Robert Pattinson Described FKA Twigs's Racist Trolls as "Demons Who Live in Basements"
Who: Gotham Award-nominated actor Robert Pattinson, 35, and Grammy-nominated musician FKA twigs, 34.
How They Met: There are two conflicting theories here. E! News reported that Pattinson went to see twigs in concert in 2014 alongside Sienna Miller and Tom Sturridge (who were dating at the time). The Twilight alum was impressed, so Miller and Sturridge introduced him to the artist. However, in a 2015 interview Pattinson gave to NME, the pair is described as meeting through mutual friend Florence Welch. (Keep in mind: Pattinson lies.)
Whatever the case, by September 2014 Pattinson and twigs were very much a public couple.
When They Peaked: Though Twihards were desperate to hear every detail, Pattinson and twigs both strived to keep their relationship as far out of the public eye as possible (spoiler: it wasn't easy, or, well, possible).
On April 1, 2015, Vulture published a Q&A with T-Pain. The artist mentioned being inspired by twigs and the reporter followed up by asking if he was planning to work with the "Two Weeks" singer on his next album. As he was explaining twigs's limited availability, he added, "And she's engaged now, so that's about to be a whole other thing." Pardon?
"Wait, she's engaged?" Vulture asked (truly a masterclass in journalism). "Yeah, to ol' Patty," T-Pain answered before seeming to notice his misstep. "I don't know if she wanted anybody to know that …"
The "Buy U a Drank" performer really did try to cover his tracks. "Added a little #AprilFools to my interview with @vulture today!" he tweeted later that day. But ah, it was too late — People confirmed the news soon after. Still, both parties committed to maintaining privacy around the matter (though twigs's left ring finger wasn't quite as discrete).
When asked about T-Pain's accidental admission, twigs attempted to dodge the topic but ultimately told Complex, "It's fine, I'm a pretty chill person, do you know what I mean?"
But that's as much as anyone really ever got on the engagement front. When the Sunday Times prodded later that summer, twigs countered with "Who told you I was getting married?" T-Pain, probably.
Pattinson maintained the charade as well. Two years later, Howard Stern asked the actor, "You're engaged, right?" With nowhere to hide, he answered, "Yeah, kind of."
Why We Loved Them: Though millions would surely argue this point, it's not easy to be in a relationship with Twilight's leading man. From the very beginning, the couple was hounded by not only the paparazzi but the actor's legions of fans — and the attention was hardly positive.
Soon after her relationship with Pattinson went public, twigs tweeted that she was "genuinely shocked and disgusted at the amount of racism that has been infecting my account the past week."
Pattinson defended his partner in a 2015 interview with NME, describing twigs's racist trolls as "demons who live in basements."
Twigs went on to discuss the "vacuous attention" she received as a result of her relationship in a 2014 interview with USA Today, describing it as "disgusting" and "like a hangover." But all ugliness aside, she said the good outweighed the bad: "The positivity that I get from (my relationship) makes the more challenging aspects ... very worth it."
Twigs told The Guardian something similar.
"That side of my life [the paparazzi] is nothing to do with me," she said, describing it as a "side of life of the man that I love."
"It's something that's very challenging," she said of the paparazzi interference. "I look uncomfortable because I am uncomfortable. But then it's, like, is this person in my life worth that? And he is, without question. Do you know what I mean? In comparison to how happy I am. And how I feel with him. It's 100% worth it."
The following year, twigs told The New York Times that the public attention "makes you want to just stop everything sometimes. It makes you want to smash your face into the mirror."
InTouch sent fans into a panic when they reported that Pattinson had called off the pair's engagement in April 2016. Breakup rumors were busted the following week when the couple arrived together at the Met Gala (though the singer's pear-shaped diamond was nowhere to be seen).
Though their relationship status appeared to have been confirmed, Pattinson kept fans on their toes. When asked if he was getting married, the actor told GQ, "Eh." ("Kind of" is looking pretty good right now, huh?)
Pattinson told Stern that he kept a distance between his relationships and the public for a reason.
"It's one of the most frustrating things in the world, you want to be able to [be more open], but it's literally like, you get stuck in this position but you have to make this decision whether you want to let the crazy people in," he explained. "I mean basically, for whatever reason with Twilight — I don't know whether it is a specific thing with the audience — there's like a crack group of crazies that think every single decision you're making is either creating some kind of conspiracy …"
"To protect [the relationship] you kind of think, I want to create a big boundary between it," he went on. "But then it makes it difficult for your actual relationship."
In October 2017, three months after this admission, Pattinson and twigs's breakup went public.
Sources told People that the door was open for reconciliation but "timing" was a key factor in the split.
"He is on a press tour and she is working on her new album. And I think it's timing," a source told People. "They've been all over the place. They have not seen each other in probably two months."
Twigs released her sophomore album Magdalene in 2019 and fans and critics alike speculated that her split from Pattinson was a source of lyrical inspiration.
Describing the album's namesake, Mary Magdalene, she told The Guardian, "An incredible woman who was always in the shadow of a man," adding, "I can relate."
Twigs expanded on the racism she faced during her time with Pattinson in an interview with BBC Radio 4's "Grounded with Louis Theroux" in 2021, telling the host that people called her "the most hurtful and ignorant and horrible names on the planet."
"He was their white Prince Charming and I think they considered that he should definitely be with someone white and blonde and not me," she said."It was deeply unfair at the time that I was made to feel so self-conscious and so ugly. It was a lot. That period was a lot."
Where They Are Now:
Pattinson has been dating model and actress Suki Waterhouse since 2018.
The actor's latest foray into wildly popular franchises is as the titular superhero in The Batman, which opened in theaters nationwide March 4.
Twigs was last romantically linked to The 1975 lead singer and guitarist Matty Healy.
The singer released her third album, Caprisongs, in January 2022.
#TBT: Check in every Thursday as we throw it back to some of our favorite celebrity couples of all time.