Bella Thorne was just minding her business, hanging out with Charlie Puth on the beach a few weeks ago. Thing is, the paparazzi snapped a shot of the pair kissing, and Thorne also tweeted a pic of herself with Puth shortly thereafter, which confused fans because until then, everyone thought Thorne was still dating Tyler Posey, since they pretty much couldn’t stop posting about their relationship on social media.
But then all hell broke loose on social media, including a very fiery stream of tweets about the situation from Puth himself, and Thorne had to put out the flames. Thorne told People magazine that she was actually “getting death threats for a hot minute because they thought I had cheated on my ex, which is a total lie.” Wow.
Thorne said it was already hard enough to walk through her breakup with Posey without the fallout online. “I went through a breakup and that was kind of tough,” she said. And she said Puth was just a friend. “You know, fans, if you’re just seen with somebody, they think you’re immediately, you gotta be in a relationship with them. Which is not true. I hang out all the time with different people that I’m not dating, that I’m just friends with. I hang out with a lot of guys because I’m a total tomboy,” she said. “So a lot of my friends end up being guys because a lot of girls are like kind of too girly for me sometimes.”
Plus, people need to slow their roll on social media. “People take social media as such a big thing,” she said. “And they all think they know what they’re talking about. And they think they know your life and they get their friends to trash you. And they get all these people to hate on you and call you whatever names in the book. It’s kind of like one person says it and then everybody jumps on it.”
The whole thing took a toll on the actress. “It’s hard,” she said. “I was in a happier place [a while ago] than I had been recently and now I’m back to a happier place.”
Thorne said that morning when she discovered the total storm that had brewed on social media was super painful. “When I woke up that morning—it fucking sucks,” she said. “It doesn’t feel good to think that everybody in the world just thinks you’re an absolutely disgusting person and just because I’m somebody where people know my name, it’s so much worse for me.” And if you think she’s immune because she’s a star, think again. “People think that, like, we don’t get bullied in Hollywood—but we do! We get bullied by the public eye and fans and it’s really, let me tell you, it fucking hurts.”
Thorne said she reads the comments—and takes them to heart. “You think that I’m not seeing these comments, but I do see them,” she said. “And it doesn’t feel good. Especially when they’re lies! Then I’m, like, really hurt. At least if it was true, I would be like, ‘All right, all right, all right, okay.’ But, it’s not!”
Plus, Thorne added that she was “bullied in school a lot,” so she’s taking the whole experience as an opportunity to stand up for others online. “I’m letting kids know, like, ‘If somebody’s being rude to you, you have the right to stick up for yourself!’ When I see [bullying] on other people’s pages, I respond because it irks me to my core.”
Even though she’s famous—or because she’s ‘famous—she’s going to use her fame as a platform to defend others. “I don’t care what anybody says,” she said. “That is not cool! It’s not normal to sit there and look at somebody’s photo and go, ‘I hate their nose, I hate their lips. Her face is ugly. She’s such a whore.’ No! What is wrong with you?”
So—if you see Thorne out there valiantly standing up for people dealing with trolls online, now you know why.