Hugh Jackman’s wife of 15 years has addressed the latest rumour her husband is gay, calling gossipers “tragic”.

Deborra-Lee Furness told the New York Post’s Page Six magazine: “The line I heard was, ‘Wolverine? Who would have thought?’ Hugh and I don’t pay much heed.”

“It’s kind of tragic that these people have nothing better to do than to gossip about people they don’t know”.

Jackman and Furness married in 1996 after meeting in their native Australia.

Furness, who is 13 years her husband’s senior, told the magazine: “I do think he’s the sexiest man alive, and I’d hope every woman would think her husband was.”

“I was always saying I’d marry somebody sensible, like a stockbroker. So he dresses up for that fantasy for me occasionally.”

In 2009, Jackman said: “I’d be happy to go and deny being gay, because I’m not.

“But by denying it, I’m saying there is something shameful about it, and there isn’t anything shameful.

“The questions about sexuality I find more in America than anywhere else, because it’s a big hang-up and defines what people think about themselves and others.”