Deborra-Lee Furness’ gushing praise of her now-estranged husband Hugh Jackman has resurfaced after their split hit the headlines.
It was just a year ago in February 2022 when the Australian actor spoke highly of her husband to Page Six, while at the Broadway opening of The Music Man revival starring the X-Men star. She said that she had helped her husband run his lines and noted, “Yeah, we do everything together.”
She made a point of adding that there was nothing “irritating” about Jackman, his Hollywood nice guy image was a reality rather than a facade. But it seems as though even couples as solid as Jackman and Furness can have trouble brewing in paradise. More than a year after her kind words, the couple shared a joint statement with People on 15 September announcing their split.
“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,” the couple stated.
“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.”
Married for more than 27 years, the Australian couple share two children together: Oscar, 23, and Ava, 18. Furness explained how much she values family to People in November 2020, 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.”
On the set of the Australian TV series Corelli, Furness, an established actress and 13 years Jackman’s senior, met recent drama school graduate Jackman. After quickly fell head over heels for each other, and they married less than a year later, on 11 April 1996.
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 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.