On Monday, TMZ reported that Taylor Swift and Matty Healy had ended their controversial romance after just over one month.
At the start of May, the Sun revealed that the two stars were “madly in love” following Taylor’s recent split from her longterm boyfriend Joe Alwyn.
An insider said of the new couple: “They are both massively proud and excited about this relationship and, unlike Taylor’s last one — which was very much kept out of the spotlight, deliberately — she wants to ‘own’ this romance, and not hide it away.”
And while neither Taylor or Matty have explicitly commented on the relationship over the last four weeks, they certainly can’t be accused of hiding it away. Just days after the story first broke, fans noticed that the stars had been sharing secret messages to one another on stage at their respective concerts.
During Matty’s May 3 show, he was seen mouthing “This is about you. You know who you are. I love you.” Taylor mouthed the exact same thing during her May 5 show in Nashville.
They were also spotted kissing, pictured holding hands, and filmed looking cozy as they left a party together. Matty also took up residence in the VIP tent at Taylor’s Eras tour, spending time with her family and closest friends, and even took to Taylor’s stage to perform alongside her opening act Phoebe Bridgers.
But since news of their split emerged earlier this week, the narrative has flipped. A source has insisted to People that Matty and Taylor’s arrangement “was always casual” and that they were “just having fun.”
"They have been friends for years and decided to just go back to being friends. Nothing complicated happened. It's just life,” the insider added. A separate source told Entertainment Tonight: “They are both extremely busy and realized they’re not really compatible with each other.”
In spite of the reports to the contrary, many couldn’t help but speculate that Taylor and Matty’s sudden split was actually a result of the damage that he was causing to her brand.
Matty has a long history of incredibly problematic behavior, which includes making misogynistic and racist comments, being filmed seemingly doing a Nazi salute in January of this year, and even recently supporting his friend’s podcast that brutally dragged Taylor and called her mom “Miss Piggy.”
tw // antisemitism why is no one talking about the fact matty healy did a h!tler salute on stage?? pic.twitter.com/QXdza5gzuX
— nat (@waystarnatco) January 26, 2023
One of Matty’s biggest controversies, however, was his February appearance on The Adam Friedland Show podcast, where he admitted to masturbating to Black women being “brutalized” on a hardcore pornography website that has been branded “abuse porn.”
On that same podcast, Matty and the show’s hosts made a series of derogatory and racially-loaded comments about the rapper Ice Spice, who they called “one of the Inuit Spice Girls,” a “chubby Chinese lady,” and “a fucking Eskimo.”
They also mocked a variety of accents, with Matty gleefully encouraging the other men to impersonate a Japanese person working at a concentration camp.
And here’s audio of Matty Healy laughing as he encourages the hosts to do mock impressions of Japanese accents. pic.twitter.com/n7yhKvvSJw
— victor🦄 (@beyisover) May 6, 2023
The podcast episode was deemed so offensive that Apple Music and Spotify removed it from their platforms, and when the content resurfaced amid Matty’s romance with Taylor last month, her fans were left feeling incredibly disappointed.
Many urged Taylor to speak out and publicly condemn her rumored boyfriend’s problematic remarks, but the star remained silent. In fact, just days after Matty’s confession about his offensive porn habits resurfaced, Taylor appeared to become even more defiant over her love life.
In an incredibly loaded statement, Taylor made it clear that she was not bothered by her fans’ outrage as she told the crowd at her concert: “I've just never been this happy in my life — in all aspects of my life — ever before.”
And now a source close to Matty has told TMZ that his racist comments on the podcast were not a factor in the relationship ending.
In fact, the insider confirmed that Taylor was well-aware of what Matty had said before she started dating him, and although this earned her backlash she “simply blocked out” the “noise” from her concerned fans.
The report comes after a video of Taylor choking up while performing a heartbreak song at her Chicago concert on Saturday emerged online.
The singer chose her 2017 collaboration with Zayn Malik, “I Don’t Want To Live Forever,” as one of her surprise songs for the night, but the lyrics appeared to strike a chord with her.
In a video that has been circulating on social media, Taylor looks emotional and her voice audibly cracks as she sings the line: “Wondering if I dodged a bullet or just lost the love of my life.”
i want to fucking die . She can’t even get through the damn line pic.twitter.com/g70p924yzH
— liz :D (@allstoowelI) June 4, 2023
Discussing the clip on a Reddit thread after news of the Matty split broke, one Swiftie said: “Her and Matty broke up, this makes a lot more sense!!”
Another wrote: “With the news now that she broke up with Matty I think she felt she had to because he was a problem but he clearly made her happy in some special way.”
Someone else commented: “I wonder if this is related to the rumor that she and Matty are done.”
One more drily added: “you dodged a bullet sis ❤️ edit: talking about matty healy btw.”
But others argued that Taylor’s emotion wasn’t actually anything to do with Matty, and was instead a delayed response to her recent break up from Joe.
Taylor was in a relationship with the British actor for more than six years, but in April — less than a month before her romance with Matty was first reported — it was revealed that they had decided to end things.
One fan speculated: “i think maybe the matty rebound stopped being a fun distraction and now shes finally processing the breakup with joe. except she doesnt have time to do it privately so it's becoming visible in her shows.”
Another agreed: “If I had to guess, the sadness might also be because of Joe. Blinders are off. Rebound out of the picture and then you’re left with that feeling of ‘oh yeah. I’m actually pretty sad about my six year long relationship being over’. That’s what I would think! But I can see both scenarios!”
Someone else concluded: “Puts things in perspective. I think she questioning both relationships. She really needs to take some time away from relationships.”
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