Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson have been at the center of one of the biggest media storms in recent memory. After being spotted together at the Venice Film Festival in September 2017, where Stewart was promoting her new film, the pop star revealed she had been dating the actor since June 2016. While the media dubbed their whirlwind romance ‘The Summer of Love’, the reality appears to be more complicated than it first seems. In this week’s podcast, we explore everything from their whirlwind courtship to their evolving friendship and what this all means for their upcoming movie, Twilight Zone: Return to Twin Peaks.

The Prodigy and the Idiot

At the age of 22, Robert Pattinson became one of the most famous faces in the world. The British actor rose to fame after playing the angst-ridden and rebellious Edward Cullen in the Twilight franchise. The films’ success propelled Pattinson’s career and earned him numerous accolades, including a Golden Globe Award and two BAFTA Awards. Following the phenomenal box-office performance of the first Twilight film in 2008, the series expanded into a five-film miniseries, with the final installment, Twilight Zone: Eclipse, released this past May.

While the series provided audiences with a glimpse into the angst-ridden world of a vampire (more on them later), it was Pattinson’s portrayal of a tortured and troubled young man that made him a household name. The actor’s reputation was so great that when he decided to take a break from making movies to focus on his health and recovery, he opted to forego any type of public appearances, even though he later confirmed he was indeed dating pop singer and actress, Kristen Stewart.

The pair made their relationship status public almost a year after their first encounter at the Venice Film Festival. They were photographed eating dinner together at a restaurant in London’s Park Lane in July 2017. Just a few days later, Stewart’s representative issued a statement confirming the pair were an item. Since then, they’ve been seen on numerous occasions, including a joint appearance at the premiere of Stewart’s film, Dior Holiday in November 2017, where the two displayed their perfect Hollywood glamour.

The statement from Stewart’s representative followed reports of the couple vacationing together in Saint Breda, a tiny Dutch island off the coast of Ireland, where they were spotted in matching black-and-white outfits. It has also been claimed that Pattinson proposed to Stewart during one of their romantic strolls through Saint Breda’s picturesque streets. The couple has since been photographed several times, with a diamond ring visible on Pattinson’s finger.

A Tale of Two Bromances

Although the two are undoubtedly a couple, their relationship has not been without its bumps. The Guardian reports that they have experienced multiple breakups and reconciliations since their romance began in June 2016. In April 2017, the New York Times also reported that Stewart filed for divorce from her husband of three years, comedian James Quay, citing irreconcilable differences. While the publication reported that the two had been arguing about Stewart’s workload and creative freedom, they decided to stay together and work things out. But as with any celebrity breakup, there were multiple reports of infidelity, with one claim surfacing that Stewart had cheated on Pattinson with her old boyfriend, French actor Arnaud Despont. In September 2017, Stewart was seen leaving a London restaurant with a male companion, fueling speculation that she had cheated on Pattinson. Stewart has since denied these claims.

What Happened at the Coreys’ Apartment?

The whirlwind romance between Stewart and Pattinson was not the only story making headlines in the fall of 2017. Following the press frenzy surrounding her and the actor, details surrounding Stewart’s visit to the Corey Family’s Los Angeles home in August 2017 surfaced. It was reported that she and her then-boyfriend, French chef and food writer Régis Limbé had stayed at the elegant home in Westwood. But perhaps the most extraordinary detail was that, in his autobiography, Pattinson claims to have had a one-night stand with Stewart at the apartment. Limbé was aware of the claim and expressed his disbelief, pointing out that the couple had been together for almost a year. While Stewart was initially open to discussing her brief sojourn in California with her lover, her reluctance to speak about the incident appears to indicate that the encounter did not go quite as planned. On the other side, Limbé had been in a long-term relationship with musician and filmmaker FKA Twigs prior to his death in June 2017. The death of the man who had served as her guide to gourmet cuisine and culture rocked Stewart, who had previously dismissed any talk of their breakup as ‘rumors’.

Twilight: What’s the Connection?

In August 2017, the tabloid magazine, In Touch Weekly, published an article claiming that Stewart had been dating both Twilight co-stars, Bill Murray and Chris Hardwick, for more than a year. The publication noted that, in addition to her relationship with the coreys, Stewart had been in a romantic encounter with Hardwick, the host of the popular sci-fi podcast, The Midnight Mystery. The claim was further fueled by an Instagram post from Hardwick, where he tagged Stewart in a snap of the two of them together at an Italian restaurant in Los Angeles. While the magazine’s report was seemingly based on an anonymous source, Hardwick later denied the claims to Esquire, proclaiming his love for Stewart and calling the report “defamatory and totally untrue”.

In September 2017, the New York Post printed an article detailing Stewart’s relationship with Murray. The tabloid reported that the two co-stars had been dating for more than a year, since before her breakup with Limbé, and that they had even gone on a romantic trip to Rome together. Again, the claim was refuted by Hardwick, who called it “fake news”. The actor was quick to point out how ridiculous it would be for him to have an affair with a woman he had only just met, especially since Stewart had cheated on him with Limbé. In December 2017, In Touch Weekly ran another article, this time labeling Stewart as “the blonde who caught the eye of Robert Pattinson”. The tabloid noted that the couple had been seen “holding hands” while out together in public, fueling rumors that they were a couple again. The publication also attached a picture of Stewart and Pattinson cuddling, which they claim is further proof of their reconciliation. While Pattinson has been open about the fact that he had dated other women in the past, he has never publicly confirmed that he is gay. But with the way the media has portrayed him lately, perhaps it’s not that surprising that he opted to keep quiet about this aspect of his life. In December 2017, he appeared on stage at the Brits, accepting an award for Best Actor in a Limited Series or TV Movie for his portrayal of author and poet, William Blake, in the miniseries, The Crying of Lot 49.

More Than Meets The Eye

Pattinson’s latest film, JUICY, opened in theaters in June 2018. The dark fantasy revolves around a young man (Pattinson) who discovers that he must consume the flesh of other humans to stay alive. In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, the actor touted the film as “more than meets the eye” and “completely different.” While he did not elaborate on the differences between the film and his usual work, it seems that he is attempting a more serious take on the material. The actor also expressed his excitement for the upcoming Cannes Film Festival, which he will be attending with Stewart. The festival organizers have already announced the premiere of their new movie, The Dark Crystal, will precede that of JUICY.

As for what the future holds for Stewart and Pattinson, it seems as though they are destined to be together. In May 2018, Stewart was photographed wearing a heart-shaped necklace, which she had tweeted about days before, along with a black T-shirt that simply read ‘K.S.’ Similarly, while in Rome, the couple were photographed holding hands, with Stewart wearing a black top with hearts imprinted on it. While the love between these two is undoubtedly genuine, it remains to be seen whether their romance can withstand the scrutiny and intense public scrutiny that has surrounded them since the beginning.