It can't be mere coincidence that celebrity break-up reports start piling up in the weeks approaching Valentine's Day. One need only catch a passing glimpse of a calendar violated with a red Sharpie-scrawled heart around the 14th, and the words "Dinner with my sweetie!" taunting menacingly from inside, to convince oneself that the grinning, insufferable creature who has been surfing one's coattails for far too long needs to hit the curb. But there's more than merely passion fatigue at play with the epidemic's latest victims—Ralph Fiennes and his partner of 11 years, Francesca Annis there's also the home-wrecking Romanian chanteuse factor, and the question of just who dumped whom:
The announcement came after the Mail on Sunday newspaper reported that Fiennes had had an affair with a Romanian singer.
"Ms. Annis confirms today that she and Ralph Fiennes are to separate," said a statement issued Tuesday by her law firm, Schillings.
Fiennes, 43, and Annis, 61, met while starring in a 1995 stage production of "Hamlet," in which Fiennes played the title role and Annis played his mother. Fiennes was married to actress Alex Kingston at the time, while Annis had three children with photographer Patrick Wiseman.
Schillings said Annis had begun legal action against The Daily Mail newspaper for defamation and invasion of privacy over a story claiming she had forgiven Fiennes for his affair.
We'll assume Annis is pretty pissed, seeing as on top of leaving Fiennes, she also managed to sue a newspaper that had the gall to report she had forgiven the philandering cad. A more conciliatory, not to mention less litigious, route could have seen Fiennes moving to the guest house, and a correction called into the paper along the lines of, "...would like everyone to know the Constant Gardener star is still sleeping on the couch and showering her nightly with expensive diamond jewelry, which she accepts, though she has no plans on taking him back."