'People Just Grow Apart': Actress Sarah Roberts Reveals Divorce From Former Co-Star James Stewart

Roberts says she just wants to 'speak her truth.'

Australian actor Sarah Roberts discusses her decision to end her marriage with Home And Away star James Stewart in a new interview with Stellar in The Daily TelegraphThe 39-year-old actor and DJ has spent the past few months adjusting to her new life after separating and going through the divorce process.

"I've been really afraid of talking about this because of what I've felt to be the stigma and shame around it. But I just want to say that I am divorced," Roberts told the outlet.

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(Photo: Don Arnold)

Five weeks ago, she and Stewart, 48, officially divorced. They had been living separate lives for some time. "What I've learnt from this journey of becoming a divorcee is that it's so important to reach out to others who have experienced similar things and not hide in the shadows," she revealed. 

"I hid for a very long time. There were times when I didn't feel like I could see the light or a way out of these big, complex emotions that I was feeling. But I hope that by just being honest today, I'll free myself, and potentially free a lot of other people, to be able to speak their truth."

The pair met during the filming of Home And Away in 2017 and got engaged a year later. Their wedding took place in Ireland in July 2019 in an intimate ceremony attended by close friends and family. Initially, they seemed to have a happy marriage, but over time, things started to unravel. 

"I'll never speak on anyone else's behalf, but my belief of marriage is that two people grow and learn from each other together," Roberts said. "Sometimes people just grow apart, and that's OK. I got to a point where I realized I couldn't grow in the way I wanted to within this particular relationship.

"I've had to lean into the art of letting go. I think I held on for a while because I was afraid of feeling the sting of heartache and knowing the strength it would take to rebuild my life. I felt in some insidious way it was my fault I couldn't fix something that I desperately wanted to fix. But slowly, over time, things feel stagnant, and colors lose their brightness, and the mismatch – which is what it is – starts to become evident. Then, the day finally comes when it's time to rip off the Band-Aid and face the hurt.

"The sorrow is f—ing explosive. And that's because a major chapter of my life was closing." Roberts is described as pausing, with her eyes welling up with tears. "A chapter I loved reading … I loved that chapter.

"But just as a star explodes in grandeur, I think parting produces the energy to begin again. Still, it hurts. But I would never give up the hurt because I really believe that it's the tax you pay for loving someone so much."

Despite this, Roberts is also aware that life could be much bleaker. "It's not like I've lost a child to war or my house to a natural disaster. It's just heartbreak. It feels awful and dank, and it would be nice for it to never happen again, but I hope I do get my heart broken again – it means I've loved fully and been vulnerable with someone else.

"For me, that's success. I looked up the word for divorce when I was feeling like a failure – I thought it meant 'to divide,' but it's really the Latin word for 'divert.' So perhaps you were going the wrong direction, and it could be God or the universe or whoever you believe in just redirecting you."

Though Roberts may no longer be close to Stewart, she remains bound by her love for Scout, Stewart's 11-year-old daughter with his ex-partner, Jessica Marais. "I didn't only choose to marry a man, I also chose to marry his daughter," she said. "When I first met her, she was worried that perhaps her dad would run out of love for her and love me more, but I taught her that love is infinite. Just because a promise with a man hasn't worked out for whatever reason, that doesn't negate the love I have for her."

Roberts has been going through a challenging time, but her friends are rallying around her with laughter to help lift her spirits. "My girlfriends threw me a 'freedom party', which was just an opportunity to laugh and find the silver lining," she says. "I've been in a lot of therapy. Hypnotherapy is great, but screaming 'F—' at the top of your lungs for 10 seconds is a lot faster and cheaper!"

Additionally, work has served as a welcome distraction. After leaving Home And Away in 2021, where she originated the Sri Lankan bisexual character Willow Harris, she has since starred in the 2022 comedy Wog Boys Forever and Scrublands. Her upcoming projects include a popular, Logie award-winning Australian comedy series, a script she's writing with TV writer Kala Ellis, and a return to the studio to record new music.

Also, Roberts will be heading to Los Angeles to explore other career options. "I'm going to meet with my management and potentially audition for things, and also catch up with a lot of friends and enjoy life," she said. "Im turning 40 in December, so I feel like I'm at the ripe young age to grab life bv the balls and have a new lease on life."

The same goes for love. "Please, someone, romance me," Roberts said, laughing. "But marriage? I'm not so sure about marriage anymore. Perhaps there's more healing to be done.

"I'd probably do it differently," she added. "There are a lot of old traditions that come with marriage – I've always wondered why the man stands at the end of the aisle and the woman has to walk towards him.

"Why can't they meet in the middle? It takes two to tango, right? So I'm open to love. But if I get married again, we'll tango in together."