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By Becca Longmire.

Helena Bonham Carter is speaking candidly about her “painful” split from director Tim Burton back in 2014.

The pair were never married, but were together for 13 years and share two children; son Billy, 19, and daughter Nell, 15.

Bonham Carter told the “Therapy Works” podcast that she wanted to wear black after the breakup.

She shared, “I wanted to wear something to indicate to people that I’m not my normal self,” adding: “I’m in mourning, and I’m under reconstruction.”


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Despite not tying the knot, Bonham Carter, who is now dating art historian Rye Dag Holmboe, still refers to their split as a “divorce,” telling the podcast: “I went through a very painful divorce. 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.”


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She said of the early days after the breakup, “I remember doing the school gate, and feeling I was so vulnerable. Meeting friends was fine, but not people I don’t really know. It was like I had no skin.”

Bonham Carter went on, “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. I think we still have trouble admitting vulnerability and there’s a judgment about it that we should be strong. We have to honour and respect loss… and press pause.”


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Elsewhere in the chat, Bonham Carter insisted, “Sometimes friends don’t know what to do, and there’s split loyalty. If you’re worried about hurting somebody, contact both sides and just check in and say, ‘Would you mind if…?’

“Always respect what they had, even if it’s in your view, the past, or even if in your view, if it wasn’t a good thing anyway. The divorce is that previous relationship, and that person was theirs,” sharing how it helped to talk to others who had been through a similar thing.

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Ellen Bullock