The COVID-19 pandemic reportedly put a huge strain on Hugh Jackman and Deborra-Lee Furness' marriage.
The 54-year-old actor and his 67-year-old wife, who wed in 1996 and have two children – Oscar Maximilian Jackman, 23, and 18-year-old Ava Eliot Jackman - together, have split after almost 30 years of marriage and friends believe the pandemic and the current Hollywood strikes both affected the relationship.
A source told DailyMail.com: "They are forever linked, forever together with the children they have. But after the past few years, the love they had for each other turned more into a friendship which got broken during COVID, as the lockdown didn't help their marriage at all and really put a strain on their relationship.
"They worked on it and couldn't get it back. The strikes haven't helped one bit, it got them in the same predicament as COVID did, to where they were just kicking the tires, and Hugh found it all to not have the same magic as they once had.
"Deb had similar concerns and thoughts and separating is the best option.
"They will never talk negatively about each other, just time has passed for them and they are now accepting that fate."
Announcing their split, the pair said they felt “blessed” for the time they had together.
They told PEOPLE in a statement: “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 pair signed off as “Deb and Hugh Jackman” and concluded: “This is the sole statement either of us will make.”
They met on the set of TV series ‘Correlli’ in their native Australia in 1995 and their marriage was thought to be one of the strongest in showbiz.