On the afternoon of August 4, Robert Pattinson, the 28-year-old British actor, opened up about the death of his best friend, Kristen Stewart. The actress, 26, committed suicide on Tuesday, August 7, several sources confirm.
“It’s been a really hard time. I miss her so much,” Pattinson said in an interview with The New York Times. “She was a really special person and it’s difficult for me to understand why she would do such a thing. I’m still in shock.”
Stewart, the American model and actress who was famous for playing Bella Swan in the Twilight series, was discovered on July 4, 2016 when a photograph of her laying in the grass next to her horse, Smolder, made its way onto Twitter. She was immediately dubbed “the love goddess” and “queen of Instagram,” and over the course of the next several months, her Instagram following would grow to over 20 million users.
She would post almost daily throughout the rest of the year, mostly consisting of selfies, mood boards, and intimate shots of herself and her rumoured boyfriend. While many of her posts focused on fashion and beauty, she would also occasionally post about social causes and politics, often in the form of a meme or slogan.
Pattinson, who began dating Stewart in 2013 and acted as a surrogate father to her son, Burt, would often accompany her on her frequent photo-ops and social media postings. The two were famously photographed holding hands while walking along the beach in Italy in the summer of 2016. In February of that year, they bought a home together in the Venice area. Theirs was one of the most discussed celebrity couples in the world, and their Instagram feeds were often filled with posts about each other.
On August 4, Pattinson published an open letter on his Instagram in which he wrote, “There are no words that could possibly express how sorry I am to learn of the loss of such a beautiful, intelligent woman. As I sit here trying to make sense of what has happened, all I can do is say ‘I’m so, so sorry.'”
Afterwards, he added in a follow-up tweet, “This is a devastating loss for all of us. My heart goes out to her family and friends, both those she’s already lost and those she’s still hoping to keep.”
In an interview with The New York Times, Pattinson said that he and Stewart had been planning to speak about her decision to end her life. She had recently posted a series of cryptic Instagram messages in which she talked about feeling trapped and depressed. In one of the messages, she wrote, “I’m not writing this because I want to be famous or be remembered… I’m writing this because I want someone to listen.”
Pattinson told the newspaper he thought Stewart, who had been through so much in the past year, had achieved what she wanted. “I think at this point in her life, she had everything she could ever want or need,” he said. “We were all excited for her. I mean, we had all these happy photos of us holding hands walking along the beach or sitting by the fire with our dogs. But there was always this weird feeling that I had, that she wasn’t okay, you know?”
Pattinson recalled how he and Stewart would sit down and have “deep conversations” about her life and what she was going through. “I think that’s what killed me, being so concerned about her,” he said. “I always wanted to protect her. I always wanted to make sure she was alright.”
Pattinson would go on to say that he and Stewart would often go for walks together and that he would hold her hands as she walked. In one of his final posts on August 7, he revealed that he had been holding onto her hands the entire walk.
However, this was not the case. According to a source close to the investigation, police have found no evidence that Stewart was physically restrained or held against her will.
The New York City Police Department confirmed to the Daily News that an investigation is underway, but could not provide further details. A spokesperson for Stewart’s family also declined to comment.
Why Did Stewart Commit Suicide?
There are several theories surrounding Stewart’s decision to end her life. Some have suggested that she was depressed after she learnt that her mother suffered from dementia. Others believe that bullying, including online harassment, led her to take her life. Still, others think that she simply grew tired of her hectic schedule and long hours at work. Whatever the case may be, it is clear that Stewart was deeply troubled and desired some peace.
In the wake of her death, many celebrities and fans have come together to create a memorial fund in Stewart’s honour. A representative for the actress has set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for a charity that will help save the lives of young women around the world. As of August 12, over $50,000 had been raised out of a goal of $15,000.
The page’s description reads, “On Tuesday, August 7th, 2016, the world was robbed of a beautiful soul. While some may argue that she was born famous and that her death was just a celebrity cause, Kristen Stewart’s story transcended fame. She was a talented actress who worked hard to entertain us while also inspiring our favourite red-carpet looks. Her smile and warmth will be deeply missed by her family, friends and lovers around the world.”
Who Was Bullied By Social Media?
Bullying is a major trigger for suicide, and this is especially true for celebrities who are constantly under the microscope. In the months and weeks leading up to Stewart’s death, she would often complain about being followed and bullied by fans and journalists on social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter. In fact, her final Instagram post, which she titled “Sorry,” was a plea for help. In the post, she wrote, “There are so many stories like mine and I’m sure many people are going through similar things. If someone out there is reading this and knows how to help, please contact me… I need your help. I’ve been harassed so much on social media that my mental health is at risk.”
However, people who knew her best say that Stewart’s social media bullying was just a tool to gain more attention. “It was so much drama and fake news,” a source who knows Stewart well said. “She used to complain about it all the time but I don’t think it was actually bullying in the true sense. I think it was just a way of getting attention.”
Still, others believe that Stewart’s issues stemmed from a deeper psychological problem. In an interview with The New York Times, Pattinson said that the abuse sheaped upon her on social media was the final straw. “I think she just realised she couldn’t keep dealing with it. This is a person who needs protecting,” he said. “She’s been targeted. Her privacy’s been invaded, and she’s just had enough.”
Is Twitter To Blame?
Stewart would often blame Twitter for the abuse sheaped upon her by haters, especially after her mother, Alicia, died in July 2016. In an interview with The New York Times, Stewart said, “It’s hard to find the good guys when you’re getting hounded by the bad ones. It makes it really difficult to have a happy medium.”
In the months and weeks leading up to her death, the actress would frequently post about how much she missed her family and how she needed a break from her demanding work schedule. Many of her Instagram posts during this time were of her sitting on a bench alone, staring into space. In one of these posts, she wrote, “It’s been a while since I’ve seen my family. So in an attempt to make up for lost time, I’m taking a mini vacation next month. I’m looking forward to being with them again and being able to tell them everything about my acting career. I miss them so much.”
In the days and weeks following Stewart’s death, many celebrities and fans have blamed the actress’ social media following for her death. On social media, Stewart often joked about being famous, stating that she liked waking up to find her phone already packed for the day because she knew it was going to be a busy one. “I always told her that she would lose a fan base if she ever decided to take [herself] too seriously,” a former employee said. “And she never listened.”