Stars separate after 16 years together

Martin Freeman and Amanda Abbington in a 2013 file photo.
Martin Freeman and Amanda Abbington in a 2013 file photo.PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY

LONDON • Martin Freeman and Amanda Abbington, who star as Dr John Watson and his wife Mary in BBC's Sherlock, have broken up in real life.

Speaking to Sunday Telegraph in an interview, Abbington said they had undergone an "entirely amicable" separation after 16 years together. They had split up in March.

The news comes as Sherlock 4, which unspools in January, will also see the relationship between Watson and Mary begin to crumble after the arrival of their newborn, reported the Telegraph.

"It is sad and it is upsetting because you think you're going to be with someone forever, but you either do that or you break up and we both came to the decision that splitting was best for us.

"We've been really lucky to make it such a clean break, especially for the kids," said Abbington, referring to their children Joe, 10, and eightyear-old Grace.

Abbington, 42, said Freeman's long overseas filming commitments was one reason for the split.

Freeman has played roles such as Bilbo Baggins in the Hobbit film trilogy (2012-2014) and as insurance salesman Lester Nygaard in the television series, Fargo.

In a separate interview, Freeman, 45, confirmed the split. He told the Financial Times: "It's very, very amicable - I'll always love Amanda."

They met on the set of British TV show Men Only in 2000 and later co-starred in other TV and film productions. She joined the cast of Sherlock in 2014, playing Dr Watson's girlfriend and later wife.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 27, 2016, with the headline 'Stars separate after 16 years together'. Print Edition | Subscribe