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Hugh Jackman wants to ‘shield’ his children after his own troubling childhood

Hugh grew up resenting his mother.
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Hugh Jackman has always known the day would come when he’d have to explain his complicated history to his kids.

After all, throughout his brilliant career, much has been made about the fact that his mother abandoned him as a child – which he later understood was because she suffered a mental-health crisis at the time – and his dad recently died after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease.

“Hugh has seen the best and worst of the human condition, and for a long time, he wanted to shield his kids from that,” says a source.

Hugh wants to protect his kids.

(Image: Getty)

Now, in an emotional revelation, the 54-year-old has confirmed his adopted children Oscar, 22, and Ava, 17, are learning the truth – even if their mum Deborra-Lee Furness has her own reservations about it, according to an insider.

Speaking to the media ahead of the premiere of his new movie The Son, Hugh says he felt compelled to prepare Oscar and Ava for the film’s plot, which tells the story of a complicated family that tries to piece itself back together after falling apart – a story eerily similar to Hugh’s own.

“It was very important that I talk to them about what it was about, what it meant to me, and why I was doing it,” he says.

“I took them with me to see it and we had a long conversation. What I find amazing is the generation of 22 to 17-year-olds are totally fine having these conversations. It’s more my generation that is a little more sheepish and shy around it.”

Deborra-Lee has reservations about telling her children the truth.

(Image: Getty)


When Hugh was eight and living in Sydney, his mother Grace abruptly left her husband Christopher and took her daughters back to her native England. At the time, Hugh was devastated and grew up resenting his mum – before realising later in life that she suffered from postnatal depression.

He told The Australian Woman’s Weekly that he forgave her after becoming a parent, which gave him “another level of empathy and understanding”.

A source close to the Jackmans reveals Hugh used The Son as a chance to further explain his complicated relationship with their ageing grandmother.

“It was very important to Hugh to bring the kids into his heart about what went on when he was a child,” says a source.

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“This movie has put his emotions on full show, which is good for him but his wife is wary that he might go too far.”

Insiders reveal Deb is glad he shares such an open relationship with the kids, but she is cautioning him about burdening them too much with the family secrets.

Insiders maintain he is closer than ever to his mother after he lost his father late last year – a moment Hugh says had a big impact on his latest role.

“I had an image of him on set, standing behind the action,” Hugh revealed.

“My father worked incredibly hard — looking after five kids, the weight of the world on his shoulders. I had the feeling of him being completely free. That really helped me,” he explained, adding The Son constantly questioned his job of being the perfect father.

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