Amanda Abbington kept Martin Freeman split a secret for SIX months

Sherlock’s Amanda Abbington kept Martin Freeman split a secret for SIX months as she discusses new one-year relationship with fellow actor

  • Amanda, 44, met her Sherlock co-star Martin on set of film Men Only in 2000
  • They separated in 2016 after she and their two kids visited him in Puerto Rico
  • Actress has moved on and is now in new one-year relationship with a fellow actor
  • Amanda and Martin are close friends and still talk and give each other advice

She’s best known for starring as Mary Morstan in the BBC adaptation of Sherlock starring alongside her former partner – both off and on screen.

And Amanda Abbington has opened up about her split from Martin Freeman, after 16 years together, and her new romance to The Sunday Times magazine.

The actress, 44, split from her former partner and father of her two children, Joe, 12, and Grace, nine, in 2016 – after sixteen years together.  

Fresh start: Amanda Abbington (pictured) has opened up about her split from Martin Freeman, after 16 years together, and her new romance to The Sunday Times magazine

Amanda revealed in her candid interview that she kept her high-profile break up a secret for six months and that she and Martin just couldn’t live with each other anymore. 

Talking to the publication, she said: ‘When we broke up nobody knew, we didn’t tell anybody except for a few key people because they had to know, because of the logistics of hotels and stuff.

‘It took six months for it to get out and a lot of that was while we were working on Sherlock… We were professional and we were going to get on and make a show and be civil to each other.

Split: The actress, 44, split from her former partner and father of her two children, Joe, 12, and Grace, nine, in 2016 – after sixteen years together (pictured together in 2014)

‘We still get on really well, we still really both admire each other as actors… he’s a great guy, but we just couldn’t live with each other any more.’

Amanda also opened up about finding love with a fellow actor, with the two being together for a year, but she insisted that it would be kept ‘very much on the low down’.

The actress’ candid interview comes after she recently revealed that she cried every day for a week after their 16-year relationship ended – but came out of the other side stronger than ever. 

The pair met on the set of the film Men Only in 2000 and went on to play formidable duo John and Mary Watson in the acclaimed BBC drama Sherlock.

Honest: Amanda revealed in her candid interview that she kept her high-profile break up a secret for six months and that she and Martin just couldn’t live with each other anymore

But when they broke up, hopeless romantic Amanda was terrified of being a single mother in her 40s and the separation was one of the darkest times of her life.

‘I had thought Martin was the love of my life. This wasn’t meant to happen to us,’ she said in an interview with Red magazine.

‘I would wake every morning with a sudden lurch. “Why do I feel sick?” I’d ask myself, in the darkness of the bedroom I no longer shared with my partner.

Moving on: Amanda also opened up about finding love with a fellow actor, with the two being together for a year, but she insisted that it would be kept ‘very much on the low down’

‘And then, a split-second later, I’d remember what had happened. “Oh,” I thought, as the tears started to fall. “That’s why”.’

She added: ‘During that long, lonely week, I had to keep things together for the sake of our children, Joe and Gracie, who were then 10 and eight. 

‘They needed to be looked after. I had to wake them up and make them breakfast and take them to school and, in a way, the normality of that routine kept me going. 

‘It got me up in the mornings.’

Happier times: Amanda (right) told Martin (left) it was over when she returned to their Hertfordshire home after visiting him in Puerto Rico with their children in February 2016

‘I had thought Martin was the love of my life. This wasn’t meant to happen to us,’ she said in an interview with Red magazine

Amanda had told Martin it was over when she returned to their Hertfordshire home after visiting him in Puerto Rico with their children in February 2016 – he had been filming the financial crime drama Start Up.

‘We realised we had been papering over the cracks for a long time,’ said Amanda, lamenting the lengthy periods they had spent apart working on separate projects.

But after their split, the 44-year-old picked herself up, talked about her troubles with friends over endless cups of tea and immersed herself in looking after her children.

At the end of the dreaded first week, she was starting to get back on track.

‘The break-up was incredibly hard, but it taught me so much about myself because I was forced to confront my worst fears,’ she said.

Worries of not being good enough, coping with the bulk of the childcare and earning enough all threatened to derail her progress – but she didn’t give up.

Amanda continued: ‘I would wake every morning with a sudden lurch. “Why do I feel sick?” I’d ask myself, in the darkness of the bedroom I no longer shared with my partner

‘Once I faced them, I realised they no longer had any power over me,’ she said.

‘It was one of the darkest moments of my life but, although I didn’t know it then, it was also to mark the beginning of an extraordinary journey of self-discovery.’

Amanda began by spreading herself out around the house she and Martin used to share, sleeping diagonally across their double bed.

One evening she scoffed a whole Marks & Spencer strawberry trifle while watching Celebrity Big Brother. 

The actress gave herself a makeover, cutting her long blonde locks short and dying them dark.

She joined a gym and started cycling and running 10 kilometres every morning then going for a swim.

The actress began by spreading herself out around the house she and Martin used to share, sleeping diagonally across their double bed

The star also had her ears pierced and began buying more risky clothes in stores like Zadig & Voltaire and The Kooples.

She even got a tattoo of two magpies on a telegraph wire inked on her left forearm.

‘It’s still hard,’ she said. ‘I still have massive wobbles but that’s understandable I think. I’m human. Nobody’s perfect. Nobody.’

For the last six months of 2017 she worked on new Netflix show Safe, which is due for release in May, alongside Dexter protagonist Michael C Hall.

She says Hall, who plays serial killer Dexter Morgan in the popular Showtime series, is ‘the nicest guy you can imagine’.

Amanda and Martin at the 2015 Evening Standard Theatre Awards in London a year before their split

Out now: The latest edition of Red Magazine is available now

And she is still on very good terms with Martin, with whom she shares ‘a great friendship’.

‘We still love each other – even if we’re not in love with each other – and neither of us sees our relationship as a failure,’ she said.

‘We had 16 great years together and have two fantastic kids. We still talk and we still give each other advice.’              

The actress, who has scores of credits to her name, said she has struck a good balance between working and being a mother.

Most importantly, she is enjoying life again.

‘If I had to describe myself now, I’d say I am happier, lighter, more energetic, more open, more confident and less frightened of life,’ she said.

‘I have love in my life that I’m careful to protect and nurture and I feel more myself than ever.’

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