“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,” Jackman, 54, and Furness, 67, said in a joint statement to People on Friday, September 15.
The statement concluded: “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 twosome started dating shortly after they met on the set of the Australian TV series Correlli in 1995. Jackman and Furness faced obstacles in the early days of dating when the actress grew concerned about their 13-year age difference.
“She kind of [broke up with me], a little bit,” Jackman recalled on the “Aussies in Hollywood with Jenny Cooney” podcast in 2018. “I just knew 100 percent; I even knew when she was trying to work out reasons to break up with me.”
Jackman and Furness ultimately reconciled and went on to tie the knot in 1996. They expanded their family by adopting son Oscar in 2000 and daughter Ava in 2005.
While they clearly overcame the age gap, it wasn’t the only aspect of their marriage that made headlines. Over the years, Furness defended her marriage to Jackman on multiple occasions, even shutting down speculation that her spouse was gay.
“If he was gay, he could be gay!” Furness joked about the speculation regarding Jackman’s sexuality during the “Not an Overnight Success” podcast in April 2022. “He didn’t have to hide in the closet anymore, and he’d be dating Brad Pitt, or whatever. Not that Brad’s gay, but you know what I’m saying!”
The actor, meanwhile, preferred to gush over his wife on public platforms.
“You’ve taught me many things, including how to celebrate. Celebrate life, family, friendship and love,” Jackman captioned an Instagram birthday tribute in November 2022. “Your light and joy lights up all around you! The kids are I bask in that glow every day and today we pray you feel all the love reflected back at you. x I love you.”
Jackman also celebrated their wedding anniversary on the platform, writing in April, “I love you Deb. Today is our 27th wedding anniversary. 27 YEARS!! 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. I love you with all my heart.”
One month later, the duo made a public appearance — their last red carpet outing — at the Met Gala. Jackman and Furness smiled for the camera as they posed on the carpet in matching black ensembles in honor of the “Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty” theme.