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Emma Thompson Opens Up About Discovering Husband Kenneth Branagh's Affair: 'I Was Half Alive'

The two actors were married for six years before Branagh's affair with Helena Bonham Carter.

Emma Thompson; Kenneth Branagh
David M. Benett/Dave Benett/WireImage, David Livingston/Getty Images

British actor Emma Thompson opened up about her heartache after discovering her then-husband Kenneth Branagh was having an affair with fellow actor Helena Bonham Carter.

Thompson fell in love with Branagh while costarring together in the BBC’s Fortunes of War. The two married in 1989.

However, their marriage fell apart when Branagh started a relationship with Carter while working on 1994's Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.

He directed and starred in the film playing Victor Frankenstein while Carter played his adoptive sister and fiancée.

During that time, Thompson was filming Sense and Sensibility.

While reflecting on the dissolution of their marriage, the actress said she was humiliated by the deception, but admitted it was mostly due to her willful ignorance.

She told the New Yorker in a profile published this week:

“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," she recalled of her emotional distress, adding:

"Any sense of being a lovable or worthy person had gone completely."

Twitter couldn't believe anyone would want to cheat on the beloved Love Actually actress.

The man who helped her get back on her feet and find love again was Thompson's Sense and Sensibility co-star, Greg Wise, who played John Willoughby.

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

In a 2010 interview with the BBC Radio 4 show Desert Island Discs, Thompson commented on how her blossoming romance with Wise and working on the movie together saved her "from going under in a very nasty way."

"Work saved me and Greg saved me. He picked up the pieces and put them together again.

The couple has a daughter, Gaia, who Thompson conceived via in Vitro fertilization when she was 39.

They also informally adopted a Rwandan orphan and former child soldier named Tindyebwa Agaba in 2003, the same year Thompson and Wise got married.

She said of her second go as a wife:

“I’ve learned more from my second marriage just by being married."
"As my mother says, ‘the first twenty years are the hardest.’ ”