Emma Thompson opened up in a recent interview with the New Yorker about infamous affair her ex-husband Kenneth Branagh had with Helena Bonham Carter.
“I was utterly, utterly blind to the fact that he had relationships with other women on set,” she said of Branagh, who she married in 1989 after meeting on the set of Fortunes Of War. “What I learned was how easy it is to be blinded by your own desire to deceive yourself.”
The actress, 63, shared that she felt utterly humiliated by her own stupidity. Thompson compared her emotional mess to shattered dishes. “I was half alive. Any sense of being a lovable or worthy person had gone completely,” she said.
The actress and Branagh, once dubbed the Golden Couple by the British press, split after eight years together following his affair with Bonham Carter, via People Magazine.
She went on to add that the person “who picked up the pieces and put them back together” was the actor Greg Wise – who she wed in 2003.
Wise played John Willoughby, the doe-eyed heartthrob who sweeps Marianne Dashwood (Kate Winslet) off her feet in Sense and Sensibility, where Thompson had met him in 1995.
“I’ve learned more from my second marriage just by being married,” Thompson said. “As my mother says, ‘the first twenty years are the hardest.’ “
After his split from Thompson, Branagh dated Bonham Carter until 1999.
Thompson and Wise now have two children together, Gaia, 22, and Tindyebwa Wise, 34. After meeting Tindyebwa when he was just 16 in 2003, a Rwandan orphan, and a former child soldier, he soon became a member of their family.
As for her feelings towards Branagh and Bonham Carter now, Thompson confessed to the Sunday Times in 2018 that despite her heartbreak she has no hard feelings towards them.
“That is… all blood under the bridge. You can’t hold on to anything like that,” she said. “It’s pointless. I haven’t got the energy for it… Helena and I made our peace years and years ago… she’s a wonderful woman.”