Kate's Ex Is Left Holding The Baby
Mail on Sunday
December 2, 2001
By Sharon Churcher
He was grief-stricken in September when the beautiful actress who is the mother of his 13-month-old daughter told him she wanted a divorce. But last week, Kate Winslet's estranged husband Jim Threapleton confessed: 'Life was rough, living with a movie star. I'm much happier now.'
The 27-year-old British director poured out his heart in Austin, Texas, where Kate is shooting her latest film, The Life Of David Gale, and has also begun a new love affair with director Sam Mendes, one of the most powerful men in Hollywood. Drawing forlornly on a cigarette at the Austin hotel where he has been looking after daughter Mia while Kate shoots, he told the young bartender: 'It's hard when you have an ex-wife who is this busy and successful. Kate was always traveling and Mia would be with her. I am actually seeing more of my daughter since we split up.'
When Threapleton flew into the Texas capital last week, acquaintances predicted that he would confront 26-year-old Kate about the romantic weekend she spent here with Mendes, 35, Oscar-winning director of American Beauty. Threapleton, who put his own career on hold to support his wife, is understood to have been mortified when she began an affair soon after telling him she wanted her independence.
After checking into a hotel in an upmarket shopping mall, Jim drove straight to Barton Creek Country Club, the golf resort where Kate and Mendes had their rendezvous in the ninth-floor suite where she is still staying with Mia and a nanny. However, far from getting into a shouting match with Kate, Jim told me: 'My relationship with Kate is perfect now. Everything is going according to plan with the divorce and we have agreed to be friends. We are structuring our lives around Mia and that is something I am enjoying very much.'
Friends say that Kate initially refused to see him alone, but the atmosphere gradually thawed as they played with Mia, who is just learning to walk.
Threapleton took the little girl on several outings during the week-long trip, strapping her into a carrier on his back for a hike by the creek, showing her the owls at an Austin aviary and laughing delightedly as she jammed a chip into her mouth at McDonald's. He also gave her a swimming lesson in the pool at his hotel.
'This is such a new experience for me, being a father, and I'm living in the present now and enjoying every precious minute that I spend with my daughter,' he said. 'You can learn great lessons from seeing life through the eyes of a child.'
The separation of Winslet and Threapleton shocked showbusiness. Only a month before the couple split up, Kate declared herself 'very lucky' in her marriage. Weeks later they announced their separation, with Kate insisting the marriage had broken down irretrievably.
Thanks to Allan for sending me the article!