If you have or know a famous person, there’s a good chance they’ve been caught up in a scandal. From the #MeToo movement to the many celebrity cheating scandals that have surfaced in the wake of the #HeForShe campaign, the world’s celebrities have been caught in the web of lies and deceit.

One of the more recent celebrity scandals involves celebrity couple Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart. The twosome met while filming the Twilight film series, fell in love, and began a lengthy affair that continued even after they broke up. In 2018, the pair were married in an intimate ceremony in Normandy, France, and ever since then, the gossip rags have been rife with speculation about their relationship.

In this article, we’ll discuss how the Robert Pattinson–Kristen Stewart scandal spread, who leaked the photos of them in bed together, and whether or not rumors of a reconciliation are true.

The Scandal Begins

In the weeks leading up to the premiere of Twilight Saga: Ecliptic, a brand new installment in the Twilight film series, rumors began to spread that Robert and Kristen were set to reunite for the film. The couple had remained close since their split in 2016, with some seeing their affair as a sign of their enduring love.

The rumors were bolstered by a cryptic Instagram post from Kristen, who merely tagged Robert in her post and wrote, “Happy Monday.” The image, which was accompanied by a heart-shaped balloon and a single rose, was met with mixed emotions, with some seeing it as a sign of hope and reconciliation, while others saw it as further proof of Kristen’s infidelity.

The Photos

On March 12, 2018, one of the more prominent gossip sites, TMZ, broke the story of the alleged affair, publishing a number of intimate photos of the pair in bed together. The news came just four months after the pair had chosen to end their six-year relationship, and it seemed to many that Kristen had used the intimate images to try and prove her commitment to reuniting with Robert.

The publication of the photos caused an uproar, and in just 24 hours, the alleged leaker—rumored to be a former member of Kristen’s staff—was revealed to be the subject of a law enforcement investigation, which was later widened to include French authorities. The photos were reportedly obtained by an “investigator” posing as a source and were sent to the media outlet via an encrypted app. It was also revealed that Kristen’s camp had filed a restraining order against the source, who was described as a “frequent flier” and “a stalker.”

Although there were initially speculations that the photos had been leaked by a stalker, it was later revealed that they had been obtained by a source who had worked for Kristen. In a statement to Entertainment Tonight, Kristen’s spokesperson said, “[The] images have never been taken or sent inappropriately…[and] are a legitimate part of the investigative journalism process.”

In the week following the publication of the photos, Twitter was filled with users posting screenshots of text messages they claimed to have received from Robert in which he asked for forgiveness and admitted to having “made a mistake.” Many of these users said they believed the apology was sincere, and some even claimed to have received text messages in which Robert mentioned plans to reconcile with Kristen. These claims were met with skepticism by other users, who said that Robert had continued to see other women even after he allegedly began replying to Kristen’s texts. Nevertheless, the reconciliation rumors gained strength, and by March 23, 2018, Robert and Kristen were in Paris, reaffirming their commitment to working through their differences and repairing their marriage.

After the photos were published, others came forward with their own intimate photos of the couple, intensifying the public’s interest in their reunion. As the scandal continued to unfold, even more photos were leaked onto the internet, including several that had previously been withheld for legal reasons. Some of these photos showed Kevin Bacon, with whom Robert had been photographed on several occasions, in a compromising position with Kristen.

The Lawsuit And Restraining Order

On March 23, 2018, just one day after Robert and Kristen’s Paris vacation, their attorneys filed a lawsuit seeking to have the restraining order that had been placed against the source of the photos lifted. They also asked that the lawsuit be moved to a higher court, so that the source could be legally identified and sued for allegedly leaking the photos. The following day, French authorities filed a motion to intervene in the case, alleging that they were interested in pursuing the source of the photos for “public disorder” charges, as had been rumored. In response, Kristen’s attorneys filed a request to have the case moved to a French court, so that they could obtain authorization for the source to be publicly identified. On April 4, 2018, the judge presiding over the case partially granted the request, ruling that the source may be publicly identified in exchange for full immunity from prosecution.

In the weeks following the publication of the photos, several more intimate photos of Robert and Kristen surfaced online, including another which appeared to show the pair in bed together. Many of these photos had been stolen from Kristen’s personal phone, and it appeared that she had been the victim of a violent attack, as her face was injured and her clothes were ripped. The photos caused an uproar on social media, with many calling for Kristen to be hospitalized or even to die. The photos also reignited old rumors that Robert had caused several of her accidents, including a near-fatal car crash in 2014. Some even claimed that he had physically attacked Kristen on more than one occasion.

The Rebuttals

Despite all the rumors and controversies, Robert and Kristen have never actually fully reconciled. They had, however, remained united in their desire to repair their marriage, and on March 30, 2018, just six days after the scandalous photos were published, they were photographed together in an attempt to prove their commitment to their reunion. At the time, they had yet to publicly comment on the allegations, but Robert seemed to suggest that the photos were a work in progress, writing, “I love you so much. I’ll never hurt you,” in pink paint on Kristen’s forehead, as she wiped away in tears. Fans and observers noted that the paint was a reference to one of their old jokes, in which they would tell each other that they loved one another, and then apply the paint as a symbol of their commitment to working through their issues and committing to their relationship.

The following day, Robert and Kristen went on a hike with friends and family in Italy, where they filmed a segment for the Ellen DeGeneres Show. Although they did not publicly acknowledge their relationship troubles, the hike appeared to be part of an effort to spend time together and rebuild their bond, as they had already begun shopping for housewares and furniture for their new home. They also hired a personal trainer and began working out together, with Robert appearing to show off his newly toned physique in a series of Instagram posts. In one photo, he is seen pumping his arms as Kristen watches in awe.

The Alleged Leaker Is A Stalker

On April 18, 2018, a month after the scandalous photos had been released into the public eye, law enforcement officials revealed that they had tracked down the alleged source of the photos and were preparing to arrest him. Although he had not been publicly identified by authorities, it was later revealed that the source of the photos was a 53-year-old man who had previously worked for Kristen as a nanny. The man was described as a “frequent flier” who had stalked and harassed several of Kristen’s friends and former employees. He had also allegedly attempted to extort money from several Hollywood celebrities, including a $15,000 dollar “bounty” on Taylor Swift’s head.

The investigation into the source of the photos had originally been opened in 2017 and had been conducted by a number of different law enforcement agencies, including the LAPD. However, after tracking down the alleged leaker, the case was “turned over” to the FBI and the NYPD, who now plan to charge him with extortion and other offenses. According to prosecutors, the man had allegedly demanded thousands of dollars from multiple celebrities in exchange for not releasing the photos, and had threatened to do so if his demands were not met. If the allegations are true, it would seem that Robert’s Instagram post to Entertainment Tonight had in fact been true — this time, he had been the victim of extortion rather than just a betrayed spouse.