Kristen Zang, who dated the Oscar Winner from 1995 to 1999 is speaking out publicly about their relationship for the first time. Reflecting on their relationship in an essay for People, the former model shared that she felt the need to address the "ageist" headlines and comments surrounding DiCaprio's and Morrone's split. "I'm a very private person, much like my ex-boyfriend," Zang wrote. "But this past week, for the first time, I have felt compelled to share a few things. Leo and I dated for four years. I met him casually through friends when I was 19 years old and we started dating when we were both 21."
She continued, "I visited Leo for long periods of time on various sets in different countries. I loved his friends and he loved mine. We were like one big happy family. Leo was a very sweet and thoughtful boyfriend. We also had some hard times like all couples do, and broke up for a bit in 1997 and then got back together. Then, about 4 months after my 25th birthday (ha, I know what you're thinking) it was over for good."
DiCaprio's former flame went on to explain that she broke things off, saying she felt like she had outgrown the relationship and wanted to find herself.
Zang said, "Now over 20 years later when I read the headlines and online comments with his most recent ex-girlfriend being referred to as having 'aged out' or being 'too old for Leo at 25,' puh-lease (insert dramatic eye roll). I think we can and should do better. What kind of message is this sending to young people?"
"Back when I was a young model, we were told that our careers would be over at 21. I'm happy to see things are slowly changing for people in that industry now but in the '90s that wasn't the case," she continued. "Looking back, at 21 or 25 I had no clue who I was or what I wanted. It wasn't until about 30 that I found my true passion, dog nutrition of all things, and I started my own company when I was 33."
Zang now lives in Oregon with her husband, Shea and their rescue dog. But she wants young girls to know age is just a number.
"I met the love of my life when I was 38 and got married when I was 40," she explained. "So you youngins out there, listen up. Life gets so much better after 25. Yes, you get more wrinkles but you also get more confidence and more love for yourself. Turns out, I was barely scratching the surface of life at 25."
As for Zang's thoughts on DiCaprio's latest breakup she says regardless of the reason he split with Morrone, people need to stop the current online narrative about her age. She noted, "Maybe she really cared for him but was just ready for the next chapter, perhaps it's temporary, or maybe it's none of our business but can we stop with the ageist headlines and comments?"
However, one thing Zang is not mad about are the DiCaprio memes, joking, "Let's keep the funny memes coming, they're stellar. Truly."
DiCaprio and Morrone recently split in August after more than four years together. A source told E! News at the time that the pair had been traveling a lot which led them to "reevaluate their relationship" which has "run its course."
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