Florence Pugh and Zach Braff broke up in secret.

Florence Pugh And Zach Braff Broke Up In Secret To Avoid Backlash

She opened up about the split in a heartbreaking interview.

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Florence Pugh and Zach Braff have called it quits after three years together. The Don’t Worry Darling actor announced her split from the Scrubs star in her Harper’s Bazaar September issue cover story. While she didn’t reveal why they parted ways earlier this year, she did explain that they kept their breakup under wraps to avoid any potential backlash from the public.

"We've been trying to do this separation without the world knowing, because it's been a relationship that everybody has an opinion on," Pugh said in the interview, which published on Aug. 16. "We just felt something like this would really do us the benefit of not having millions of people telling us how happy they are that we're not together. So we've done that. I automatically get a lumpy throat when I talk about it." Seems like a pretty good reason to me. (Braff has yet to publicly comment on the breakup.)

Pugh and Braff’s 21-year age gap has gotten a lot of media attention — she’s 26, he’s 47 — and people on social media have been quick to judge the relationship. In April 2020, Pugh uploaded a four-minute video to Instagram addressing the backlash she got after making a post for Braff’s 45th birthday.

"I do not need you to tell me who I should and should not love. And I would never in my life — ever, ever — tell anyone who they can and can't love," she said in the video.

She also defended her relationship that July during an appearance on the Sue Perkins: An Hour or So With… podcast. "I've always found it funny, how I can be good enough for people to watch my work, and support my work, and pay for tickets, and I'm old enough to be an adult and pay taxes, but I'm not old enough to know who I should and should not have sex with. Once again, [it's] making a young woman feel like sh*t for no reason. I think I did feel sh*t for awhile about admitting that, and then I thought, 'How ridiculous is that?'"

Braff, on the other hand, didn’t have anything to say about their age gap and the controversy it brought on social media. “She literally sat down, hit record on her phone, and said that [on Instagram],” he told Mr. Porter that fall. “I thought: how could I possibly follow anything as intelligent and articulate as that? So, I chose not to.”

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In May of this year, rumors began swirling that Pugh was dating actor Will Poulter after they were photographed on the beach together. However, she was quick to shoot down these rumors on her IG Story. “There’s no need to drag people through this,” she wrote on her Story. “Regardless of your opinion on who I should or shouldn’t be with, at the end of the day if you’re complimenting someone by trolling another person... you’re just bullying.”

In her Harper’s Bazaar interview, she criticized how invasive the media can be. "Whenever I feel like that line has been crossed in my life, whether it's paparazzi taking private moments, or moments that aren't even real, or gossip channels that encourage members of the public to share private moments of famous people walking down the street, I think it's incredibly wrong," she said. "I don't think that people, just because they have this job, that every aspect of their life should be watched and written about. We haven't signed up for a reality TV show."

Famous or not, breakups suck. I hope Pugh and Braff’s privacy is respected during this time.