Ruby Rose vs The Veronicas: the fallout
They were Australia's "It" couple, showing off their love in a racy video clip and affectionate Instagram posts.
But pop singer Jessica Origliasso, one half of Brisbane twins The Veronicas, and rising Hollywood star Ruby Rose have gone from the high of being a lesbian power couple to the low of airing their feud in public.
The dirty laundry was on full display when Jess called out her ex for wishing her well on Instagram this week.
Jess posted a picture sharing a kiss with her current partner, LA musician Kai Carlton, at her sister Lisa's recent Queensland wedding. The post is the first public declaration from Jess since she split with the former MTV VJ seven months ago.
Rose commented on the post: "Congratulations, so happy for you both."
Jess responded at length, accusing Rose of private "continued harassment" over the past four months.
"I have requested you not contact me for over four months now," Jess responded to Rose.
"You have been given my grace of being ignored on every other private platform, so the fact you continue to ignore this to contact me here publicly under the guise of wishing me well, is continued harassment.
Rose responded, in part: "That is news to me."
Jess then posted a quote to her Instagram story about "entitlement" and "conditional love" and "toxic people". It runs in line with a number of Jess's recent social media about relationships, ownership and independence, which may or may not be related to her (almost) two-year relationship with Rose.
Jess's new lover, like Rose, appears to engage in discussions about gender fluidity on his now inactive Twitter account. He is 22 years old, 11 years younger than Jess.
A Daily Mail article somewhat cruelly posted a series of photos comparing the "doppelganger" similarity of Rose and Carlton's appearance and their calls for acceptance of a non-binary lifestyle, calling Carlton "Ruby 2.0". Rose has spoken out many times about being mocked and violently bullied for her appearance in her younger years.
ROSE'S PUBLIC SPATS WITH JESS'S TWIN
As Jess has moved on and made her new relationship public, her relationship with her identical twin sister appears to be healing from a period that was at times strained.
The twins are now regularly pictured together and Jess and Lisa are back on track performing and giving each other public shout-outs. But while Jess was dating Rose, the twins publicly fought and Rose got involved.
As the relationship with Rose and Jess progressed, delays in releases to the Veronica's fourth studio album, which was reportedly close to completion, cropped up and were attributed to "personal circumstances out of (their) control". Fans attributed the delay to their mother's illness. The statement was posted to the Veronica's Instagram page in November last year.
When news.com.au posted a headline "Veronica's not happy", in relation to their music video On Your Side not being nominated for an ARIA Award, Lisa retorted: "Jessica Veronica. Not The Veronicas."
It was an apparent attempt by Lisa to distance herself from Jess's comments on the steamy video, which Rose directed and featured a volatile love story between her and Jess.
The Veronicas and Rose are no stranger to letting off steam online. In 2017, Rose had a spat with Lisa, about remarks Lisa made in the months leading up to the same sex marriage plebiscite.
In a since deleted tweet, Rose lambasted her then girlfriend's twin sister for celebrating last year's Yes vote result on same-sex marriage, accusing her of voicing her own intransigence about the issue in the preceding months.
"So glad to see Lisa Origliasso screaming in excitement about the yes vote after telling us she thinks we should feel 'lucky' we don't get stoned to death like they do in other countries and get over it a few months ago … Really warms my heart," Rose tweeted.
She concluded the tweet with an eye roll emoji.
The tweet lifted the lid on simmering family tensions, including a rift between the twin sisters at a time when the nation was at odds over the issue. Fans speculated the twins' feud could have been another reason behind the album delay.
Jess aligned herself with Rose at the time, saying her sister put her through a difficult battle of personal judgments that happened behind closed doors while she publicly supported the Australian gay marriage movement.
"I may not have struggled with an inner turmoil, but that doesn't mean I haven't struggled with people close to me, degrading my sexuality because of their own personal judgments or ignorance," Jess tweeted.
"People can publicly support the LGBT community, but behind closed doors inflict deep pain because of their own inability to accept or understand you as a part of that community."
Jess has since deleted the statement from her Twitter account.
Lisa responded on Twitter, denying she held views that were intolerant towards same-sex marriage and stating she would continue to show "unwavering support for the LGBTI community".
Lisa and Jess did not follow one another on social media for most of the duration of Jess and Ruby's relationship. Rose unfollowed Lisa in April of 2017 and Jess followed suit in November during the spat. Lisa had already unfollowed the couple.
Amid the furore, Rose posted pictures to Instagram of Jess sleeping in her arms saying, "I'm her little protector." As the twins argued online, the vibe of the post was, depending on how you look at it, either cute or slightly territorial.
Speaking about the incident later, Rose blamed her social media blow-up on jet lag, explaining the postal vote plebiscite had been emotional time for her, hinting at some regret.
"In that emotional time - we'd just arrived in China, with jet lag and all - I could've handled myself differently, and I was definitely frustrated at the situation," she said.
"Everyone's good now and working through it, and I think that's what's important. Family's tough."
HOT TO COLD: JESS AND RUBY'S RELATIONSHIP
Rose and Origliasso have a long history and friendship that goes back about 12 years. They first dated in 2009, but when they rekindled in 2016, Rose said they had become who they wanted to be, the twins echoing the sentiment that the timing had aligned for the relationship to blossom.
Rose was directing The Veronicas' On Your Side music video, as well as starring in the video alongside Jess, and as filming progressed the pair fell back in love.
"It was the last thing I expected to happen," Rose said. "But when you're involved in something you're both passionate about it's not unusual to become attracted. We're now the people we wish we were back then."
Jess was similarly warm towards her new partner, saying of the rekindled love at the time: "It's sort of a sweet thing, love never dies.
"We adore each other … We've supported each other through the last eight years of our lives, personally and professionally we've really grown together."
And despite what was to come, the family was also on board. Lisa was supportive of the relationship as the pair rekindled on the set of the music video.
"They're lucky. They can look back on this (music video) and go, 'We were young and in love and hot!'," Lisa said.
"It really was destiny; I don't know how else to put it. Schedules match up, people reach out and you're at a time in your lives where you want the same things."
It's hard to imagine how the couple found themselves bickering online, but the web has always been the territory for this couple, who took to posting and speaking out about their love quickly. Rose said in an 2016 interview that going public felt natural to the couple, but quickly became overwhelming for both of them as they were publicly hounded by the media.
"I wasn't going to ask Jess to lie about it (in interviews)," she told Cosmopolitan. "I wanted her to do what felt natural. Then I got the phone calls and I was like, 'What have I done?'
The couple continued to regularly post pictures online and speak fondly of one another in interviews, with Rose gushing to Entertainment Tonightin January last year about how amazing Jess was. "She is the most amazing person … she's amazing. She's wonderful." Rose also called her then girlfriend her "moral compass".
As they campaigned together for marriage equality in Australia just over a year ago, Jess spoke vehemently about her visceral response to feeling unable to marry Rose. "It's a really confronting feeling. We cannot get married," she said.
But Rose and Jess split for good earlier this year, releasing a statement on April Fool's Day, which led the couple to have to reconfirm to fans and followers that the announcement, made via an Instagram story, was not a joke.
Their romance had been a largely public one, marked by conjecture they had broken up at various points. This included a dramatic moment Jess unfollowed Rose on Instagram and Rose deleted all but one photo of the couple from her own account.
When the pair broke up, Rose and Jess addressed the issue like they had the rest of their relationship: publicly.
"Breakups are always incredibly hard on the people involved," Rose tweeted.
"But I can only be grateful for the experiences we shared. It's with a heavy heart to share that Jess and I parted ways a few months ago."
Jess mirrored the kind words, saying she wished her "only continued success as I admire her to continue rising up like a phoenix".
And while things appeared amicable, Jess has taken on a different tone on social media in recent months, as she drops tweets and Instagram stories with a self-help vibe, with quotes about "toxicity", "boundaries" and "co-dependency".
ROSE'S STRUGGLE WITH MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES
Rose had a difficult upbringing, spending her younger years in poverty as she and her mother on the run from her abusive father. She spoke of seeing her mother with "two black eyes" and herself as being "super malnourished" as they took refuge with her aunt.
"I just looked like one of those dirty little scary kids in scary movies that bite people," she told Vanity Fair, also speaking with pride of her mother and her own continued battles for success. Her mother worked and gained a degree and secured housing for the pair after a period of homelessness.
But as Rose developed and gained her own identity, which became inextricably tied to her sexuality, she became the target of violent bullying from male classmates.
Described as "extremely pretty", she started strapping down her breasts and dressing boyishly. She has multiple times described an incident where five boys she went to school with started pelting metal furniture at her at a cafe across the road from her school.
They told her they would never inflict such abuse on a girl, but she wasn't a girl. "I have insecurities, and I get shy, nervous." she said, when asked if she identified with her ultraconfident character on Orange is the New Black.
Rose applied for modelling contracts, which she was granted on the proviso she grow her hair. Her initial look of long locks and bangs is now long gone, but it helped her land one of her first roles as a VJ on MTV.
ROSE BULLIED OFF TWITTER
Rose was cast as Batwoman in CW's TV reprisal of the show in August. The character is represented in the comics as a crime fighting lesbian (the first gay lead character in a superhero TV show), and she was targeted for not being lesbian enough. She was trolled and hounded and a campaign was mounted that she be removed from the show and recast with someone more lesbian.
The campaign, which included the hashtag #RecastBatwoman, centred on the idea that Rose's sexuality was not technically "gay" because she self identifies as gender fluid. She was also criticised for not having the same religious background as the DC character, who grew up Jewish, according to The Washington Post.
Rose deleted her Twitter account after the campaign and trolling, tweeting emotionally of her disappointment at the abuse she had endured.
"Where on Earth did 'Ruby is not a lesbian therefore she can't be Batwoman' come from - has to be the funniest most ridiculous thing I've ever read," she tweeted.
"I came out at 12? And have for the past 5 years had to deal with 'she's too gay' how do y'all flip it like that?
"I didn't change. I wish we would all support each other and our journeys."
Her Twitter account has now been deleted and for a time she closed off the ability for the public to comment on her Instagram.
Since the incident, Rose's interaction with her social media has been markedly different from her former life, where she would regularly post selfies in bed with her partners. Rose did hint in July that she might have a girlfriend, but clarified to her followers that her "girl is … none of yo' business".