It was a phone call it appeared she wasn’t expecting – and yet Deborra-Lee Furness handled it like a pro.
Amid her shock split from actor Hugh Jackman after 27 years of marriage, Furness spoke for the first time on Tuesday morning.
The call she received was from KIIS FM shock jock Kyle Sandilands and co-host Jackie O.
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It appeared Sandilands had pressed a button by mistake – leading to a cold call being placed and the duo weren’t expecting the star to answer on the first ring.
“Hello,” Furness answered the call, to which Jackie O emitted an audible gasp.
“Hey Deborra,” Sandilands continued.
“Yes,” Furness replied.
“It’s Kyle and Jackie O,” Sandilands went on. “We’ve actually called you by mistake. It’s ridiculous…”
At this point, Furness laughed before saying, “How ya doing?”
Hugh Jackman and Deborra-Lee Jackman announced their separation on Saturday. Credit: AP
“Seriously, this is not a stitch up. We didn’t mean to actually call you,” Sandilands went on. “But now you’re here we won’t go into it. We love you. We hope you’re well.”
“Thank you guys, I really appreciate it. You’re really sweet,” Furness responded.
“Now I just feel it’s too soon. We don’t want to get involved in anything. But love you and you ring us when you want to chat,” Sandilands continued.
“I don’t. Thank you guys, really appreciate it,” Furness replied before adding “bye darling”.
Kyle Sandilands on KIIS FM. Credit: KIIS FM
Following the call, Sandilands again reiterated it had been a “mistake” to call the star.
“Did you press the button accidentally?” Jackie O asked her co-star.
“I thought she was there,” Sandilands replied, referring to the fact he thought Furness had been on the line already when he pressed the button and he was under the impression he was picking up a call, not making it.
“I’m not here to stitch anyone up in the worst time in their life,” Sandilands declared.
Furness and Jackman have only issued one joint statement on their marriage split — and are not expected to say more.
We have been blessed to share almost three decades together as husband and wife in a wonderful, loving marriage,” Jackman and Furness told People.
“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.”
Their statement was signed, “Deb and Hugh Jackman,” and concluded, “This is the sole statement either of us will make.”
After news of the split broke, a new theory came to light about the timing of it.
US broadcaster Cooper Lawrence shared her theory during an interview with Sunrise.
The pair at the X2: X-Men United movie premier in April 2003. Credit: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic
Jackman and Furness have two children, Oscar, 23, and Ava, 18, who they welcomed via adoption and Lawrence claimed their ages could have been a factor in the timing of the shock announcement.
“I think (Jackman and Furness) were waiting until the kids were old enough that they could have an amicable split and not worry about child custody or how much everybody is going to pay each other,” she told hosts Natalie Barr and Matt Shirvington.
Lawrence said that child custody battles were what made high-profile divorces “messy”.
“They don’t have to worry about that because the kids are older, so now they can just split their multi-millions and all their properties, which is a lot.”
The couple have properties in New York, Sydney and The Hamptons.
Hugh Jackman and Deborra-Lee Furness. Credit: Instagram/Hugh Jackman
Lawrence said that rumours of a split began swirling on “the Broadway scene” after the couple sold their three-storey New York apartment.
“For a while on the Broadway scene there was a rumour there might be something going on in that marriage and people were like, ‘This is kind of odd,’ but as soon as they sold their three-floor apartment … and downsized and then shipped a bunch of furniture home to Sydney, it was like ‘What’s really going on here?’” she said.
While celebrity splits are nothing new, Jackman and Furness’s separation appears to have hit fans harder than some.
“Every time there was a think piece about Hollywood couples that made us believe in love, (Jackman and Furness) were always at the top of the list,” Lawrence explained.
“They are always talking about each other and they were the ‘it couple’ for anybody that’s a little older than their younger spouse.
“They were role models for everything in relationships.”
Hugh Jackman and Deborra-Lee Furness share two children. Credit: Stefania D’Alessandro/WireImage
Jackman broke his silence on his marriage split a day after the separation statement was made public.
The Australian actor told photographers while out in New York City on September 16 that “it’s a difficult time,” as seen in footage obtained by TMZ.
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