In Tonight’s ABC program Australian Story, Watkins says the pair did really make a point to keep the relationship quiet in the initial stages.
In Tonight’s ABC program Australian Story, Watkins says the pair did really make a point to keep the relationship quiet in the initial stages.

How Wiggles kept divorce secret

CHILDREN'S entertainer Emma Watkins, who is better known for playing Yellow Wiggle Emma, has revealed she and Purple Wiggle Lachlan Gillespie wanted to keep their divorce a secret.

The pair who were together for two years, announced their separation in August this year, but they were hoping to keep it private until next year.

In Tonight's ABC program Australian Story, Watkins says the pair did really make a point to keep the relationship quiet in the initial stages.

"Because we both felt that the most important thing was the band," Watkins says.

"Everyone was just starting to work out who the group was."

Admittedly, she said the other Wiggles didn't even know. "I don't really think many people knew about it at the beginning.

"I think people recognised that maybe dynamically things had changed between us but there weren't any upset feelings. We were just trying to work out our friendship during that time."

But when rumours of their separation surfaced, it forced the pair to make it public, releasing a statement on Facebook confirming their separation.

Watkins told the program that there was a growing awareness between her and Gillespie that "romantically, it just wasn't going the way that our friendship was going".

She says their decision to part ways was quite organic over the course of about eight months. "It was a mutual decision."

Gillespie says it was difficult to get the balance right between work and the relationship.

"There's not a lot of time in between to spend together outside Wiggles," he told Australian Story a few weeks before news of their separation broke.

 

Emma Watkins her and Lachlan Gillespie started as best friends and still are despite their marriage breakup. Pic Jamie Hanson
Emma Watkins her and Lachlan Gillespie started as best friends and still are despite their marriage breakup. Pic Jamie Hanson

 

"It has all been all-consuming, and that's been a tricky thing to get right, I suppose.

"It's not easy spending that much time together with the pressure of work, too. I think it has gone through ups and downs."

Watkins, who is currently in deep production of her solo TV show Emma! on the ABC, said of the pair's now friendship: "A lot of people have said to us that they just can't see how it can be so amicable.

"But truly, Lachy and I, we just get each other. Just because we're not romantically together anymore doesn't mean we're not together for the rest of our life," she told Australian Story.

"I feel really lucky to have him supporting me through the whole thing, which sounds bizarre, but this is our life and we are so connected."

She also said that the media really doubts their affection, "but we genuinely care about each other and I think one of the most important things is that he and I have been on the same journey for the last eight years".

 

Watkins says romantically it just wasn’t going the way that their friendship was going. Picture: David Swift.
Watkins says romantically it just wasn’t going the way that their friendship was going. Picture: David Swift.

 

Watkins described 2018 as one of the "strangest" and most "tumultuous" years in her life.

The 28-year-old has been battling endometriosis for years, a condition that affects one in 10 women in Australia and physically she was beginning to struggle.

Earlier this year, she had to take time out from a national tour to have surgery for her chronic condition - while on tour she was suffering frequent heavy periods, felt exhausted and collapsed on several occasions,

"I started to feel like the wheels were falling off," she says. "And I couldn't figure out if it was just my health or if it was my relationships."

She told the program she felt no sense of urgency but finally she was convinced to see a specialist who diagnosed her with stage four endometriosis.

"I told her she'd done more for endometriosis in one interview than I'd done in my last 20 years," professor Jason Abbott said.

Endometriosis is a disease where tissue similar to the lining of the uterus grows outside the uterus with a common symptom being pelvic pain.

Watkins says despite the tumultuous year, she's feeling really happy with life right now and both her and Gillespie remain the best of friends - "we always have been, that's how it started", he said.

The Australian Story: The Show Must Go On is on 8pm, September 17, on ABC TV and iview.

Gillespie says it was difficult to get the balance right between work and the relationship. Picture: David Swift.
Gillespie says it was difficult to get the balance right between work and the relationship. Picture: David Swift.

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