The estranged couple met in 1995 when they were both co-starring on the Australian series Corelli. They tied the knot the following year, welcoming their son, Oscar, in 2000, and their daughter, Ava, in 2005.
“She’s the greatest thing that ever happened to me,” he said at the time. “I’m kind of really grateful that I met her before anything kind of happened because everything that’s happened in my career and on screen, off screen we’ve always done it together.”
When recalling their first meeting, Jackman said, “That was my first job, where I met her. She was the star, I had this major crush on her. Everyone did. The whole crew had a crush on her and I was so embarrassed that I didn’t talk to her for about a week.”
A week later, he said he got the courage to ask Furness to a dinner party. “I invited her over and about 20 other people, and she said, ‘What’s the matter, have I annoyed you? You’re not talking to me anymore. What have I done wrong?'” he recalled. “I’d had a couple and I said, ‘Look, I got a crush on you, I’ll get over it,'” he said. “And she went, ‘Oh really.’ And I was like, ‘Oh, this is bad.’ And she goes, ‘Yeah, I got one on you too.’ …That was it.”
In November 2011, the Sleepwalking actress brushed off comments about marrying a younger Broadway star while speaking with Page Six, saying, “Hugh is much more mature than me, so we balance each other out. And heaven forbid I have a human experience and carry a little weight.”
Furness shared that she’s also heard speculation about his sexuality, adding, “The line I heard was, ‘Wolverine? Who would have thought?’ Hugh and I don’t pay much heed. It’s kind of tragic that these people have nothing better to do than gossip about people they don’t know.”
Two years later, Jackman admitted to The Hollywood Reporter that the frequent rumors about his sexuality were getting to his wife more than they previously had. “Just recently, it bugs her,” he said, blaming the internet, which she frequents more than he does. “She goes: ‘It’s big. It’s everywhere!'”
X-Men producer Lauren Shuler Donner brushed off the gossip when THR spoke with her, adding, “I have seen him with Deborra since the beginning of their trip to Hollywood, and I’ve been on five movie sets with him and have never seen him stray, have never seen him eye anyone. I met him when he did Oklahoma! [at London’s Royal National Theatre in 1999]. He was genuine, hugely talented. He was in love with his wife that day and still is.”
Later that same year, Jackman and Furness presented a united front as they shot down the speculation during a joint interview with Australia’s Nine Network’s 60 Minutes.
“If I was [gay], I would be,” Jackman said in July 2013. “It’s to me not the most interesting thing about a person anyway, but I do get frustrated for Deb, because I see Deb go, ‘Ah, this is crazy.'”
“It is just wrong, it’s like, it’s a lie. It’s just offensive,” Furness added, saying that the couple took particular umbrage with those calling their marriage a sham. “If he was gay, fine, he would say he’s gay. It has gotten so out of whack… it’s stupid, yeah, it’s annoying, because it’s not true.”
In 2018, the couple did a joint interview for the Aussies in Hollywood With Jenny Cooney podcast, where they opened up about how they first met and the early days of their relationship.
“The best experience I ever had, working with another actor [was with Deborra],” Jackman declared. “This was before we were romantically involved or had any idea that Deborra was interested. There was a chemistry… and every time we had a scene together it was unbelievable. Professionally, I’ve never had anything quite like that again.”
As they continued to work together, Furness soon started to miss him when he wasn’t on set. She did, at first, push back when Jackman wanted to get serious.
“I knew very early, I knew before Deb knew, even when she tried to break up with me, I knew [she was the one],” Jackman confessed. “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. 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.”
“I just knew 100 percent, I even knew when she was trying to work out reasons to break up with me,” he continued.
More recently, Furness poked fun at the ongoing remarks on Jackman’s sexuality during an April 2022 appearance on the Not an Overnight Success podcast. “Hugh’s been gay for whatever, I mean, hello guys — if he was gay, he could be gay!” she joked with host Gus Worland.
She went on to say that if Jackman were gay, he wouldn’t still be married to her. “He [wouldn’t] have to hide in the closet anymore, and he’d be dating Brad Pitt, or whatever,” she added. “Not that Brad’s gay, but you know what I’m saying!”
“It’s so silly,” she said, “and then people perpetuate silly things. It’s boring.”
Furness criticized the magazines that prolong rumors about celebrities. “I’m like, ‘How could people just make this up?’ It just amazes me that these magazines continue to get away with it,” she said. “What they’re selling is schadenfreude. They are selling misery. People must be wanting to buy that other people are miserable…because that makes them feel better about themselves.”
While she pointed out that people are affected by reading lies about themselves, Furness noted that she and Jackman “don’t read a lot of that stuff” and are unaware.
“We have been blessed to share almost 3 decades together as husband and wife in a wonderful, loving marriage,” the pair’s joint statement reads. “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,” the statement adds. “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 “Deb and Hugh Jackman,” and noted, “This is the sole statement either of us will make.”
“I love you Deb. Today is our 27th wedding anniversary. 27 YEARS!! I love you so much,” he captioned a photo of them smiling. “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.”
The following month, the pair stepped out for their final red carpet appearance at the 2023 Met Gala.
See more on Jackman and Furness’ marriage in the video below.