The estranged couple tried to make their marriage work but their 'hectic' work schedules started to weigh on them, a source tells ET.
A source tells ET, "Jodie and Joshua’s hectic work schedules started to weigh on their relationship starting over a year ago when they were both filming projects and not always in the same place."
As both actors embarked on filming projects that frequently had them in different locations, maintaining their marital bond became increasingly challenging. Despite their best efforts to overcome the obstacles, the couple privately found themselves drifting apart.
"They tried to make things work and were taking steps to help their relationship and deal with managing their busy schedules," the source adds. "From an outside perspective, things looked great for a while, but privately, they were slowly growing apart."
Despite their decision to part ways, Jackson, 45, and Turner-Smith, 37, are dedicated to maintaining an amicable separation and have expressed their intent to avoid any feelings of animosity.
"They are trying to be amicable as they move forward with their divorce and trying to avoid any feelings of animosity. They're both respectful of each other and focused on co-parenting their daughter. They want to have a positive relationship for her sake and for themselves," the source says.
The couple publicly maintained a united front and were spotted hand in hand at a New York Fashion Week event on Sept. 12, 2023, just one day before their official separation.
The Dawson's Creek star and the Murder Mystery 2 actress attended the COS Autumn/Winter 2023 event, held aboard a boat, where they appeared deeply in love. In photographs from the event, Jackson, sporting an oversized suit jacket and matching pants, stood alongside Turner-Smith, who looked stunning in a blazer with a plunging neckline. Both wore radiant smiles, seemingly in high spirits. However, their happiness was fleeting, as only hours later, they would go their separate ways.
The surprising separation was initiated by Turner-Smith, who filed for divorce on Oct. 2, citing "irreconcilable differences" as the reason for their parting. The actress is seeking joint custody of their 3-year-old daughter, Juno, according to divorce documents filed by her attorney, Laura Wasser, and obtained by ET. Turner-Smith also requested to exclude spousal support for both herself and Jackson, as they did not have a prenuptial agreement in place.
"Jodie and Joshua have been having issues lately," a source told ET. "They celebrated Jodie’s birthday on Sept. 9 at The Flower Shop in NYC, but arrived separately and left separately. It was a big party and they were distant throughout the night and barely around each other. Jodie spent majority of the evening downstairs."
Just last week, Turner-Smith stepped out solo for the Clooney Foundation For Justice's 2nd annual Albie Awards in New York City.
"It's so nice to be back, it's such a beautiful event," she told ET on the red carpet. "I'm really, really happy to be here."
The couple's public appearances and affectionate moments, including their attendance at the 2023 Academy Awards in March, had consistently conveyed the impression of a happy and committed partnership.
Jackson and Turner-Smith first met in 2018 and, according to the 37-year-old actress, neither party expected their relationship to last very long. During an interview on Late Night With Seth Meyers in May 2021, she revealed that the pair had a one-night stand that evolved into a "three-year one-night stand."
Although the duo was seen in public several times in 2018, they finally made their red carpet debut while attending the Queen & Slim premiere at 2019's AFI Fest at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood.
The couple officially married in December 2019, several months after they reportedly obtained a marriage license the previous August, and were spotted leaving a courthouse together in Beverly Hills, California.
The couple welcomed their daughter in April 2020.
ET spoke with Jackson during a press junket for his show, Dr. Death, in July 2021, and he shared how his life has changed "in every single possible way" since tying the knot and becoming a father over the previous year.
"There is nothing that is not better off than being married to her and having that baby. It's everything," he said.