Despite her recent comments, it seems like Deborra-Lee is on friendly terms with her ex-husband after the pair were spotted together at The Polo Bar, Ralph Lauren's New York restaurant alongside their two children; 23-year-old Oscar and 18-year-old Ava for Hugh's 55th birthday in October 2023.
A source close to the pair dished more details on the ex's reunion, telling Page Six at the time that it was a "very happy time," and a "good birthday."
"It was a lovely evening,” a rep for Hugh later told the publication.
The following day Hugh took to Instagram to thank friends and family for the birthday wishes.
Sharing a picture from the night before, he wrote: "Thank you ALL for the birthday love!!! I’m reading your messages, seeing the special videos and experiencing all the feels."
"We have decided to separate to pursue our individual growth," the ex-couple shared in a shock joint announcement in late 2023.
"We undertake this next chapter with gratitude, love, and kindness."
Speaking exclusively to New Idea, one of Hugh's best friends for more than three decades said, "I do think their relationship changed over the years. It was passionate at the start but then kids life and everything else happens."
Fortunately, with their children now adults - they've spared themselves any custody trauma.
And as the friend reveals, while things may be tough, there's reason to be hopeful for them both.
"People keep saying it's sad, but if it's the right thing for the both of them then it's not sad at all," they shared with New Idea exclusively.
"Hugh did, and does, adore Deb, but that doesn't mean you have to stay together forever."
And while there's no talk of any other parties being involved at present, there's no reason why there shouldn't be in the future, they explain: "If they aren't happy together then why not try find happiness with someone else?"
One thing is clear, the reason for the split is not due to Hugh's rise to megastardom.
The friend adds, "He's honestly never changed, despite all that money and fame. He's so not grand, his closest mates are still the same close mates he knew 30 years ago."
So will the split spell a bright new chapter? They explained, "I just hope Hugh finds happiness."
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