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Taika Waititi's Ex-Wife, Chelsea Winstanley, Seemingly Confirmed Speculation That He Cheated On Her

Chelsea Winstanley, Taika Waititi's ex-wife, gave a candid interview about the breakdown of their marriage.

Taika Waititi and Chelsea posing together at the Black Panther event, Waititi in a suit and Chelsea in a blouse
David Crotty / Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

Chelsea is a successful Māori film producer, writer, and director. She's also been a driving force in getting various Disney films translated into te reo Māori.

Chelsea sitting in a chair with foliage behind her
Jan Kruger — FIFA / FIFA via Getty Images

She met Taika when she interviewed him for a documentary. The two were married in 2011, share two daughters, and are speculated to have split in 2018. The couple also worked together for some time, with Chelsea acting as a producer on Jojo Rabbit and What We Do in the Shadows.

The former couple holding hands at a media event, with Chelsea in a dress and heels, and Taika in a tailored suit
Matt Winkelmeyer / Getty Images for InStyle

Not much has been known about their split, though some have speculated that infidelity was involved on Taika's part. He is currently married to Rita Ora, whom he appears to have met in 2018.

Taika and Rita embracing at a formal event
Dimitrios Kambouris / Getty Images for the Met Museum/Vogue

On the podcast It's Personal With Anika Moa, Chelsea was asked about her "mahi" [Māori for "work"] having to take a "backseat" while she had Taika's children and he was "doing his thing."

Taika, Chelsea, and their two children at The Lion King premiere, all wearing outfits with Polynesian-inspired prints
Jesse Grant / Getty Images for Disney

“To be really, brutally honest, I probably started forming a bit of resentment in that moment," Chelsea replied. "You don't make a human being on your own — therefore, you shouldn't have to raise a human being on your own, either. When that little seed of resentment was starting to form — I want to be really honest and own my participation in that, in the unraveling of our relationship."

Taika in a denim blazer over a patterned shirt with Chelsea in a black embroidered jacket at a celebrity event
Tommaso Boddi / FilmMagic

Speaking about when Taika got his first major studio directing gig, 2017's Thor: Ragnarok, she said, “I didn’t want to be the dutiful wife and race over to the Gold Coast [in Australia], where he was making Thor, and sit in an apartment all day long, fucking twiddling my thumbs, and bring the kids out."

Chelsea, in a strapless outfit, and Taika, in a suit and tie, at a Thor: Ragnarok event
Frazer Harrison / Getty Images

"Lots of other wives do that, and in other departments, I'll dutifully do that thing. But I couldn't think of anything fucking worse," Chelsea continued. "That would mean I have to take my babies out of kōhanga reo [Māori-speaking kindergarten]. And that, to me, was really important. So I said, ‘I’m not going to do that, but we’ll come over and visit.'"

Cate Blanchett in a fitted superhero costume with Taika holding a tablet on a film set
Walt Disney Co. / Courtesy Everett Collection

"That probably was the beginning of the unraveling because I wasn’t that pandering, dutiful, get on my knees and whatever you want.' Someone else was, though," she added, seemingly confirming the cheating speculation. "I didn't know that until many years later."

Chelsea and Taika posing on the red carpet, she in a patterned dress and he in a suit with a pink tie
Rich Polk / Getty Images for Disney

While acknowledging her "stubbornness," Chelsea said that she was ultimately "glad" to have chosen that path, which included her working on her movie Waru and the documentary Merata: How Mum Decolonised the Screen: "That's true to me. Those projects and that type of storytelling, that's me. That's got nothing to do with what was going on."

Chelsea at a media event in a sleeveless, deep-V outfit and wearing a long, intricate necklace
Jeff Kravitz / FilmMagic

"I needed to focus on my own stuff. It reaffirmed for me that I can do that. I don't need anyone else for me to be able, happy, and [in control], or do what I want to do in the spaces that I love," Chelsea continued.

Chelsea at a media event in a ruffled blouse and long skirt
Rodin Eckenroth / FilmMagic

The filmmaker recalled, "It’s nice to have someone who can support you, or just to go, ‘You got this’ or ‘I’m so proud of you.’ But there was never any of that. There was no interest in what I wanted to be doing. So that said volumes, really."

The former couple on the red carpet, she in a strapless knee-length dress and he in a suit and tie
Frazer Harrison / Getty Images

"I think I was married to someone who really was on their own buzz and tunnel vision," she added. "We're all on our own journey, so to help me get through on a daily basis, I just remind myself that I'm not responsible for what anybody does. I'm only responsible for the way in which I react."

Chelsea and Taika with Jojo Rabbit producer Carthew Neal and a woman at a media event
Amanda Edwards / WireImage

"As time goes by, you're actually angry at yourself for not believing that you deserved better," she said, noting how her childhood trauma influenced the situation. Chelsea explained that a discussion with a nearly 70-year-old woman about what they've endured in life helped her realize that she was putting up with unhealthy situations with the mindset that "so long as what [she] was putting [herself] through wasn't as bad as the childhood rape, then [she] could handle it."

Chelsea in a sleeveless gold top at a media event
Kevin Winter / Getty Images

You can listen to the full interview here.