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16th Sep 2023

Hugh Jackman and Deborra-Lee Jackman separate after almost three decades together

Steve Hopkins

‘Our journey now is shifting and we have decided to separate to pursue our individual growth’

Hugh Jackman and his wife Deborra-Lee are set to end their marriage after spending almost three decades together.

In a statement to PEOPLE the couple said they had been “blessed to share about three decades 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 statement continued.

“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 couple, Jackman, 54, and Deborra-Lee, 67, noted that the statement was the only one “either of us will make.”

The couple, who share two adopted children, Oscar, 23, and 18-year-old Ava, have been married for 27 years, after meeting on the set of Australian TV show Correlli in 1995. They married a year later on 11 April, in Melbourne.

When they met Deborra-Lee was already an established actress, having moved into acting from reporting, but Jackman was fresh out of drama school.

Deborra-Lee rose to fame in 1988 when she starred in the movie Shame, for which she won Best Actor awards from the Film Critics Circle of Australia and the Golden Space Needle Award from the Seattle International Film Festival. She also appeared in an episode of Halifax f.p, The Flying Doctors, the mini-series, Stark, and the movie, Angel Baby in 1995.

Speaking to PEOPLE in 2017, Jackman said of his wife: “Deb, she was a big star…I get picked up, and Deb is in the front seat of the car. I’ll never forget,” Hugh, 54, told PEOPLE in 2017 of their first meeting. “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.’”

In 2014, Deborra-Lee was named as the New South Wales Australian of the Year for her work in adoption campaigning.

On their 27th wedding anniversary in April, the Greatest Showman star posted a loving nod to Deb, and their bond on Instagram, sharing in part, “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.”

Their last red carpet appearance was at the Met Gala on May 1, and in July, they attended the men’s finals at Wimbledon.

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