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Sophie Turner On Vogue UK. Talks Divorce, Mom Shaming, Misogyny & Taylor Swift


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Turner is no stranger to her own brand of casual misogyny. In the last six months, she’s been subject to mum-shaming of the most egregious kind. Following news last September that her husband, Joe Jonas, had filed for divorce after four years of marriage, and the release of a joint statement on Instagram in which the couple announced they had “mutually decided to amicably end our marriage”, the narrative surrounding their break-up took a predictably toxic turn. Rumours that she’d been somehow shirking her maternal responsibilities proliferated in the tabloids and on gossip websites. It wasn’t too hard to read between the lines: “She likes to party, he likes to stay at home. They have different lifestyles,” a source told TMZ. The insidious bad-mother trope, old as time, spread wide when images of Turner at a wrap party in Birmingham for Joan – the six-part ITV drama inspired by the true story of Joan Hannington, Britain’s most notorious jewel thief – began to circulate. “Sophie Turner Partied ‘Without a Care in the World,’” read one retrograde headline. Meanwhile, her pop idol husband was portrayed as the doting dad, captured dutifully tending to his two daughters by the paparazzi.

“I mean, those were the worst few days of my life,” says Turner, drawing a sharp intake of breath, the memory clearly still fresh enough to strike like a gut punch. We’ve moved from the frenzy of the Gorilla Kingdom to a quiet corner in the zoo’s canteen, a vast light-filled space that’s crammed with long white tables and, mercifully, virtually empty now that the breakfast rush is over. “I remember I was on set, I was contracted to be on set for another two weeks, so I couldn’t leave. My kids were in the States and I couldn’t get to them because I had to finish Joan. And all these articles started coming out…” she says, pausing to sip on a strawberry smoothie. “It hurt because I really do completely torture myself over every move I make as a mother – mum guilt is so real! I just kept having to say to myself, ‘None of this is true. You are a good mum and you’ve never been a partier.’”

At first, to the outside world at least, the couple had shared a united front, posting their joint statement the day after Jonas had filed legal papers in Miami. There are elements about the breakdown of her marriage she cannot discuss for legal reasons, such as whether news of the divorce was unexpected or that, as Jonas’s side has suggested, she was “aware” he was going to file. Much like everyone else, she has claimed she got wind of it all via the media. Then the “wayward mother” stories began. “I mean, it’s unfathomable the amount of people that will just make **** up and put it up based on a picture. A picture might tell a thousand words, but it’s not my story. It felt like I was watching a movie of my life that I hadn’t written, hadn’t produced, or starred in. It was shocking. I’m still in shock.”

Turner, who plays the lead in Joan, credits the crew and cast of the show for carrying her through the tumult. “They were my emotional support people, my family,” she says. “I really don’t know what I would have done without them.” Ruth Kenley-Letts, the show’s executive producer, saw the fallout first-hand, describing Turner to me over the phone as “an elegant powerhouse of a human being”.

“It was absolutely shocking what happened to her. The paparazzi were relentless. I remember we were shooting in Spain, on the side of a mountain in the middle of nowhere, and they managed to get a photo of Sophie,” she says with an exasperated sigh. “I just couldn’t believe the lies that I read, that she was somehow out partying. And I knew they were lies, because I was with her. I’d been with her for five months straight.”

Things reached fever pitch when it was reported that she was suing her estranged husband for the return of their daughters to England who, Turner claimed, was refusing to turn over the children’s passports. (Jonas’s team were quick to respond, releasing a statement that underlined his desire to coparent and adding, “This is an unfortunate legal disagreement about a marriage that is sadly ending.” In January, the lawsuit was dismissed, as the pair had reached a custody agreement.)

“There were some days that I didn’t know if I was going to make it. I would call my lawyer saying, ‘I can’t do this. I just can’t.’ I was just never strong enough to stand up for myself. And then, finally, after two weeks of me being in a rut, she reminded me that it was my children I was fighting for,” she says. “Once anyone says to me, ‘Do it for your kids,’ I’m doing it. I wouldn’t do it for myself, but I’ll find the strength for them.”

Around the same time, Turner was forging a new friendship. Taylor Swift, who besides being one the world’s biggest pop stars had also briefly dated Joe Jonas when she was 18, was spotted having dinner with Turner at glittery Manhattan restaurant Via Carota. As the story goes, Swift’s relationship with Jonas had famously ended with a 27-second phone call, which is said to have inspired the singer to write “Forever & Always” for Fearless, her second album. “Taylor was an absolute hero to me this year,” says Turner, who first met Swift around a decade prior but, for obvious reasons, hadn’t felt she was able to cultivate the friendship. When she found herself in New York last September without a place to stay, she reached out to Swift in hopes the pop star might know someone renting. Swift immediately offered up her place for free. “I’ve never been more grateful to anyone than I am for her because she took my children and me, and provided us with a home and a safe space,” she says. “She really has a heart of gold.”


(ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ✧*:・゚ be delulu until it becomes trululu (*´艸`*) ♡♡♡
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