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Russell Crowe & Danielle Spencer's Reported Split: Is Australia's DWTS to Blame?

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Lisa Maree Williams/Getty

With rumors swirling that Russell Crowe and Danielle Spencer have split after nine years of marriage, the cause of the couple’s separation has come into question.

Speculation about Spencer and Crowe’s relationship initially began when the actress-musician, 43, participated on Australia’s Dancing with the Stars earlier this year.

“There was talk on set about whether Russell and Danielle were actually still together,” a source tells PEOPLE.

“She visited him once in London on the Les Misérables set just before DWTS started in April and then he surprised her during a performance on June 10, but apart from those dates that was the only time I believe they saw each other,” the source adds. “It was clear to us Danielle never wanted to be known as ‘Mrs. Russell Crowe’.”

When Crowe, 48, surprised his wife on the set of DWTS in June, it wasn’t a happy reunion, the source says.

“The day he surprised her on set, it was a bit awkward,” the source adds. “She didn’t seem happy to see him but he did stay back afterwards, had drinks with everyone and was very chatty.”

That same month, Spencer and her professional partner on DWTS, Damian Whitewood, were photographed with their arms wrapped around each other, but the extent of their relationship off-set remained unclear.

“I’d be surprised if they actually had a fling,” the source says. “She seemed too controlled to let that happen but they were very close and touchy-feely, so people talked.” Adding that “when they were both in Melbourne where we film DWTS they stayed at the same hotel, everyone stays there.”

A different source adds: “There was this unspoken belief that Danielle and Russell weren’t really together. At the afterparty, Danielle and Damian got very “hot and heavy” on the dance floor, but although everyone talked about a potential fling, no one really knew for sure.”

But while Spencer’s costars speculated about the status of her marriage, Crowe – who was away filming – was “very supportive” of Spencer while she competed on DWTS and “Tweeted her every week,” the same source says.