Hugh Jackman and Deborra-lee Jackman Separate, Moving Forward 'with Gratitude, Love, and Kindness'
Hugh Jackman and his wife Deborra-lee are amicably ending their marriage. The couple say in a statement exclusively shared with 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." "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 statement, signed “Deb and Hugh Jackman," concludes: "This is the sole statement either of us will make." The Aussie pair, who share two kids, Oscar, 23, and Ava, 18, have been married for 27 years. After meeting in 1995 on the set of the Australian TV series Corelli, the costars fell for each other hard and fast. Deb, already an established actress, and Hugh, then an upstart actor fresh out of drama school, married less than a year later. “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.’” The two wed on April 11, 1996, and over the years became one of Hollywood’s most beloved couples. On their 27th wedding anniversary in April, the Greatest Showman star posted a loving nod to Deb, 67, 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, humor, 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.