Hugh Jackman once disclosed how he safeguarded his marriage to Deborra-Lee Furness by making a “powerful choice,” years before they announced their separation on Friday.
In 2019, WHO magazine featured an excerpt from “The Father Hood: Inspiration for the New Dad Generation,” in which the 54-year-old Hugh described the pact he made with his 67-year-old wife before they had children.
“But at those moments, we said we’d ask each other, ‘Is this good or bad for our marriage?’ Or, now that we’ve got kids, ‘Is this good or bad for our family?'” wrote the Wolverine star. “And as often as possible, we do the thing that is good for our family,” he added.
Earlier in 2019, Hugh emphasized that ‘intimacy’ was the key to a happy marriage, stating to People magazine, “Without a doubt, it is the most important thing.”
“People talk about intimacy and assume that means in the bedroom. Of course it is that, but really, intimacy is being able to share everything together – good, bad, fears, successes. Deb and I had that from the beginning. We’ve always been completely ourselves with each other.”
The news of their separation was announced on Friday through a statement obtained by 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.”
The couple, who referred to their family as their top priority, expressed gratitude, love, and kindness as they embark on this new chapter. They also requested privacy and made it clear that the statement would be their sole communication on the matter.
Hugh and Deb Jackman have two children together, Oscar, 23, and Ava, 18. Despite their 13-year age difference, the couple, who wed in 1996, had a strong bond and had famously never spent more than two weeks apart since their marriage.
Their love story began in 1995 on the set of the Australian TV drama Correlli when Jackman was just starting his acting career. Although the show had a brief run, meeting Deborra-Lee became the “greatest thing to come out of it” for Jackman. After grappling with infertility, they adopted their children, Oscar and Ava, in the early 2000s.