It’s been a rough week for Rob Pattinson. Firstly, the 27 year old British actor admitted to having an affair with Taylor Swift. Then, the singer released a series of searing new songs about their failed romance. Now, he’s trying to move on from the heartbreak by focusing on his work. “The last thing I want to do is talk about my personal life. I have so much to say but I don’t know who I can trust,” he tells Grazia Magazine.

But is he really over Taylor Swift? It seems not. The singer has reportedly taken a liking to the 24 year old Ed Sheeran, who she recently named as her favorite songwriter and musician. Sheeran has previously dated Katy Perry and Taylor Swift’s close friend, Priyanka Chopra. Although Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran have yet to comment on their rumored relationship, it’s clear that Rob Pattinson isn’t alone in his grief. Here, we examine the fallout from the Taylor Swift scandal and possible long-term damage to Rob Pattinson’s career.

The Taylor Swift Scandal

On Monday, July 22nd, just two days after news broke of his affair with Taylor Swift, fans and society at large learned about Rob Pattinson’s infidelity. The British actor and model opened up to the Sunday People about his “sordid” six-week romance. However, it wasn’t just the fact that he’d been unfaithful that shocked people. It was also the way he discussed it; with complete disregard for his wife and children. In the interview, which was published on Sunday, July 24, 2019, he said, “I have always been very open and honest about my feelings for other women and I think it’s important to be able to talk about your feelings. It doesn’t mean you should feel bad, it just means you should be honest about what you feel. And I think being able to say that you’ve been honest and open about your feelings makes you a lot easier to get back to. In the end, it’s only cheating if you’re lying to yourself, and I think being able to see that a woman you’re involved with knows exactly what you’re doing is very liberating.”

While the statements he made in the interview itself were highly questionable, what’s worse is the fact that he’d already made them all somewhat ambiguous. On Friday, July 27, 2019, he was asked point-blank if he ever had an affair with Taylor Swift and he dodged the question, responding, “I don’t want to be in the middle of a story that isn’t true… I don’t know what is or isn’t true.” Then, on Saturday, July 28, 2019, he told the Sunday People, “Of course not. That’s so ridiculous. I don’t know what she’s saying, to be honest.”

To put it mildly, the British public wasn’t having it. People, including celebrities, were quick to pour their hearts out on social media in reaction to the news of Rob Pattinson’s affair with Taylor Swift. A hashtag #RIPRobPattinson began appearing on Twitter as fans mourned the actor’s shocking deceit. In just 24 hours, the hashtag was tweeted over 44,000 times. Celebrities, including Ed Sheeran, wrote heartfelt tributes to Rob Pattinson on social media. Ed Sheeran even said that he’d like to write a song about the star. And then, just to add insult to injury, Taylor Swift released a statement on Monday, July 29, 2019, announcing that she was moving on from their relationship.

The Aftermath

Thankfully, it didn’t end there. On Tuesday, July 30th, Taylor Swift released a series of searing new songs about their messy split. The songwriter broke her silence on Twitter, writing, “If any of you are wondering what happened to my music videos, I took them down because I don’t want to be a part of promoting an industry that profits from humiliating women.” She continued, “I’m not doing interviews or sharing my story publicly because I don’t want to be a part of the problem. I just want to write songs and be left alone.”

As news of Taylor Swift’s statement spread, people took to social media once more, tweeting about the injustices that the music industry perpetrates upon women. The fact that this came from a woman so revered in the music community was no coincidence. It seems that Taylor Swift, along with Cara Delevingne, is now leading the charge against the male-dominated music industry.

Then, on Friday, August 1st, 2019, it was reported that Rob Pattinson had filed for divorce, citing “irreconcilable differences.” The two have been married for three years and have been parents to two kids, Moses, 10, and Willow, 8. Despite the fact that he’s no longer with Taylor Swift, he still plays an active role in the kids’ lives. In a statement to the press, Rob Pattinson said, “As much as I would like to put the last few months behind me and get on with my life, I can’t do that if I don’t feel like I’ve made the right decision. And what I’ve realized is that I’ve made the right decision for them, too.”

What Next?

What could possibly happen next? At this point, it’s hard to say. There’s a lot of speculation that Taylor Swift will try to rekindle her romance with Ed Sheeran. After all, the two seemed to be having such a good time at her wedding to Conor Kennedy last year that it was widely considered to be one of the highlights of the ceremony. While on the surface, it may seem like a good idea to bring Ed Sheeran back into the fold, doing so would undoubtedly be a major shift in the direction of Taylor Swift’s romantic life. For one thing, Ed Sheeran is a famously private person who rarely gives one-word answers to questions and would never be seen with another woman. For another, it’s not like Taylor Swift hasn’t been around long enough to know better. What’s more, Ed Sheeran is two years older than Taylor Swift and is very well-established in the industry. While he’s never married and has never openly expressed romantic feelings for anyone, the fact remains that he is a very well-known and well-liked person in the world of music. It’s hard to argue that Taylor Swift couldn’t have known better than to enter into a relationship with someone so well-known and respected in the industry. But then, perhaps that’s the point – she wanted to shock the public and make them question everything they know about relationships. In that way, she may have succeeded. While Taylor Swift’s intentions may have been pure, Rob Pattinson is still the parent of two little ones and there’s no way of knowing what kind of impact the whole situation is having on his life. And then there’s the question of what this all means for his career. After all, while he may be able to move on from his personal life, his professional life will still be marred by his involvement with Taylor Swift. Even if he wanted to put it on the back burner and go about his day-to-day life unfazed, there’s a good chance that his career would still be in the crosshairs. Taylor Swift is a major A-list celebrity who is highly visible in both the United States and the United Kingdom. The fact that she’s chosen to make her feelings known now means that this could have a significant impact on his career, not just because she’s a famous celebrity, but also because of who she’s associated with. But then, maybe that’s the point, too.

At the end of the day, it really is just a matter of time before Rob Pattinson recovers from this entire ordeal. Whether it’s a week, a month, or even longer, he’ll eventually return to his family and go about his life. But for now, he’s in a very dark place. While he may be able to hide from the public eye behind his family and work, they won’t be able to protect him from the pain that he’s feeling right now. And that, in and of itself, is maybe the most tragic part of this entire story. Not too long ago, Rob Pattinson was one of the most recognizable faces in the world. Now, he may be best remembered for all the wrong reasons – for lying to his fans and the public about his relationship with Taylor Swift.