Film director Tim Burton and actor Helena Bonham Carter called it quits in 2014 after 13 years, two children, and a number of movies together, Vanity Fair reported. Their romance was complicated, to say the least, with them never getting married and living in adjoined houses despite being romantically involved, per Ranker. But their quirky lifestyle paved the way for some of Hollywood’s most beloved films, including Planet of the Apes, Sweeney Todd, and Alice in Wonderland, via BBC America. Bonham Carter once described their combined twin homes as being a nod to their appreciation for “personal space” in their relationship.
“We just have two houses knocked together because mine was too small,” she told The Telegraph in 2010. “We see as much of each other as any couple, but our relationship is enhanced by knowing we have our personal space to retreat to.” She went on to note Burton’s snoring as another reason for them living separately. “Tim does snore, and that’s an element,” she added. “We’ve tried lots of remedies that don’t work. He has a deviated septum and doesn’t want an operation.”
In December 2014, however, the couple released a statement announcing that they had “separated amicably and have continued to be friends and co-parent their children,” Bonham Carter’s rep told People. They both remained silent on the reason behind their breakup until the actor broke her silence the following year.
Helena Bonham Carter's 'thesis' on her split from Tim Burton
Nine months after announcing her breakup, Helena Bonham Carter decided to share the “thesis” of reasons why she and Tim Burton decided to part ways. “Our relationship was always somewhat special, and I think it’ll always remain special,” she told Red in September 2015. The couple had welcomed their son Bill Raymond Burton and daughter Nell Burton while successfully living in conjoined homes in London.
“We did find each other. And really, the mark of a successful relationship shouldn’t be whether you’re there forever after,” she added. “Sometimes you’re not meant to be forever together. Sometimes you have to come to terms with the fact that that was it.” She referred to their 13-year courtship as a “massive gift” that produced “children and a lot more else.” She continued, “We might be better, and still be able to give to each other, but not necessarily living together.” Also, when it came to the old rumors about them not living together, Bonham Carter chimed in: “[W]e did by the way, because everyone seemed to think we didn’t, but that was a load of myth.”
Though the two never married, she still compared their split to a divorce. “With divorce, you go through massive grief — it is a death of a relationship. Your identity, everything, changes,” she told The Standard in 2016. But she credited the “very small steps” she took when healing from the dissolved romance for helping her find herself again.
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