Saffron Burrows Opens Up About Her Marriage 16 Months Ago to a Woman

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

She's faced genetically engineered sharks in Deep Blue Sea and countless criminals as Detective Serena Stevens on Law & Order: Criminal Intent, but Saffron Burrows has never been one to talk much about her personal life. However, in a new interview with The Guardian, Burrows admits to quietly getting married 16 months ago and opens up about her relationship with longtime love Alison Balian.

"I always liked the idea of being with someone for a while and then getting married, but I didn’t know if I’d do it," Burrows told the paper. "I’m quite a romantic, I probably thought I would do it."

Burrows and Balian, a writer for The Ellen DeGeneres Show, eloped last August after the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, or, as Burrows said her mother put it when the two told her the news, "You haven’t eloped! You only elope when you’re young and in trouble!"

Burrows and Balian at a screening of Burrows's new series 'Mozart in the Jungle' (Getty Images)
Burrows and Balian at a screening of Burrows's new series 'Mozart in the Jungle' (Getty Images)

The two have been a couple for six and a half years and, two years ago, Burrows gave birth to their son. Before she was with Balian, Burrows was in a relationship with director Mike Figgis, with whom she worked, and was previously engaged to Alan Cumming.

Speaking with The Guardian, Burrows said that while she rejects one particular label to identify her sexuality, she understands other people's need to do so.

"For people in general, I think they should name themselves in whatever way they wish," Burrows explained. "The flourishing of the gay movement in America is clearly very necessary and the identity that people could proudly lay claim to is crucial. Lives are lost every day because of bigotry in this country. So I think that should not prevail."

Burrows asserts that there is no need for her to come out "because I’ve always just followed my heart" and claims she has had loving relationships with both women and men.

So why is the famously private star opening up about her personal life now? Well, of course, she has her Amazon show Mozart in the Jungle to sell, but Burrows also noted that it's about being honest and, frankly, because she is proud of her family. "I chose to speak to you because I don’t want to lie by omission and I want to be very straightforward about my life," she said.

She continued: "Also, I’m really proud of my family and who they are, these two individuals beside me. That’s certainly my proudest achievement. And for my boy, I want to be honest with him because he deserves it – but also proud. And I want us to live a very honest life with each other."