Helen Hunt is a mom to 16-year-old daughter Makena Lei, who was born in 2004. She wanted her daughter to have a stable home and kept taking her partner back.
One of the cons of being in the entertainment industry is the lack of time people have for each other. Celebrities also have families and want to be there for their spouses and children, but the work is so taxing that they are not able to balance both. That can create rifts between individuals who are working in an industry where attention is seen as a reward, and this strife kills many marriages.
Helen Hunt, 57, wowed us with her performance in the sitcom Mad About You, which was revived in 2019, and movies such as Twister, Cast Away, and more. Best known for her role as Jamie Buchman in Mad About You, Hunt considered her role as a mom to be the most important one. She is a mom to a 16-year-old daughter, Makena Lei, born in 2004.
However, her relationship with the father of her child has not been an easy one. She was in a 16-year-long relationship with producer Matthew Carnahan until they split in August 2017. A source tells People that the former couple, who started dating in 2001, broke up multiple times in the past and "have had trouble getting along for several years."
Hunt, who has been working since she was a child, took a step back from work when she started dating Carnahan and wanted to grow her family. In 2008, she said that when her "family came to life" she chose to spend time with her daughter. "It’s the greatest pleasure I’ve ever known," Hunt said.
The daughter of director and acting coach Gordon Hunt, the Twister actress had been working since she was around 9 years old. Her first serious relationship was with fellow comedian, Hank Azaria. She has been married only once, to Azaria, but that relationship didn't work out. Her relationship with Azaria blossomed around the mid-1990s, and they tied the knot five years later, in 1999. However, the marriage was short-lived and the divorce was public.
Azaria told Larry King that the public divorce was "annoying as hell." He also mentioned that he and Hunt were still "friendly." He believes that their divorce was more amicable than many other celebrity divorces.
Her most recent partner, Carnahan served as creator and writer for Courteney Cox‘s Dirt and worked on Don Cheadle's House of Lies. He is a dad to a 23-year-old son, Emmett, from a previous relationship, according to People. Even though Carnahan and the Cast Away actress never married, she became a stepmom to Emmett, but her daughter remains the love of her life.
Unfortunately, Hunt's separation from Carnahan was a messy one. They reportedly stayed together only for their daughter, who was 13 when they went separate ways, according to Daily Mail. Hunt, like many other mothers, sought to prioritize a stable family life for her child above all else. Hunt didn't think of her unhappiness even though she believed that her partner had "strayed."
"She had been suspicious for a long time that something was wrong. But he insisted he didn’t betray her," a source told Daily Mail, adding that the actress couldn't get over her "trust issues."
"Friends were shocked. Helen and Matthew always appeared to be super in love. Their married friends would joke that they were jealous of their relationship," the source said. Over the years, the producer moved out a few times but Hunt always took him back, and "then time would pass and she’d kick him out again."
One of the most important things a parent can do for their child is to let them know that divorce has got nothing to do with them. And, when a mom loves their daughter as much as Hunt loves hers, she would have done everything in her power to ensure that for her child. On her daughter's birthday in 2020, she posted the sweetest message for Makena. "It’s just my favorite thing to do... looking at this face. Deep kindness, resilience (even in a f*ing pandemic) curiosity, empathy as it relates to injustice, ambition, humor, and more than anything you’re just so fun!! Happy Birthday my darling. I’m the luckiest mother in the world," she said.