“We have been blessed to share almost three decades together as husband and wife in a wonderful, loving marriage,” Hugh, 54 and Deborra-lee, 67, told PEOPLE on Friday, September 15. “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 former couple ended their statement by writing, “This is the sole statement either of us will make.”
One of the last times the duo was seen together in public was in July at the men’s finals at Wimbledon.
The pair’s decision to separate comes as a shock to fans. In April, Hugh took to Instagram to celebrate his and Deborra-Lee’s 27th anniversary.
“I love you so much,” the Greatest Showman actor wrote at the time. “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.”
Hugh and Deborra-Lee share two children together: son Oscar and daughter Ava. The actors first met in 1995 while working on the set of the Australian television show Corelli. They quickly fell in love and got married the following year.
Over the years, the now-estranged spouses opened up about how they managed to navigate their personal lives while working in the spotlight.
Over the years, the now-estranged spouses opened up about how they managed to navigate their personal lives while working I the spotlight. During an August 2021 interview with the same outlet, Hugh gushed that his marriage was “one of the best things in [his] life.”
“People often say, ‘Oh my god, marriage is so much work.’ There are some things you gotta live by, but it doesn’t feel like that,” the Bad Education actor noted at the time. “Deb is the lightest, most optimistic person I’ve ever met in my life. Like, if you ever want to play ‘who’s the happiest person in the room’? Deb wins.”