Simon Baker & his wife Rebecca Rigg have separated after 29 years of marriage

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You know that feeling when you’ve been halfway following an actor’s career for years and you always assumed that you and the actor were close in age? And then you read someone like “Simon Baker has separated from his wife of 29 years” and you’re like “holy sh-t did they get married when they were 10 years old?!?!” That’s where I am right now. I also always forget that people actually know who Simon Baker is. The Mentalist ran for seven seasons, it was a popular network show and Simon was nominated for big awards for it (SAG and Golden Globe). Beyond that show, he’s had a varied career for decades in film and TV. So… famous actor Simon Baker, who I thought was my age, is separating from his wife of 29 years. Insanity.

Simon Baker and his wife Rebecca Rigg have separated after 29 years of marriage, PEOPLE can exclusively confirm. The two quietly split last April.

“We remain close friends and our three children will always be the most important focus of our lives,” Baker and Riggs said a joint statement. The former Mentalist star and Rigg share three children: Stella, 27, Claude, 22, and Harry, 19.

Baker, 51, and Rigg, 53, met in the early 1990s and went on to star in the Australian soap opera, E Street. The actor previously opened up to PEOPLE about his marriage, explaining why he and Rigg never celebrated their wedding anniversary.

“We’ve never really been big on it. Anniversaries, they’re an odd thing, aren’t they?” Baker said in 2018. “I think we put too much pressure on it. It’s not like that with us. We’re a team. Most of the time, 99 percent of the time, we’re really great friends. So I don’t need to mark it with great things.”

[From People]

So, they got together in their early 20s. Their oldest child is 27! Lordy, I’m more shocked by everyone’s ages than I am by the split, although the split seems notable. After 29 years and three kids together, you’re going to choose to start a new single life? Please don’t tell me that he’s got a side chick. Please don’t tell me that he’s going to start celebrating anniversaries NOW.

Rebecca is beautiful too. Damn, they were a hot couple. How did this hot Aussie couple separate and yet so many other couples are sticking it out, possibly through gritted teeth?

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Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Backgrid.

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40 Responses to “Simon Baker & his wife Rebecca Rigg have separated after 29 years of marriage”

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  1. Lee says:

    Sorry to hear that. They seemed like a solid and well matched couple.

  2. Maliksmama says:

    I remember Simon from “The Guardian” tv show on CBS. IMO it truly showed his talent as an actor. It’s a real shame that great shows (especially dramas) don’t last on network TV.

    As far as the marriage, one of three things happened. He has someone on standby. The wife has met someone. Or the relationship ran its course.

    With them both being married at such a young age, I’m gonna go with option 3. Hope I’m right. No one deserves to be cheated on.

    • harla says:

      Based on my own experience I’m going to throw out a 4th option…menopause. Peri-menopause upended my life in a lot of ways but the biggest was the realization that I had spent my entire life doing for others and having no idea what I wanted to do for me. I have talked with quite a number of friends who are mine and Rebecca’s age and found that for most of them, peri-menopause and menopause became a time in their lives were they took a good long look at what they wanted now that the children were raised and they were able to focus on themselves. Many marriages, including my own, struggle to survive this period in a woman’s life (luckily mine did survive) because it can be a period where the woman is growing, changing, questioning and quite often no longer willing to tolerate her man’s bs. But when I see women “of a certain age” separating from their spouse I always wonder if the growth, change and questioning of menopause is one of the reasons.

      • mel says:

        TOTALLY agree. I am going through it myself but on the other end of the spectrum…never married and no kids.
        It’s a time of significant self reflection and growth. The past several years have been the most intense of my life, but the most rewarding. The growing pains are painful but in the back of my mind I know I”m preparing myself for the next phase. I’ve seen it in many female friends for sure.

        Great comment!

      • Ann says:

        Yup, that’s me too. I’ve been married for 28 years. We’re doing pretty well, though we’ve had our issues. But honestly, with the Pandemic he’s been working from home this whole time and only leaves to play golf, lol. It’s a LOT of togetherness, maybe too much. I need a little space, and I get it by going out and doing socially distanced things, but it would be nice to have the house to myself once in a while. He’s never cared about that, he likes to have people there all the time. I’ve always needed a little along time to recharge.

      • Jaded says:

        Me too. I left a 12 year relationship when I hit peri-meno because I had no more effs to give. He wasn’t a good partner at all, treated me like a piece of furniture, and I just got to the point where I wasn’t going to put up with it just to keep up appearances. Smartest thing I ever did, it felt like I came back to life.

      • Granger says:

        I think this is a good theory. I went through menopause early (I stopped menstruating at 43) and dang, did I ever have a rough few years. Honestly, if I’d had the financial means to do it, I think I would have left my husband. Since then, I’ve known three or four women who completely blew up their lives during their menopausal years–women who left their husbands and teenagers and moved an hour away because they didn’t want to be a wife and mom anymore. Not wanting to be with your kids is not something I can relate to at all, but I do see how some women–who have sacrificed a lot for their families, and completely ignored their own needs–can get to that point.

        And I think it’s true that, in general, men tend to get less and less social as they get older–or at least, more content to not socialize regularly–whereas women feel even more of a need to spend time with friends, outside the home. I’m not sure that would be the case here, with Simon and Rebecca, though. They’re only 51 and 53 and they’re in jobs where they travel a lot and probably socialize a lot for work. The article says they split last April so it wasn’t related to COVID and suddenly finding themselves spending 24-7 together. I think this is about one or both of them realizing they “love” each other and they’re good friends, but they’re not lovers anymore. Hopefully they pulled out before one of them moved on with someone else.

    • Maxime duCamp says:

      Given the age of their youngest is 19, I wonder if this had been brewing for a bit and they jointly made the decision to stick it out until he was over 18? Just a theory; who knows.

      And yes, they are both gorgeous and I, too, was taken aback by the “married for 29 years” because neither looked old enough to have been married for that long.

      • Courtney B says:

        That’s what I was thinking. Youngest is just over 18. Sometimes couples, even long married, discover they aren’t really a couple anymore but are now just good friends when the youngest comes of age.

    • Andrea says:

      @Jaded I was with a boyfriend for 14 years who never made me feel important or special (wasn’t big on compliments). His job and video games took priority and I felt like furniture as well. I felt so free when I moved out of our joint apartment together. I I think I may be peri as well (not confirmed). I have experienced a lot of growth since I hit 35 (even whilst living with him still). I am nearly 40 and never felt better about myself! Been talking to an old guy friend throughout this pandemic that I see in a totally new light (we met up twice in 2019) and once I am vaccinated, I am moving to where he is and see if this is a thing. A few years ago, I would have laughed if you had suggested him, but my personal growth has led me to understand what a kind, wonderful, thoughtful person he is and that that is ultimately what I need in my life moving forward.

    • Lisa says:

      He was brilliant in the guardian

  3. Shutterbug says:

    Ah, that’s sad. They’ve been together forever. I remember them both on E Street – I used to watch that show when I was a kid. Rebecca Rigg is one of Nicole Kidman’s best friends from way back.

  4. Sally says:

    Ok, this is sad, but I GOT to tell my father! Simon Baker is his “I’m-not-gay-but-if-I-was” guy, now is his totally realistic chance!

    • osito says:

      This just made me giggle snort. Now your dad, like the rest of us who watched the Mentalist, can shoot his imaginary shot without being an imaginary homewrecker!

  5. Laalaa says:

    Your 1st paragraph – EXACTly what I went through yesterday when I read the news! Lol

  6. Mina_Esq says:

    He was such a fox whilst on The Mentalist.

  7. Mia4s says:

    Hmmm, with their youngest kid being 19 I wonder if they’d kind of run their course in the relationship a few years ago but wanted to wait until everyone was an “adult”. No less sad, but not uncommon. Maybe no drama at all….but I stand to be corrected!

    • Ann says:

      I remember when Al and Tipper Gore split. That was a surprise….they married young, raised four kids, seemed pretty tight. They split when their youngest was in his twenties, I think. Not to say it wasn’t a successful marriage. It seems to have been, but yes, seems like it ran its course. And I believe it was a mutual thing, no cheating involved.

  8. Jojo says:

    A separation or divorce is not always a sad thing especially if they are still close friends.I follow a couple on IG who divorced after 15 years in 2019.They consider their marriage a success.They work together and recently went on a double date with their new significant others.I now they’re not the norm, but for some couples the relationship evolves from spouses to good friends.

    • Lucy2 says:

      That’s a good way to look at it, if they both are heading in different directions, look at the past as a success, especially with their children.

  9. AnnaKist says:

    Awww. I loved E Street. And I loved it when they got together, and stayed together. She gave up her career here to support him in America – not that it was a case of “the little woman” following her man. They really were a solid, tight team. Aw, I’m sad about this split. I think they are genuinely nice people. I hope it was a mutual decision, and not a decision forced on one by the other.

  10. lunchcoma says:

    Their youngest is 19. Perhaps they’d been having problems for a few years, or maybe their relationship didn’t survive the empty nest transition. I know of a few pretty drama-free divorces for those reasons.

  11. reef says:

    Good for them. They had a great run.

  12. observing says:

    It says on his Wikipedia that they married in 1998. They had their first child in 1993.

    I’m not sure if People is correct or Wikipedia is.

    Wikipedia also says they separated in April 2020, which I suppose is before the pandemic took a toll on people’s home relationships. I’m not sure where Wikipedia got that date from.

  13. D says:

    This is very sad but there are recent pictures of them out together so hopefully it is amicable. I met him once, he came in to a film company where I worked in 1998. He was drop dead gorgeous. Like my mouth hung open because he was so attractive. Seemed like a nice guy too and I was shocked he was Australian because he played a southerner in the film he had worked on with my company.

    • Ange says:

      Apparently he really is. My dad was at a fund-raiser yeeeeears ago for a friend of Simon’s (they lived in the same small coastal community) and my dad said he was super down to earth, really nice to everyone and got behind the bar to serve drinks for a while too.

  14. Dee Kay says:

    I’m shocked b/c that marriage always seemed so super solid, but I don’t follow them closely. Just going by the ages of folks involved, I would guess either the youngest going away to college had something to do with it, or Simon Baker having some kind of “mid-life crisis” (though 51 is pretty well past the middle of life for most ppl — but I have seen friends’ husbands completely upend their lives at around 50).

  15. Andrea says:

    There are exceptions to every rule, but generally, I am 39 and everyone I know who married in their early to mid 20′s is now divorced and on their 2nd marriage now. My best guy friend married at 23 and went through a terrible separation in his late 30′s (she cheated on him with multiple people they knew and did business with in their small town). Ultimately, he has stated he wish he had dated around more. Sadly, they have 4 kids together who have had issues given the mother’s behavior (multiple boyfriends over the past few years in and out of the children’s life). The lesson or takeaway: do not marry unless you truly know yourself and what you want in life. My friend is just finding out who he is and what he wants at 40. Obviously, you may be able to grow into the people you evolve into together, but I find it is rare. I am grateful I never married the men I dated in my early 20′s.

  16. panda says:

    I thought it was fairly common knowledge that he’s been seeing other women for years. A few years ago he even took, I think it was Amy Smart, as his date to an awards show or red carpet event.

  17. Justwastingtime says:

    They were parents on my older kid’s club soccer team when he was around 11 ( so about about 11 years ago) Lovely couple who showed up and acted normal. And yes he was very pretty to look at IRL but she was his equal. They seemed well suited,

  18. Bread and Circuses says:

    Okay, with the glasses OFF, I recognized him — even with the beard on. So those frames are apparently Clark Kent/Superman worthy glasses.

  19. Valiantly Varnished says:

    Sounds like a lot of couples who once they are empty nesters realize they no longer have anything in common. If they are both no longer in love or unhappy I think it’s great that they have the courage to acknowledge that and move on. Especially after 29 years. That can’t be easy.

  20. Big Little Sighs says:

    He was so good in Something New with Saana Latham. He was sexier in that role than on the Mentalist. The 2 of them had great chemistry. I think its on Netflix. It is well worth a watch.

  21. CanadianK says:

    I can’t believe it!! I love the mentalist and I have been re-watching the show during this lock down with my 13 who loves the show.
    p.s. the very talented Pedro Pascal is in the mentalist!