- Mr Selfridge actress Amanda Abbington, 41, declared insolvent in London's High Court
- She has two children with Mr Freeman and they share a £900,00 house in Hertfordshire
By Harriet Arkell
PUBLISHED: 06:16 EST, 11 March 2013 | UPDATED: 06:24 EST, 11 March 2013
Amanda Abbington, seen here at the Baftas with partner Martin Freeman, has gone bust
The long-time partner of super-rich actor Martin Freeman has declared herself bankrupt over what is said to be a six-figure tax bill.
Actress Amanda Abbington, 41, has been with Hobbit star Mr Freeman - said to be worth £10m - for 12 years, and the couple live together with their two young children.
Abbington, who plays the head of accessories Miss Mardle in ITV1's hit series Mr Selfridge, was declared bankrupt at London's High Court in December last year in her birth name of Amanda Jane Smith.
Ten days earlier, she had told an interviewer that she and Freeman call each other 'husband and wife', but didn't want to get married because 'we don't want to spoil it'.
She has been assigned insolvency specialist firm Leonard Curtis Recovery, and their job will be to assess her finances and work out how much she can pay off.
If she co-owns the house with her partner, her share in the property may be considered an asset which could be sold to repay creditors. If it is in just her partner's name, however, it would be safe.
Once a person is declared bankrupt their debts are usually written off, and their partner is not liable for any of their debts. Bankruptcy normally ends after one year.
Tax specialist Simon Wagman, of Blick Rothenberg, told Mail Online: 'Once the period of bankruptcy is over, then the matter is closed. If she goes on to have a lucrative career, then that's just her good fortune - or bad fortune for her creditors.'
He added: 'Whether you are married or not, your partner does not have any liability for your debts- we have separate taxation so legally your partner is not bound to pay your debts.
'Morally and ethically, however, it's a completely separate issue.'
According to The Sun, Miss Abbington has gone bust owing the Inland Revenue £120,000.
The blonde actress met Mr Freeman, who is also 41, on the set of 2001 film Men Only, and describes the moment she saw him as 'like being hit by a thunderbolt'.
They moved in together shortly afterwards, and went on to have two children together, Joe, who is six, and four-year-old Grace.
Miss Abbington and Mr Freeman live with their children in a £900,000 cottage in Hertfordshire, and when Mr Freeman accepted a Bafta for his role as Watson in BBC1's Sherlock, he thanked his girlfriend for 'being my rock in all things'.
Hollywood star: Martin Freeman is said to have earned millions for his starring role in The Hobbit, pictured
Amanda Abbington stars as the head of accessories Miss Mardle in ITV1's hit show Mr Selfridge
Miss Abbington's current role in Mr Selfridge is her most important to date. She has also appeared in several television series including detective show Case Histories, Married Single Other, After You've Gone, and The Bill.
Her commonlaw husband, however, has had a stellar career. After small parts in various television series and films, he hit the big time in 2001 when he was picked to play lovelorn worker Tim Canterbury in The Office with Ricky Gervais.
'She is my rock in all things': Amanda Abbington and Martin Freeman have been together for 12 years
Subsequent star roles have included two years starring in Sherlock as Dr Watson, alongside Benedict Cumberbatch, and the lead part of Bilbo Baggins in the Hobbit trilogy, which has involved Mr Freeman spending long periods away from his family filming in New Zealand.
Agents for Miss Abbington and Mr Freeman did not reply to Mail Online's requests for a comment today.