Married for nearly 17 years, Hugh Jackman and wife Deborra-Lee Furness can't live in a bubble -- and are well aware of the persistent speculation about Jackman's sexuality. "Just recently, it bugs her," the Les Miserables actor, 44, admits to the Hollywood Reporter of "gay rumors" flooding the web. "She goes: 'It's big. It's everywhere!"
But the rumors about the couple (parents to adopted kids Oscar, 12, and Ava, 7) are just that, says X-Men producer Lauren Shuler Donner. "I have seen him with Deborra since the beginning of their trip to Hollywood, and I've been on five movie sets with him and have never seen him stray, have never seen him eye anyone," Donner tells THR. "I met him when he did Oklahoma! [at London's Royal National Theatre in 1999]. He was genuine, hugely talented. He was in love with his wife that day and still is."
Jackman met the fellow Australian actor, now 57, on the set of the television show Corelli; they wed in 1996. "I was single when I met her, and she was single," recalls Jackman, up for a Best Actor Oscar for his role as Valjean in Les Miserables. "I was happy being single. I was out of a difficult relationship I'd had through drama school, and it was tumultuous and hard. I'd been living off 120 bucks a week as a student until I was 26. Then, when I met Deb, it was 10 times better than my single life. She was very beautiful. She was unbelievably fun -- this energy, this spirit -- irrepressible. And she had a confidence in herself. I had a massive crush on her instantly."
He adds of his love: "She was sort of the opposite of me. I was very 'Even Steven,' and she was thrilling to me. I was always really attracted to that -- though at one point, as it was getting really serious, it terrified me."