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Tim Burton and Helena Bonham Carter split: How did this happen?

Sarah grew up in Monterey, CA and now lives in Los Angeles. When she's not writing, you can find her enjoying a good book, fine wine, sunflowers and long walks on the beach.

Our real nightmare before Christmas: Tim Burton and Helena Bonham Carter call it quits

In a world where the public has become totally jaded and impervious to the painful splits of our favorite Hollywood duos, the dissolution of a beloved celebrity partnership has managed to leave us shocked.

Helena Bonham Carter and Tim Burton have called it quits, according to a rep for the couple via People magazine. They "separated amicably earlier this year and have continued to be friends and co-parent their children," the representative said. "We would ask that you respect their privacy and that of their children during this time."

More: All of Tim Burton's films ranked and summarized in 140 characters or less

Though the two never married, they had been together since 2001, when Bonham Carter starred in and Burton directed Planet of the Apes.

This Hollywood breakup is particularly jarring because not only were they so adorable and quirkily cute together, but Bonham Carter seemed to be the perfect muse for Burton's fantastically genius, sometimes dark, but always visually brilliant work. She was his Red Queen in Alice in Wonderland and his witch with a heart of gold in Big Fish. She helped bring Dark Shadows to life and managed to bring a strange love story back from the dead in Corpse Bride.

The couple worked so well together creatively and with such flawless chemistry that we just didn't see this coming. Looks like Burton is going to have lean more heavily on his ongoing innovative bromance with Johnny Depp. Not that we're complaining about that.

More: Perfect Cinderella trailer shows a "normal" Helena Bonham Carter

So what could have happened to make the couple "amicably split"? It was rumored that Burton was cheating on Bonham Carter last year when he was caught kissing an unidentified blonde woman in an alley in London in October. Infidelity could have put some strain on their already unconventional relationship. It was also reported at the time that the two were not living in the same house, which wasn't a huge surprise, because they never had. "You never have to compromise emotionally or feel invaded," Bonham Carter had previously said about her living arrangement with Burton.

Whatever the reason for the split, we wish both parties well.

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