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Isla Fisher's secret heartache before Sacha Baron Cohen split

The Confessions of a Shopaholic actress and the Borat actor secretly separated in 2023

Isla Fisher in a white off-the-shoulder dress with her hair in a plait
Nichola Murphy
Deputy Lifestyle Editor
9 April 2024
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It's been a difficult few years for Isla Fisher, who suffered a heartbreaking family loss shortly before her split from her husband Sacha Baron Cohen.

The Confessions of a Shopaholic actress, 48, announced she had privately ended her relationship with the Borat actor, 52, following a 13-year marriage.

Sacha Baron Cohen and Isla Fisher attend a screening of the Oscars on Monday, April 26, 2021 in Sydney, Australia.© Getty Images
Sacha Baron Cohen and Isla Fisher announced they had secretly split in 2023

In April 2024, the couple, who met in 2001 and got married in 2010, shared a photo of themselves in tennis outfits alongside the message: "After a long tennis match lasting over 20 years, we are finally putting our racquets down.

"In 2023 we jointly filed to end our marriage. We have always prioritized our privacy and have been quietly working through this change. We forever share in our devotion and love for our children. We sincerely appreciate your respecting our family's wish for privacy."

Considering they had chosen to keep their divorce private for several months, Isla and Sacha's split in 2023 came shortly after she mourned the loss of her father Brian. 

At the time, The Wolf Like Me star posted a photo of her father accompanied by the heartfelt caption: "How do you live without someone that you can't live without? How lucky am I to have had you as my dad.

Isla Fisher's father in a coat and grey cap© Instagram
Isla paid tribute to her father following his death in 2023

"You were hilarious, positive and my best friend. No matter what was going in my life on you always asked me if I was having fun.

"I know this pain is going to get worse as the days between when I last saw you increase and that is very scary. I love you so much. Thank you for being the greatest father. #poppafish."

One year on, Isla marked the anniversary of his passing with another touching tribute. "It's been a year since we lost you. I love you and I miss you every single day."

Quoting Nick Cave, she added: "It seems to me, that if we love, we grieve. That's the deal. That's the pact. Grief and love are forever intertwined. Grief is the terrible reminder of the depths of our love and, like love, grief is non-negotiable."

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Isla and Sacha met at "a very pretentious party" in Sydney in 2002, and the English comedian later admitted it was love at first sight. "I knew instantly. I don’t know if she did. It’s taken her about 20 years to know," he joked to The New York Times in October 2020.

The pair got engaged in 2004 following a two-year relationship, but they didn't get married until six years later, after they had started a family. They exchanged vows in Paris in March 2010 after Isla had converted to Judaism.

isla fisher sacha baron cohen 2019© Getty Images
The Wedding Crashers actress converted to Judaism before their wedding in 2010

"I will definitely have a Jewish wedding just to be with Sacha. I would do anything – move into any religion – to be united in marriage with him," she told the Evening Standard.

They continued to share positive words about one another, despite the fact that Isla admitted she is "nervous" talking about her relationship because "it's remained something private and valuable to me," she told Australian Women's Weekly.

Just 18 months before they split, she opened up about their long-lasting relationship. "I wish I had an answer. Like all parents of small children I am doing my best to keep my kids anonymous and have as normal a life as possible. And like all wives and husbands, who travel for work, we try to do date nights. I do my best. 

"I am just really lucky as he is the funniest person and we have a really great friendship as a foundation. You still get butterflies in your stomach and people sort of tell you that wears off after a few years. But when you're with the right person, actually it just doesn't. 

"I don't want to stand on a soapbox and advise anybody, but if you marry someone that you have a really good friendship with and everything else seems to fall into place," she told E! News.

Isla also posted a loved-up photo of herself kissing Sacha on holiday in July 2023, so their split came as a surprise to fans.

READ NEXT: Catherine Zeta Jones is glowing as she reveals incredible wedding pictures with daughter Carys

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