Emma Thompson Was ‘Humiliated’ By Husband’s Affair With Helena Bonham Carter

Emma Thompson has said she was left ‘humiliated’ by her husband’s affair with Helena Bonham Carter.
Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Emma Thompson says she was ‘humiliated’ by her husband’s affair with fellow actress Helena Bonham Carter.

Thompson, 64, has starred in films such as Love Actually, Nanny McPhee and Matilda the Musical

While Bonham Carter, 57, has appeared in a number of hit movies such as Fight Club, Corpse Bride and Alice in Wonderland.

Both stars also appeared in the hugely popular Harry Potter franchise, despite having a complicated history that many fans are not aware of.

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Thompson first appeared in the third Harry Potter film, The Prisoner of Azkaban where she played the eccentric Professor Trelawney – who teaches divination to the students of Hogwarts.

Along with appearing in the third film, she reprised her role in The Order of the Phoenix and The Deathly Hallows Part 2.

Meanwhile, Bonham Carter played the villainous Bellatrix Lestrange – one of Voldemort’s loyal allies.

She made her debut in Order of the Phoenix and starred in every subsequent Harry Potter film up until Deathly Hallows Part 2.

Emma Thompson in Harry Potter
Emma Thompson played Professor Trelawney in the Harry Potter films. Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Despite starring in two Harry Potter films, their characters don’t ever cross paths with one another.

Despite never interacting, they were once involved in a love triangle with another famous Harry Potter co-star.

Thompson tied the knot with actor Kenneth Branagh in 1989 but their marriage came to an end in 1995 following his affair with Bonham Carter.

The pair began their relationship in 1994 while playing onscreen love interests in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. 

Bonham Carter and Branagh, 62, then embarked on a five-year relationship following his divorce from Thompson.

In the aftermath of the affair, all three stars worked on Harry Potter films.

While Branagh, who played Gilderoy Lockhart, appeared in the Chamber of Secrets.

Helena Bonham Carter in Harry Potter
Helena Bonham Carter, who played Bellatrix Lestrange in Harry Potter, was involved in an affair with Thompson’s husband Kenneth Branagh. Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Thompson has now opened up about her ex-husband’s affair to the New Yorker.

Thompson now credits her husband of three decades, Greg Wise, for ‘picking up the pieces’ and putting her back together.

Reflecting on her marriage to Wise, she added: “I’ve learned more from my second marriage just by being married.

“As my mother says, ‘the first twenty years are the hardest’.”

Thompson met Wise on the set of Sense and Sensibility in 1995, which won an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay.

At that time, her split from Branagh had not been made public.

Kenneth Branagh as Gilderoy Lockhart in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Kenneth Branagh’s affair with Helena Bonham Carter left ex-wife Emma Thompson ‘humiliated’. Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

She told the publication that she was ‘utterly blind’ to Branagh’s relationship with Bonham Carter and that she felt ‘unlovable’ after finding out.

The Cruella star said: “I was utterly, utterly blind to the fact that he had relationships with other women on set.

“What I learned was how easy it is to be blinded by your own desire to deceive yourself.”

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Thompson added that she felt ‘half alive’ and that any sense of being ‘loveable or worthy’ was destroyed.

Two years before the affair, Bonham Carter worked with Thompson on the 1992 movie Howard’s End – for which Thompson won an Oscar for Best Actress.

Thompson has previously said that she has ‘forgiven’ Bonham Carter for the affair, having channelled her feelings of betrayal into her wronged wife character in Richard Curtis’ Love Actually.

She admitted her split from Branagh was ‘blood under the bridge’, saying: “You can’t hold on to anything like that.

“It’s pointless. I haven’t got the energy for it. Helena and I made our peace years and years ago.”

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Written by Cal Gaunt

Cal is a former content editor at IGV who specialised in writing trending and entertainment news. He previously worked as a news reporter at the Lancashire Telegraph and earned an NCTJ in Sports Journalism.