3 Signs Hugh And Deborra-Lee Jackman's Marriage Wouldn't Stand The Test Of Time

It seems as if 2023 has been a notable year for celebrity breakups. From Sofía Vergara and Joe Manganiello to Jeezy and Jennie Mai, are we experiencing an extended mercury retrograde? As of Sept. 15, 2023, Hugh Jackman and Deborra-lee Furness are the latest high-profile couple to split. They have been married since 1996 and were nearing their 30-year anniversary.

The couple announced their divorce via a lengthy statement to People: "We have been blessed to share almost three 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."

Before they settled down as the adoptive parents of two children, Jackman and Furness started off with a whirlwind romance. They met while on the set of a television show in Australia and got married less than a year later (per People). While the "Greatest Showman" actor and his wife appeared to be a mainstay in Hollywood, looks can always be deceiving. It turns out that there were actually a few signs preluding their split that fans have called attention to in recent years.

1. Deborra initially didn't want to date a young actor

Deborra-lee Furness was already an established actor when she met Hugh Jackman. As a series regular on a variety of Australian television series, her credits date all the way back to the 1970s. When she met Jackman in 1995, he had just finished drama school and was new to the acting scene. In fact, they met on the set of "Corelli," which was his first acting job (via People).

While the then-aspiring actor was ready for his big break, Furness was 13 years his senior and a bit more guided in her career. "I had just made my New Year's resolution, I said, 'I am not dating any actors, and definitely not under 30,'" Furness explained on the "Aussies in Hollywood" podcast. "I then meet my husband."

Sticking to her rule, Furness even tried to break things off with Jackman before it got too serious, but he was able to convince her otherwise. The "X Men" actor recalled that he still knew he would marry her, even when she tried to dump him. "She kind of [broke up with me], a little bit," he recalled (via Aussies in Hollywood). "Early on, three weeks in. I managed to talk her out of it, thank God."

2. Rumors about Hugh's sexuality strained their relationship

In the early 2000s, rumors began swirling concerning Hugh Jackman's sexuality, with some even going as far as to claim that his marriage with Deborra-lee Furness was a cover-up. Furness first addressed the rumors in 2011, telling Page Six that fans were questioning his super-macho role as Wolverine. Obviously, she also denied the rumors that Jackman was gay.

The "Les Miserables" actor eventually admitted that the rumor was starting to get to his wife. The spurious talk was linked to Jackman's leading role in "The Boy from Oz" on Broadway in 2003, in which he had to kiss a male cast member. Even after the musical ended, the speculation continued, especially on the internet. "Just recently, it bugs her," Jackman told The Hollywood Reporter in 2013. "She goes: 'It's big. It's everywhere!'"

In the years since the height of the rumors, Furness has made it clear that these comments still annoyed her: "It's just wrong. It's like someone saying to Elton John, 'He's straight.' I'm sure he'd be pissed" (via The Daily Mail).

3. Deborra-lee and Hugh stopped wearing their rings ahead of the split

The removal of wedding rings is often a first hint in celebrity splits, as some noticed with the recent separation of Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner. Even though Hugh Jackman and Deborra-lee Furness kept their relationship private, leave it up to eagle-eyed fans to spot when something is amiss. Just days before the Jackman and Furness announced their divorce, the "Shame" actor was spotted in New York City without her wedding ring.

It was also reported that they both didn't wear their rings during various appearances in July 2023. But in June 2023, Furness still wore her ring while Jackman opted to leave his at home (per Page Six).

Though their split comes after 27 years together, the estranged couple said that maintaining a good familial relationship is most important at this time. Their statement read, "Our family has been and always will be our highest priority. We undertake this next chapter with gratitude, love, and kindness" (per People).