Tim Burton's New Leading Lady

ByABC News
October 25, 2001, 6:44 PM

Oct. 26 -- No, there wasn't an ape-human love scene in Planet of the Apes, but director Tim Burton is reportedly monkeying around (sorry, we couldn't resist!) with his fetching Apes star Helena Bonham Carter.

The quirky director has reportedly left his longtime girlfriend Lisa Marie, who's been featured in nearly all his films, for the Oscar-nominated British actress.

A friend of Lisa Marie's is quoted in the New York Daily News as having some not-so-nice words about Burton's behavior. "They went out for years. They went to the [Los Angeles] Planet premiere together."

Meanwhile, other friends of Lisa Marie's tell the New York Post that she considered Bonham Carter a friend. "Lisa and Helena were both in Planet of the Apes, which they worked on for over a year. Helena used to have her over for lunch all the time." Me-ow!

Carters Rep Confirms Romance

Burton, 43, reportedly told Lisa that "she didn't need to go to the London premiere and, since she had some photo shoots, she said OK." Then Burton reportedly lowered the boom, calling Lisa Marie to say, "It's over."

Bonham Carter previously set tongues wagging when she began dating Kenneth Branagh (the pair broke up in 1999), and was blamed by some for the breakup of his marriage to Emma Thompson.

A rep for Bonham Carter confirms that she is dating Burton, telling the Daily News, "She has been seeing him for the last two and a half weeks. It is a baby relationship. They're taking baby steps. It didn't start during Planet of the Apes." The rep says Burton and Bonham Carter wouldn't have had much chance to fool around on the Apes set, since she was costumed in latex "from head to toe."