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Carrie Fisher revealed that she and Harrison Ford had an affair in November 2016. Their secret encounters were the inspiration for Fisher’s last memoir, The Princess Diarist. The book follows a 19-year-old Fisher falling for Ford, who was 33-years-old at the time. 

American actors Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford on the set of Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back directed by Irvin Kershner.
Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford|Lucasfilm/Sunset Boulevard/Corbis

Following the book’s release, Fisher explained why no one knew about her relationship with Ford until 40 years later. 

Carrie Fisher journaled about her affair with Harrison Ford

In 1976, Star Wars director George Lucas selected Fisher to play Princess Leia. The sci-fi film allowed Fisher to shine outside of her famous parents. Although she appeared alongside Goldie Hawn in Shampoo several years prior, Star Wars was Fisher’s first lead. The role called for Fisher to leave California for London to shoot the movie. 

Fisher met Ford for the first time in London. While she found him attractive, Fisher didn’t think Ford would be interested in anything more than a professional relationship. However, the Indiana Jones actor expressed his attraction to Fisher by kissing her during Lucas’ party. After their first kiss, they continued to sneak around. During filming, Fisher kept a diary where she discussed her feelings for Ford. 

“We lie buried together during the night and haunt each other by day, acting out something that we don’t feel and seeing through something that doesn’t deserve any focus,” Fisher wrote. 

Why Carrie Fisher couldn’t tell anyone about Harrison Ford

In addition to their age difference, Fisher and Ford faced significant obstacles in their relationship. Before Star Wars, Ford married his college sweetheart, Mary Marquardt. The couple already had two children by the time Ford engaged in an affair with Fisher. Additionally, Fisher wrote in her memoir that she feared Lucas finding out about their relationship. Because of this, she said she decided to write about the experience secretly. 

“I didn’t have anyone to confide in,” she told NPR. “I had no friends, and I couldn’t talk about [the affair with Ford] because he was married.”

Fisher’s diary ultimately turned into The Princess Diarist. Once she released the book, Fisher’s Star Wars co-star, Mark Hamill, admitted he didn’t have a clue about the affair. 

“I was so self-involved at that point, they could’ve been doing it in front of me, and I wouldn’t have noticed,” Hamill told Entertainment Tonight in 2016. “I was single and had my own agenda.”

Harrison Ford knew about Carrie Fisher’s memoir

Although the affair with Ford only lasted three months, Fisher remained close to him. The actors continued to work together and filmed two more Star Wars movies in the 1980s. In 2015, they reunited to shoot Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Once it was time to promote the film, Fisher said she found her journals about the affair. During a promotional event, the author told Ford she intended on turning her excerpts into a memoir. 

“I found the journals that I kept during the first movie, and I’m probably going to publish them,” Fisher told Ford. “And he just sort of raised his finger and said, ‘Lawyer!”’


How Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford Would ‘Haunt Each Other Every Day’

Fisher continued to say she assured Ford that she wouldn’t represent him negatively once the book was published. 

“And then I said, ‘No, I won’t write anything that you don’t want. I mean, I’ll show it to you before, and you can take anything out that you want taken out. I don’t want to make you uncomfortable,’ she said.  “Which I, of course, have. Unduly uncomfortable.”