Jonathan Goodwin told Amanda Abbington she could leave him after stunt

‘I gave her a get out of jail free card’: Amanda Abbington breaks down as she reveals America’s Got Talent star fiancé Jonathan Goodwin told her she could leave him after he was paralysed for life in fireball stunt just weeks after they got engaged

  • America’s Got Talent’s Jonathan Goodwin has revealed that he told his fiancée Amanda Abbington that she could ‘walk away’ after he was paralysed for life when a dangerous fireball stunt went wrong
  • The escapologist, 42, admitted that he told the Sherlock actress, 48, that she had a ‘get out of jail free card’ and could leave him following his horrific accident but said she told him ‘not to be so stupid’
  • Jonathan nearly died in a stunt in October 2021, where he attempted to escape from a straight jacket while being hung upside down 30 feet in the air in between two suspended cars
  • A tearful Amanda, who Jonathan proposed to just weeks before the lifechanging accident, went on to say they are ‘closer and tighter’ than ever as a couple as she gushed that Jonathan was her ‘inspiration’

Amanda Abbington broke down in tears in her first joint interview with her fiancé Jonathan Goodwin as he revealed that he told her she could ‘walk away’ after he was paralysed for life when a fireball stunt went wrong.

The Sherlock actress, 48, could be seen fighting back the tears as her escapologist partner, 42, admitted that he told her she had a ‘get out of jail free card’ and could leave him following his horrific accident.

Speaking on Lorraine in their first television interview since the accident, America’s Got Talent’s Jonathan explained that Amanda told him not to be ‘so stupid’ after he said she could leave him.

Emotional: Amanda Abbington broke down in tears in her first joint interview with her fiancé Jonathan Goodwin as he revealed that he told her she could ‘walk away’ after he was paralysed for life when a fireball stunt went wrong 

Shocking: Jonathan was seriously injured after the dangerous stunt where he attempted to escape from a straight jacket while being hung upside down 30 feet in the air in between two suspended cars which exploded on impact

As Amanda was seen becoming emotional, Jonathan said: ‘I said you have a get out of jail free card, if you want to walk away I understand and she told me not to be so stupid.’ 

Jonathan nearly died in a stunt in October 2021, where he attempted to escape from a straight jacket while being hung upside down 30 feet in the air in between two suspended cars. The cars were released too early and he was crushed between them as they caught fire.

Elsewhere in the interview, a tearful Amanda, who Jonathan proposed to just weeks before the accident, went on to say that they are ‘closer and tighter’ than ever as a couple as she gushed that Jonathan was her ‘inspiration’.

‘We are closer and tighter than ever and we have this unspoken thing, we said the other day that we are the people that are gonna say yes to stuff, life’s too short, be in the moment and grab it with both hands because you don’t know what’s around the corner,’ she said.

Love: Appearing on Lorraine, the Sherlock actress, 48, could be seen fighting back the tears as her escapologist partner, 42, admitted that he told her she had a ‘get out of jail free card’ and could leave him following his horrific accident

Support: America’s Got Talent star’s Jonathan explained that Amanda told him not to be ‘so stupid’ after he said she could leave him

‘He’s a total inspiration to me. He’s an idiot, I’m a wally so it’s fine. And all my friends and family love him, he’s very loveable.’

The couple, who got engaged last year, are planning to get married later this year, Jonathan revealed, as she gushed that they were ‘very excited’ about it but remained coy on the details.

He said: ‘The wedding is later this year, its lovely, we were very excited about it beforehand. It’s one of those things where if somebody dies, everyone says what a wonderful person he was but they never get to hear it.

‘When you nearly die you get the same thing so it’s brought me closer to my friends and family.’

Before they started dating, the couple had previously been friends on social media for around 10 years, with Amanda following his content as her son Joe thought his act was ‘amazing’.

Smitten: A tearful Amanda, who Jonathan proposed to just weeks before the accident, went on to say that they are ‘closer and tighter’ than ever as a couple as she gushed that Jonathan was her ‘inspiration’ 

Nuptials: The couple, who got engaged last year, are planning to get married later this year, Jonathan revealed, as she gushed that they were ‘very excited’ about it but remained coy on the details

 Couple: Before they started dating, the couple had previously been friends on social media for around 10 years, with Amanda following his content as her son Joe thought his act was ‘amazing’

She explained that they connected after she split with fellow Sherlock actor Martin Freeman and separated from another partner – and when Goodwin had divorced from his wife. It is not clear when they started dating.

Amanda previously revealed that at the beginning of their relationship, they spent hours talking on the phone every day before he flew to Vienna to meet her in person for the first time – where they decided to get engaged within ‘half an hour’.

Elsewhere on Lorraine, Jonathan spoke about his terrifying accident as he said he ‘nearly died’ after becoming trapped between the two flaming vehicles before falling 30 feet to the ground and missing the safety airbag.

He explained: ‘It was pretty gnarling, it sounds dramatic sitting here but I did nearly die. I fell 30 feet and I saved my life because I fell head first to the ground but didn’t hit my head because I tucked in my head but I broke my shoulders.’

Jonathan, who spent four months in hospital after the incident, went on to say that he will be paralysed for life but said that he tries not get ‘too down’ about it.

Romance: Amanda previously revealed that at the beginning of their relationship, they spent hours talking on the phone every day before he flew to Vienna to meet her in person for the first time – where they decided to get engaged within ‘half an hour’

Tragic: Elsewhere on Lorraine, Jonathan spoke about his terrifying accident as he said he ‘nearly died’ after becoming trapped between the two flaming vehicles before falling 30 feet to the ground and missing the safety airbag

‘A lot has changed in the last six months – but I’m very much loved’: It comes after Jonathan shared a first picture of himself in a wheelchair on Instagram on Wednesday after fireball stunt has left paralysed for life

Positivity: The snap was accompanied by a post where he said: ‘A lot has changed in the last six months, but love is a constant and I’m very very loved. Looking forward to my next chapters and being a roll model’

‘The surgeon who did the spinal operation said it was basically the worst he’d ever seen so the prognosis is that this is me from here on out, I’m not down about it to be honest,’ he said. 

‘I’m doing as well as I can be, obviously I’ve lost out but as an able bodied person there are loads of things you won’t do but you don’t wake up and think that, it’s the same as me.’

While Amanda gushed: ‘He’s like this every day, it’s wonderful because I’m quite cynical but he’s so positive, it’s beautiful he’s just an amazing human being.’

Their appearance on Lorraine comes after he shared the first picture of himself in a wheelchair, accompanying the Instagram image of himself and his dog, with a positive post which read: ‘Six months ago I went to rehearse something and left this little hairy monkey waiting patiently for me…

‘He didn’t see his dad again until just a couple of weeks ago and when he finally did, dad had new cool wheels. 

‘A lot has changed in the last six months, but love is a constant and I’m very very loved. Looking forward to my next chapters and being a roll model.’ 

Taking to Instagram Stories, he shared another picture of himself and wrote: ‘Thanks for all the love and lovely messages. To answer some questions, I have a T11 spinal cord injury which means I’m paralysed from the waist down. 

‘It’s likely a permanent sitch. If any of you want to race though, I’m pretty sure I can beat you #bringit.’

Amanda also shared a loving picture of herself with Jonathan, in which he appeared to be sporting a new tattoo and wrote: ‘We stopped watching serial killers to take a short paws.’ 

Jonathan was seriously injured after performing the dangerous stunt in October 2021 where he attempted to escape from a straight jacket while being hung upside down 30 feet in the air in between two suspended cars. 

‘I have a spinal cord injury’: Jonathan also shared this positive looking picture in which he spoke about his paralysis for the first time

Amanda herself explained that the timing was misjudged and the cars were released too early, causing him to be crushed between them as they caught on fire. 

She said Jonathan, who also appeared on the 2019 season of Britain’s Got Talent, will never recover from the accident at the Atlanta Motor Speedway in Georgia which saw him nearly die twice.

Amanda told the Out to Lunch podcast with Jay Rayner: ‘He fell 30 feet and lost a kidney, broke both shoulder blades, shattered both legs.

‘Third degree burns, broke his spine and severed his spinal cord and, nearly died. And then on the operating table, he nearly died again.’

The Sherlock actress confirmed it is unlikely Jonathan will walk again, saying: ‘He’s paralysed now he’s in a wheelchair.’

Nearly died twice: Jonathan’s AGT stunt went horribly wrong and lead to him being hospitalized for four months – pictured in his hospital bed 

Stunt: The stunt was filmed at the Atlanta Motor Speedway, where Goodwin was suspended 70 feet in the air

‘Unless there’s a kind of stem cell surgery or that thing that Elon Musk is designing with the little chip, he’ll be like that forever.’

Jonathan was released from hospital in February and Amanda – who has two children with former partner Martin Freeman – praised his bravery as he continues the long road to recovery.

She added: ‘His courage and his strength is something that I just aspire to be like. He’s just incredible, honestly, like so happy, just like a very happy, positive human being, just liquid sunshine. He’s amazing.’ 

The actress also revealed the stuntman had sent her a voicemail before his surgery explaining that there was a 50 per cent chance he would not make it, so he told her he loved her and thanked her for the last couple of months of his life with her.

Goodwin, who has now retired from escapology, documented his four months in hospital recovering from injuries including burns and broken legs.

He has performed other similarly death-defying stunts before. In 2013, he wore a straightjacket and dangled from a blazing rope over the River Thames in London.

Injured: The day before, Amanda has revealed her fiancé, stunt performer Jonathan Goodwin, has been left paralysed and in a wheelchair after performing the dangerous stunt for America’s Got Talent: Extreme in October 2021

Goodwin was suspended upside down from the London Eye and managed to escape, which was all part of his TV series The Incredible Mr Goodwin.

One of his most dramatic stunts for America’s Got Talent involved him covering himself in flammable liquid and shackling himself up putting his head in a box so that he couldn’t see.

He had to escape from the restraints in less than 20 seconds after he was set on fire.

Goodwin successful completed the stunt, which set several of the judges on edge, despite it being the first time he had ever attempted the death-defying act.

In contrast to his fiery stunts, Goodwin went underwater for the BBC special How Not to Become Shark Bait, in which he demonstrated by allowing a Caribbean reef shark to attack him.

During the doomed stunt for America’s Got Talent: Extreme, Jonathan was suspended 70ft in the air, sandwiched between two cars and clad in a straightjacket, when the vehicles burst into flames. 

He missed the air mattress that was supposed to break his fall and hit his head on the ground. Jonathan later admitted he had ‘dodged the worst’ but had a ‘long road to recovery’ ahead of him.

Suspended: The accident happened in mid-October, with NBC ‘temporarily’ suspending production on the show

He wrote on Instagram: ‘To death I say nananana boo boo. I have been to the very brink and dodged the worst that a human being can, without fear… because I was protected by love.

‘Love is all you need, so make sure you get some, cos its good s***. ‘There is a long road to recovery and that won’t look like what it did… I may leave the daft s*** alone for a while, but I have a lot left to do in this world. Maybe we can make something good together?’

The accident happened in mid-October, with NBC ‘temporarily’ suspending production on the show.

The stunt was filmed at the Atlanta Motor Speedway, where Jonathan was suspended 70 feet in the air. He was supposed to free himself and fall into an inflatable airbag, before two cars slammed together on each side of him.

But the timing was miscalculated and both the cars collided with Jonathan, exploding on impact. Jonathan fell to the ground but missed the airbag and landed on his head. He was airlifted to a local hospital. 

A recording of a 911 call was published by The US Sun in which a woman said: ‘We are at the Atlanta Motor Speedway at the America’s Got Talent filming location. We had a man suspended from a cable with cars that were supposed to slam into each other, and he didn’t drop in time and they slammed into him. 

Shocking: Jonathan later admitted he had ‘dodged the worst’ but had a ‘long road to recovery’ ahead of him as he remained in hospital after the terrifying incident 

Long road to recovery: Jonathan spent four months in hospital with his injuries 

‘He’s about a 40-year-old white male. He fell about 40 feet. He missed the airbag and landed on his head.’

‘During a rehearsal last evening for America’s Got Talent: Extreme, an accident occurred in which escape artist Jonathan Goodwin was injured while performing his act,’ the show said in a statement  

‘He was responsive and was immediately taken to the hospital where he is continuing to receive medical care. Our thoughts and prayers go out to him and his family as we await further updates on his condition.’ 

The spokesperson added: ‘The health and safety of our cast and crew continue to be our priority.’

The accident happened during a rehearsal for the show so it’s unclear if the accident will be addressed at all during the inaugural season of AGT: Extreme. 

Amanda previously spoke about her fiancé’s daredevil lifestyle to The Daily Mail’s Richard Eden, gushing: ‘Jonathan sets fire to himself and catches bullets for a living, but is also grown up, sensitive, and considerate. I’m completely besotted.’

Amanda – who split from husband Martin Freeman five years ago – shared her first picture with Jonathan, posting a throwback from a recent romantic getaway that she captioned: ‘When in Vienna, you hang out at the graveyards. What of it.’ 

Her post came after Jonathan shared his first picture of the pair earlier in the month, penning: ‘That was possibly the longest game of hide and seek ever….❤️’

Amanda then commented: ‘I love you. ❤️’

The rumours came just nine months after Amanda revealed she had split from The Queen’s Gambit actor Jonjo O’Neill after four years.  

The TV star started dating Irishman Jonjo, 42, after she split from actor Martin, 50, in 2016 after 16 years together.

Amanda, known for playing Mary Morstan in Sherlock, and Jonjo took the step of moving in together in her Hertfordshire home during the pandemic last year.

The actress announced the split to fans on her Instagram Live, saying: ‘Sadly no Irishman anymore. He’s gone… it’s fine, it’s just one of those things.’ 

Cute couple: Amanda shared her first picture with Jonathan in October posting a throwback that she captioned: ‘When in Vienna, you hang out at the graveyards. What of it’

Sweet: Her post came after Jonathan shared his first picture of the pair, penning: ‘That was possibly the longest game of hide and seek ever….❤️’ Amanda then commented: ‘I love you’

The mother-of-two hinted at her heartbreak by saying she was, ‘very sad for personal reasons’ and admitting she was struggling with lockdown because she was ‘on my own in the house’, The Sun reports.

She added: ‘At the moment I’m quite fragile… I’m a fragile girl at the moment.’ 

Amanda also joked that she had joined a dating app in a bid to combat her loneliness.

She wrote: ‘I go on Tinder. No, I’ve never been on Tinder, nor would I, that was a joke. Being on your own, certainly, you build your strength up and you get a sense of perspective.’

Amanda and Jonjo first began dating in November 2016 – nine months after she secretly split from The Office star Martin.  

The actress recently discussed her break up from Martin as she expressed fears that they had given their two children ‘irreparable damage’ after their split.

The couple share son Joe, 15, and daughter Grace, 12.

Talking to fans in April during an Instagram live for the It’s Ok mental health campaign, which she is an ambassador of, Amanda admitted it is ‘unsettling’ if she pretends to be a Stepford Wife parent and doesn’t want to ‘hide’ anything from her children. 

Case of the ex: Rumours of the engagement came just nine months after Amanda revealed she had split from The Queen’s Gambit actor Jonjo O’Neill after four years (pictured in September 2019) 

Amanda said during the video, which was broadcast to 49.1K followers: ‘I think it’s unsettling if I pretend I’m this Stepford Wife parent.

‘Nobody is. I’m sure I’ve given them irreparable damage and they will be going to therapy because of me and Martin at some point.’

She continued: ‘If I can teach them to talk about it, say there’s nothing to be frightened of or ashamed of with whatever you’re going through.

‘Whether you get drunk or try drugs, whatever you do — this place where we live is a safe place where you can say whatever you like. 

‘That’s what I am striving for and what Martin strives for as well — to create a place where they’re not hiding anything.’

Amanda added that it is important to discuss mental health with her children and for them to know that some days are ‘hard’ for her so it’s not a ‘dirty secret’.

She said: ‘To hide this from my children, that sometimes I get depressed or if I’m on antidepressants, what are you saying about all these mental health issues? Are you saying they’re offensive and shouldn’t happen? I don’t want that.’

The clan: Amanda and ex-husband Martin Freeman share son Joe, 15, and daughter Grace, 12 (Martin is pictured with their kids in 2020) 

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