Emma Thompson says she was ‘completely blindsided’ to ex-husband Kenneth Branagh’s affair with Helena Bonham Carter


Emma Thompson has reflected on the humiliation she felt after learning that her ex-husband Kenneth Branagh was unfaithful.

The 63-year-old actress, who was married to Branagh, 61, from 1989 to 1995, told The New Yorker she was completely unaware he was having an affair with her ‘Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein’ co-star Helena Bonham Carter.

“I was completely, completely blind to the fact that he had relationships with other women on set,” Thompson said in a recent interview.

Emma Thompson said she was taken aback by her ex-husband Kenneth Branagh’s affair with Helena Bonham Carter.
(Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images for BFI)

She continued, “What I learned was how easy it is to be blinded by your own desire to be wrong.”

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The “Cruella” star told the outlet that her emotional state was like broken dishes. “I was half alive,” she explained. “Any sense of being a kind or worthy person was completely gone.”

In addition to being married, the former couple worked on film projects together, with Branagh casting Thompson in films he was directing. They starred together in several films including Henry V (1989), Dead Again (1991), Peter’s Friends (1992) and Much Ado About Nothing (1993).

Branagh and Thompson were married from 1989 to 1995.

Branagh and Thompson were married from 1989 to 1995.
(Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)

Branagh’s affair with Bonham Carter began in 1994 when he directed and starred alongside the “Dark Shadows” actress in “Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.”

In 1995, Branagh and Thompson’s marriage was falling apart but they had yet to announce their intention to separate.

At the time, Thompson was filming the period piece “Sense and Sensibility,” based on Jane Austen’s 1811 novel of the same name. She told The New Yorker it was her “Sense and Sensibility” co-star. ” Greg Wise, “who picked up the pieces and put them back together”.

Bonham Carter and Branagh dated for five years before splitting in 1999.

Bonham Carter and Branagh dated for five years before splitting in 1999.
(Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)

Thompson and Wise have now been together for 27 years and married for 19. “I learned more from my second marriage just by being married,” she said. “As my mother says, ‘the first twenty years are the hardest.’ “

The two are parents to daughter Gaia, 22, and son Tindyebwa, 34. In 1993, Thompson met Tindyebwa, a Rwandan refugee and former child soldier. The actress and Wise welcomed the 16-year-old into their family and officially adopted him in 2004.

Carter, 56, and Branagh dated for five years before splitting in 1999.

Thompson and actor and producer Greg Wise have been together for 27 years and married for 19.

Thompson and actor and producer Greg Wise have been together for 27 years and married for 19.
(Reuters)

Thompson, Branagh, and Bonham Carter all later starred in the Harry Potter franchise. Thompson played Professor Sybil Trelawney and Branagh portrayed Gilderoy Lockhart in the second film, 2002’s “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets”.

Thompson then reprized her role in the fifth and eighth episodes and Bonham Carter played Bellatrix Lestrange in the final four films.

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The two starred in “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” and “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II.”

In a 2013 interview with Britain’s Sunday Times, Thompson said she had “made peace” with Bonham Carter. She added that the case was “all blood under the bridge”.

“You can’t hang on to something like that,” she told the outlet. “It’s useless. I don’t have the energy for this. Helena and I made peace years and years ago.”

She also joked about why Branagh might have been attracted to both her and Bonham Carter. “Being a little crazy and a little fashionable. Maybe that’s why Ken loved us both. She’s a wonderful woman, Helena.”

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