Emma Thompson Says She Was 'Half Alive' After Discovering Ex-Husband Kenneth Branagh's Affair

"Any sense of being a lovable or worthy person had gone completely.”
Dame Emma Thompson
Dame Emma Thompson
Gareth Cattermole via Getty Images

Dame Emma Thompson has said she felt “half alive” after finding out about ex-husband Sir Kenneth Branagh’s affair.

The Love Actually star was married to fellow actor Kenneth from 1989 to 1995, with their marriage ending after his affair with Helena Bonham Carter, who he later went on to date for five years.

In a new interview with New Yorker magazine, Emma said she was “utterly blind” to her ex’s infidelity, leading her to feel unlovable.

She 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.

“I was half alive. Any sense of being a lovable or worthy person had gone completely.”

Emma married Kenneth Branagh in 1989
Emma married Kenneth Branagh in 1989
Georges De Keerle via Getty Images

Emma admitted she was “embarrassed” by the “press version” of their marriage.

She said: “We didn’t present as glamorous in any way. I don’t think we wanted to be some power couple, and we certainly didn’t feel like it. We were lampooned and ridiculed, too - fair enough if you’re famous and overpaid - but it’s no fun.”

After the end of her first marriage, Emma met Greg Wise, who she credited with “picking up the pieces and put them back together”.

The couple have now been married for 19 years and together for 27 years, with Emma admitting she has “learned more” from her second marriage.

Emma with husband Greg Wise
Emma with husband Greg Wise
Karwai Tang via Getty Images

Emma previously said she had “made her peace” with Helena over her and Kenneth’s affair, describing her as a “wonderful woman” in a 2013 interview with the Sunday Times.

“You can’t hold on to anything like that,” Emma said. “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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