Helena Bonham Carter Recalls ‘Mourning’ Her ‘Painful’ Tim Burton Split

Tim and Helena at the Book of Mormon Gala Performance for Red Nose Day, March 2013.
Jonathan Hordle/Shutterstock

Eight years after Helena Bonham Carter and Tim Burton announced their separation, the Crown alum is reflecting on the “painful” split.

“I went through a very painful divorce,” Bonham Carter, 56, said during the Tuesday, December 13, episode of the “Therapy Works” podcast. “It was a long-lasting thing. That’s the other thing, it’s not that finite. It never ends. Even if you divorce somebody, it’s a kind of marriage if you have children with them. The relationship has to change. It’s a very complicated thing how to share the children.”

The England native and Burton, 64, dated from 2001 to 2014 and frequently teamed up on screen. While the pair never legally wed, they eventually expanded their family with the arrival of son Billy, 19, and daughter Nell, 15, in 2003 and 2007, respectively. The former couple announced in December 2014 that they had called it quits.

“Tim Burton and Helena Bonham Carter separated amicably earlier this year and have continued to be friends and coparent their children,” the Harry Potter actress’ rep told Us Weekly at the time. “We would ask that you respect their privacy and that of their children during this time.”

Following their split, Bonham Carter has been candid about the grief of ending a longtime relationship.

“I wanted to wear something to indicate to people that I’m not my normal self,” she recalled on Tuesday, noting she wanted to don all-black ensembles. “I’m in mourning, and I’m under reconstruction. … We should bring back a uniform for mourning because it gives an indication to people that you’re not yourself and nor should you be yourself.”

Helena Bonham Carter Recalls 'Mourning' Her 'Painful' Tim Burton Split: 'It Was a Long-Lasting Thing' green dress

Carter posing for a publicity photocall for ITVX launch, November 2022.
ITV/Matt Frost/Shutterstock

She added: “I think we still have trouble admitting vulnerability and there’s a judgment about it that we should be strong. We have to honor and respect loss. We have to press pause.”

Despite ending their romance, the Sweeney Todd star still thinks fondly of her former partner.

“I could write a thesis on what’s happened and it is all-absorbing when a relationship breaks down, but I think we’re coming through it, and I think we’ll have something very precious still,” Bonham Carter wrote in a November 2015 essay for Red magazine. “Our relationship was always somewhat special, and I think it’ll always remain special.”

The Ocean’s 8 actress continued at the time: “We did find each other. And really, the mark of a successful relationship shouldn’t be whether you’re there forever after. Sometimes you’re not meant to be forever together. Sometimes you have to come to terms with the fact that that was it. But that was a gift, a massive gift. We gave each other children and a lot more else.”

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