Amanda Abbington’s fiancé offered actress a ‘way out’ after paralysis

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Amanda Abbington’s husband-to-be Jonathan Goodwin looked deeply emotional and close to tears as he recalled how he’d offered the actress an escape route, vowing he wouldn’t “judge” her if she chose to walk away. The escapologist suffered a life-changing accident when he was crushed between two parked cars, which burst into flames during a daredevil stunt for TV entertainment.

The 42-year-old ended up permanently paralysed from the waist down after his America’s Got Talent: Extreme stunt went horribly wrong in 2021.

48-year-old Amanda’s heart was in her mouth after she learned he had almost died in action.

He called her minutes before he was due on the operating table for surgery to confess there was a 50 per cent chance he wouldn’t pull through, and emotionally thanked her for making the last couple of months of his life special.

Fortunately, he survived – but he wanted to let Amanda know: “I would never judge you for [walking away].”

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Recalling the traumatic moment on the pair’s joint episode of Loose Women, Jonathan explained he’d loved her enough not to want to hold her back or put her through further pain, after he was transformed into an “adult baby” who could no longer walk.

However, Sherlock star Amanda responded that she was undeterred, telling him: “The only thing we need to talk about is when we get married.”

The couple had enjoyed a slow-burning relationship for years before they first crossed paths in person, having met on Twitter originally in 2012.

Amanda’s son had loved watching Jonathan’s stunts on TV, including one which saw him suspended over London’s River Thames while attached to a blazing rope.

He’d also been “buried alive” for one very memorable performance on Britain’s Got Talent back in 2019, a stunt so impressive that it earnt him a place in the finals.

Meanwhile, on The Jonathan Ross Show, he’d had laid on a single nail, while a breezeblock was smashed off his chest with a sledgehammer.

It had seemed as if the star, who also had a penchant for free-climbing up perilously high skyscrapers, was almost invincible – and Amanda was transfixed by the escapologist’s exploits.

After almost a decade of online exchanges and telephone calls, the pair finally met for the first time in 2021 – almost a decade after their first chat – and impulsive Jonathan had proposed to her within minutes.


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When she discovered soon afterwards that he had suffered an almost fatal injury, she was dumbfounded – but her love for him hadn’t changed.

Reliving his suffering on the Valentine’s Day special of Loose Women, Jonathan took up the story to explain: “I should have died on the operating table.”

Declaring himself “incredibly lucky” to still be alive, he recalled how he’d lost a kidney in the failed stunt.

He’d also broken his spine, severed his spinal cord and shattered both of his legs, leaving him unable to move.

“Not that I would recommend nearly dying but it’s incredible therapy, and then I feel so lucky [to be alive] and I pinch myself,” he told the world.

“[Being paralysed] is such a massive change… but I think that with all the physical challenges I’ve had in my life I’m uniquely adapted to dealing with it.”

Meanwhile, Amanda said previously that she sometimes “forgets” her formerly agile husband-to-be is in a wheelchair.

She has made it clear that his disability changes nothing and that, in spite of the struggles they’ve been through together, she’s in the relationship for the long haul.

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