Irish blogger Joanne Larby and personal trainer ex take to social media to tell their side of the story
It's a break-up story that sums up our times.
Irish blogger Joanne Larby (aka The Makeup Fairy) is one of the most prominent influencers on the scene with over 130,000 followers on Instagram. She's earned a fiercely loyal following with her refreshingly honest posts, perhaps most effectively, the fact that she's recently transformed from a plus-size model to training for a bikini fitness competition.
She began dating British personal trainer Paul Standell early this year and eventually moved to London over the summer, in part to be with him and also to take her career up a notch in the city where big bucks can be made with blogging. Just last month, she was showing some interior shots of her impossibly hip looking loft with her other half.
But earlier this month, followers noticed that all traces of Standell had been surreptitiously removed from her social media and she had apparently quietly moved back to Dublin. She was understandably upset, only touching on the topic briefly on Snapchat, confirming the split, saying: "I’m not going to be divulging any details, I’m not in my relationship anymore. Out of respect for myself and that person, I won’t be talking about why that relationship is over, why I had to move home so suddenly..."
She has remained largely quiet on the topic, as had Standell, until now. He shared a lengthy statement on his Instagram stories on Wednesday night, saying he feels stuck "between a rock and a hard place" as to whether or not he should comment publicly, but felt compelled to after accusations of physical abuse and infidentility.
"If I speak about anything, I'm accused of wanting attention and validating the claim that I was only ever interested in followers. And if I say nothing, I am guilty of everything from cheating to physical violence," he said.
"Break ups are really hard and even though you may not see, I hurt. A lot. That's not a statement made because I want sympathy. Or because I think that this demands attention. Or because I think that my situation is any worse than any break up any of you've been through.
"I accept that being in the relationship I was comes with some exposure and if I was ok with the positives that brought me, I should also accept some of the negatives it brings too. So I'm not expecting no negativity. I get that you all love Joanne and will support her and hope that she is ok. You should, she is a wonderful person with a huge heart. You will never hear me say anything bad or disparaging about her."
He said he was motivated to speak out in order to "address a few of the worse things I hear", including suggestions he was using her to boost his own online following.
"At no point have I ever cheated, or been near to it," he added.
"There was no betrayal on either side here, so please respect that fact," he added. "At no point did I ever physically hurt Joanne, and to speculate with no evidence is a cold and malicious accusation. And finally, I was never interested in Joanne for what she may have been able to help me achieve.
"I loved Joanne for who she was as a person, and I couldn't have cared less what she did for a job. At no point in our relationship did I ever ask to be shared, spoken about or included in anything. She shares her life with you guys and I simply happened to be part of that. That brought some great things and I'm not claiming they've not been beneficial to me at times."
He said that he expected to be called "narcissistic" and "arrogant" for his response, but felt it was important to share his side of the story.
"i'm trying to give as clear and respectful an explanation of those things as I can. I'm not going to speak about the reasons me and Joanne split up. I have no desire to share things that she doesn't either," he explained.
"But I also don't want to be falsely described as a terrible person that must be to blame for all of this. Sometimes things don't work out and there isn't any great boogeyman to blame. I'm hurting a lot and I'm trying to move on as best I can. And sadly these things don't help me do that, much as I'd like to say they don't bother me.
"I hope this message doesn't come across badly. But I'm sure I'll be called a tosser by someone. Thank you x."