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Martin Freeman And Amanda Abbington Split Just Before Sherlock Season 4 Premiere

Sad news for Sherlock fans as Martin Freeman and Amanda Abbington have announced their separation after 16 years together.

The Hobbit actor revealed to the Financial Times on Thursday that he has split from Abbington, whose characters in Sherlock married in the last season (now Season 4 shows them as parents to new-born daughter, Rosamund Mary Watson).

“I’m not with Amanda anymore,” he said. “It’s very, very amicable – I’ll always love Amanda.”

Freeman, 45, and Abbington, 42, first met during the filing of the British series Men Only in 2000 and share two children: Joe, 10, and Grace, 8.

Amanda also confirmed the news in an interview with the Sunday Telegraph where she explains that the breakup came two weeks before the pair began shooting the new season of the BBC detective drama. “We were effectively revisiting how it was when we first got together,” says Abbington.

“There was no hostility, really, we just said that we couldn’t live together anymore, so we put everything in place,” the actress said. “He moved out to a flat in London. I stayed at home and we’ve started a new chapter.”

The new (and much anticipated) season will see John and Mary go through a tough time during the newlywed phase of their romance and viewers will get a glimpse of the couple’s rocky relationship. According to Abbington, it wasn’t easy to portray the struggles of their characters marriage in the light of their real-life situation.

It is believed that distance caused the talented duo to grow apart due to Freeman’s high-profile career overseas, who became a rising star in the U.K Office and went on to star in The Hobbit trilogy. Abbington admits that together they have been “lucky to make it such a clean break. Especially for the kids.”

“He sees the children as much as he wants to, and (will spend) Christmas here. We play it by ear on childcare, and it’s working so far,” Abbington continues. “They’ll get the best of us now, which is far better than living in a house that’s not harmonious.”

Sherlock season 4 premiere Jan. 1 at 9 pm ET on PBS.

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