Hollywood couple split after seven year marriage
Kate Winslet, one of Britain’s leading Hollywood actresses, has separated from her husband, the director Sam Mendes, after nearly seven years of marriage.
The brief announcement was made on Monday by Keith Schilling of the couple’s London lawyers, Schillings.
“Kate and Sam are saddened to announce that they separated earlier this year,” said the statement. “The split is entirely amicable and is by mutual agreement. Both parties are fully committed to the future joint parenting of their children.”
Winslet and Mendes met in 2001, when he approached her to appear in a play at London’s Donmar Warehouse theatre, of which he was then artistic director.
They married in May 2003 on the Caribbean island of Anguilla. Their son, Joe, was born seven months later.
A friend of the couple said that it was “sad but true” that they had split, but that there was no other party involved.
“There really is no story,” she added, confirming that the separation is “perfectly amicable”.
Winslet, 34, is most famous for starring opposite Leonardo di Caprio in the 1997 James Cameron blockbuster Titanic, and has also appeared in Little Children, Iris and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.
She has been nominated for an Oscar on five occasions, and finally won the award for best actress last year for The Reader, in which she starred opposite Ralph Fiennes.
Mendes, 44, was a respected theatre director in London but made his name internationally - and won his own Oscar - by directing Kevin Spacey and Annette Bening in American Beauty in 1999.
He went on to direct the critically acclaimed Road to Perdition and the less well-received Jarhead.
Ironically the only film on which the couple have worked together was Revolutionary Road in 2008, which Mendes directed and in which Winslet starred as a woman whose seven-year long marriage was breaking up.
At the time, Mendes said that he was interested in depicting the pivotal point in a marriage “when you have to throw in your towel and say, ‘This is actually my life. What happens when you think you’ve done it wrong?'"
Winslet won the Golden Globe award for best actress in a drama for the film.
“Thank you for directing this film, babe, and thank you for killing us every single day and really enjoying us actually being in such horrific pain,” she said to Mendes in her acceptance speech. “But I can honestly say with my hand on my heart that I loved every second of working with you and it’s made me love you more.”
Winslet’s marriage to Mendes was her second. She married assistant director Jim Threapleton in 1998, having met him on the set of her film Hideous Kinky. They have a daughter, Mia Honey, who is now nine, but divorced in 2001.
When Mendes and Winslet were first married, they were famed for the effusiveness of their affection.
“We’re very happy, unbelievably happy,” Winslet was reported as saying by Hello! magazine in 2003. “It’s one of those unexplainable things that we’re together.”
Last year, it emerged that the pair never travelled on the same plane for fear of leaving their children orphaned if it were to crash.
Mendes was reportedly booked on to American Airlines flight 77, which crashed into the Pentagon on 9/11, and only failed to board after a late change to his plans.
The couple have been living in an apartment in the fashionable district of Chelsea in New York and also had a house in the Cotswolds.