugh and Deborra-Lee to the growing list of celebrity splits of summer 2023. They join Sophie Turner and Joe Jonas, Britney Spears and Sam Asghari, Sofia Vergara and Joe Manganiello, Ariana Grande and Dalton Gomez, Billy Porter and Adam Smith, and Ricky Martin and Jwan Yosef. Famous couples on the brink: there’s just one more week of summer. Will you survive?