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Hugh Jackman is one of Hollywood's most charming men, yet it turns out his road to stardom had its fair share of tragedy. In a new interview, the Australian actor has opened up about how his mother abandoned him and his siblings when he was only eight years old.
"One of the main things I remember is that horrible feeling that people were talking about you and looking at you because it was odd for the mother to leave," he tells Australian Women's Weekly.
Jackman says his mother decided she wanted to move back to the United Kingdom when he was still a child, but didn't tell her family that she was leaving until she was already gone. He and his two brothers and two sisters were living in Sydney when they received a telegram from their mother announcing her move the day after she had left. He says he didn't realize until he was "12-13" years old that she was never coming back.
Despite that traumatic experience, Jackman said that he and his mother have come to terms with the situation.
"The thing I never felt, and I know this might sound strange, I never felt that my mum didn't love me. I've spoken about it at length with her since and I know she was struggling. She was in hospital after I was born suffering from post-natal depression," Jackman says. "There wasn't a support network for her here."
The Wolverine star, 44, now has two children of his own with his wife, Deborra-Lee Furness. Oscar, 12, and Ava, 7, are part of the reason Jackson has come to terms with his own mother's abandonment.
"I think having kids of your own just adds another level of empathy and understanding," he says. "And there comes a certain point in life when you have to stop blaming other people for how you feel or the misfortunes in your life."