It’s been a rough couple of weeks for Robert Pattinson. After months of keeping a low profile, the British actor has been thrust back into the spotlight following a series of tabloid exposés that have made him the target of ridicule, anger, and disgust.

The 27-year-old star was first outed as a serial sexual assault survivor in September, when The New York Times reported that he had been involved in an incident with a woman that lasted for three hours and ended with her leaving his hotel room unable to walk unaided. In addition to the sexual misconduct allegation, it was also discovered that the actor had been photographed with a t-shirt featuring the words “f*** you” on the front and back. The same month as the Times piece, TMZ broke the news that Pattinson had settled a wrongful death lawsuit for $20 million in a confidential agreement.

Since then, he’s maintained a very public silence, which is presumably why he’s taken such an active role in promoting the upcoming Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2. The actor traveled to England last week to begin filming, and it seems his time off has done him a world of good as he’s appeared to regain his optimism and confidence. While there, he made a point of promoting the film’s Australian release date and ended up breaking his media silence to talk about something other than his scandalous past – namely the stink…

The Stench

During an interview with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Pattinson was asked if he’d be willing to go on a date with a woman whose breath he found disgusting. In reply, he joked that he’d have to “put [his] hands on [his] hips and say ‘no'” because “when [he] was 19, [he] was very, very skinny.”

The comment made headlines around the world, and it didn’t take long for fans to take to social media to share their thoughts on the star’s apparent return to form. One Twitter user wrote, “Robert Pattinson just farted and couldn’t help but laugh about it.” Another joked, “If Robert Pattinson ever farts, cast members should circle the set and protect themselves from the smell.”

Pattinson has spoken out before about his disdain for flatulence, making jokes about it on social media. He also addressed his fragrant burps in a PSA for the British charity Dyslexia Action, saying, “I don’t really like to talk about it, but my farts often stink. When you’re trying to keep a low profile, you tend to want to stay away from certain subjects – especially when you’re talking about your farts! It’s not that I’m trying to be rude, but sometimes it just happens. And it usually happens when I’m nervous. So if I seem a little distant, it’s probably because I’m hiding my pride! But I’m not mad – I’m just trying to help!”

The Outing

Pattinson has always been open about his struggle with depression. The British tabloids’ publication The Examiner reported that the actor had checked into a rehabilitation center in 2014 after becoming addicted to antidepressants. And in a 2016 interview with GQ, he said, “I’ve been pretty much bedridden for the last three years. I’ve taken a lot of antidepressants and anti-anxiety medication. I’ve had a lot of counseling sessions. And that’s all part of the learning curve that comes with growing up and becoming an adult.”

It seems that Pattinson is finally putting all the negativity behind him as he embarks on a new career phase. And while his return to the spotlight is absolutely nothing short of phenomenal, it’s important to keep in mind that he still has a lot to learn about handling himself in the media. In one of the most important interviews of his career, Pattinson did a fantastic job of breaking his media silence to talk about something other than his scandalous past, building trust with the audience and proving that he’s able to be a positive force for good in this world.