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It’s been six years since a very green Kristen Stewart found herself in the middle of one of the biggest modern day cheating scandals to plague Hollywood. July 17 2012 marks a date the actress would probably prefer to forget. Much like the angst-laden Twilight franchise that her launched her into an unprecedented fame, the now 27-year-old and her then-boyfriend Robert Pattinson began living out a love triangle saga of their very own.
It was on this day that a then 22-year-old Stewart was snapped by paparazzi kissing her Snow White and The Huntsman director Rupert Sunders, 41, the cheating pictures going viral across the globe.
But every year, exactly around this time give or take a couple of months, we learn a little more about the relationship that was. Last year, in a new interview with The Sunday Times, Stewart reflected on her relationship with Pattinson. “When I was dating Rob, the public were the enemy — and that is no way to live,” she said. “I hated it that details of my life were being turned into a commodity and peddled around the world.” Now dating Victoria’s Secret model Stella Maxwell, Stewart says she realised the power of her public profile and the positive influence it could have on a regular person. “Considering I had so many eyes on me, I suddenly realised [that my private life] affects a greater number of people than just me,” she said. “It was an opportunity to surrender a bit of what was mine, to make even one other person feel good about themselves.”
In a new interview with Harper Bazaar U.S., Stewart – right on time – has commented on her sexual fluidity and says she would be open to dating men in the future. “Some people know that they like grilled cheese and they’ll eat it every day for the rest of their lives,” Stewart said, noting she has been “deeply in love” with everyone she has dated. “I want to try everything. If I have grilled cheese once I’m like, ‘That was cool, what’s next?'”
In August 2016, the actress told New York Times’ style magazine, T, the overexposure of the romance with Pattinson was overwhelming. “People wanted me and Rob to be together so badly that our relationship was made into a product,” she said. “It wasn’t real life anymore. And that was gross to me. It’s not that I want to hide who I am or hide anything I’m doing in my life. It’s that I don’t want to become a part of a story for entertainment value.”
“I’m not the typical showman,” she continued. “But at the same time, I want so badly to expose myself. I want to be understood and I want to be seen, and I wasn’t to do that in the rawest, purest and most naked way I can.”
Her timing – and attempt to explain her notorious shyness and awkwardness – came right on schedule. On July 30 2014, Pattinson – who had clearly moved on – gave his explanation to Esquire UK. “Sh*t happen, you know?” he said. “It’s just young people… it’s normal! And honestly, who gives a sh*t?”
Then, in July 2015, Stewart responded with her own version of what was going through her mind. “I lit my universe on fire and I watched it burn,” she told U.S. Marie Claire. “Speaking very candidly, it was a really traumatic period in my early twenties that kick-started something in me that was a bit more … feral.”
At the time, Stewart’s career was left in two-parts tatters, one-part limbo, and her relationship broken. Print and online publications splashed the images ubiquitously to millions while Twitter became alight with insult toward the notoriously awkward star, taunts that would last months. “The public kind of burned me at the stake,” she says. “But that’s OK, I can take it. I’m not dead.”
Prior to dating Maxwell, Stewart’s last big relationship was with producer Alicia Cargile. “I would never talk about any of my relationships before, but once I started dating girls it seemed like there was an opportunity to represent really positive,” she said at the time. “I still want to protect my personal life, but I don’t want to seem like I’m protecting the idea, so that does sort of feel like I owe something to people.”