Natalie Portman and Benjamin Millepied Finalize Divorce (Exclusive)

Natalie Portman quietly filed for divorce from Benjamin Millepied, her director/choreographer husband of 11 years, eight months ago, and now the former couple is officially divorced, PEOPLE can exclusively confirm.

The actress, 42, filed last July and the divorce was finalized last month in France, where Portman and Millepied, 46, live with their children, son Aleph, 12, and daughter Amalia, 7.

A rep for Portman confirms the news to PEOPLE.

Navigating their under-the-radar separation, which followed media reports in May 2023 of an extramarital affair by Millepied, has not been easy for Portman.

“It was initially really tough for her, but her friends rallied around her and helped get her through the worst of it,” a friend of the couple tells PEOPLE.

“Natalie is coming out of a really tough and painful year but she’s come out the other side of it stronger and is finding joy in her family, friends and work.”

Benjamin Millepied and Natalie Portman on Sept. 11, 2022.
Unique Nicole/Getty

From the start, the couple has focused on helping their kids adjust, and have been photographed showing a united front as a family on numerous occasions over the last year.

“Her biggest priority has been ensuring a smooth transition for her children,” the insider says. “She and Ben really love their kids and are equally focused on being the best co-parents they can be. Nothing is more important.”

While there were clues things were amiss in the marriage — Portman hasn’t worn her wedding ring since last spring after news of Millepied’s “short-lived” affair surfaced — the pair were able to take time to privately work through issues and toward a “new normal.”

Benjamin Millepied and Natalie Portman attend the L.A. Dance Project Annual Gala on October 16, 2021 in Los Angeles, California.

In June 2023, a source told PEOPLE that Millepied was “doing all he can to get Natalie to forgive him and keep their family together” while Portman’s “biggest priority is protecting her children and their privacy.” (Reps for Portman and Millepied had no comment at the time.)

Since then, both have also juggled heavy work commitments along the way. Millepied is the choreographer on Dune: Part Two, the hit sequel starring Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya, while Portman has handled myriad projects, including press promotion for her critically acclaimed performance in May December. She is currently shooting the Guy Ritchie–helmed film Fountain of Youth.

The Oscar-winning actress has also been very involved in her soccer team, Angel City, and is prepping for the release of her next project, the limited TV series Lady in the Lake.

Natalie Portman at the 2024 Film Independent Spirit Awards.

Michael Buckner/Variety via Getty 

Portman supported Millepied on the red carpet in September 2022 for the Toronto International Film Festival premiere of Carmen, which he directed. In May 2023, Portman walked red carpets solo: for the Los Angeles premiere of her HBO docuseries Angel City, and at the Cannes Film Festival, where she rolled out May December alongside costar Julianne Moore.

Intensely private, neither Millepied nor Portman have spoken publicly about speculation surrounding their marriage. In an interview with Vanity Fair in February, she demurred when asked about the public chatter, saying, “It’s terrible, and I have no desire to contribute to it.”

To be sure, this isn’t how she envisioned things playing out when the two married on Aug. 4, 2012, after meeting on the set of the 2010 movie Black Swan. As the film’s choreographer, Millepied helped Portman learn complex ballet sequences, and in a SiriusXM Town Hall interview in 2018, the actress described their collaborative experience on the film in sweet terms.

“He was teaching me to dance [and] it was definitely exciting and fun,” she said. “It was beautiful.”

Now the couple is focused on their next chapter.

“Natalie hoped her marriage would be forever,” says the friend, who adds, “but she is at peace with where they are and now focused on their new normal as a family.”