When Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper performed at the Oscars last week, fans on social media went wild over their ‘intense chemistry’. The performance was so intimate that a barrage of memes and rumours followed, speculating that the A Star Is Born co-stars were secretly dating. ‘Um, should we leave? Seems like they want to be alone,’ wrote one Twitter user, while another said: ‘I’m sorry, but if you’re Bradley’s [girlfriend], aren’t you... just... slightly... nervous?’
The next day, photos of Bradley, 44, and Gaga, 32, at an Oscars after-party surfaced, showing them deep in conversation with their arms around one another. Speculation intensified when Bradley’s ex-wife, Jennifer Esposito, joined the conversation (she wrote ‘Ha’ on an Instagram post of Bradley and Gaga performing). It then reached fever pitch when Irina Shayk, 33, Bradley’s girlfriend of four years, reportedly unfollowed Gaga on Instagram.
Within days, Gaga had dismissed the rumours. ‘Yes, people saw love and guess what, that’s what we wanted you to see,’ she exclaimed on Jimmy Kimmel Live as she rolled her eyes. ‘This is a love song; it’s a love story. We worked all week on that performance. I guess we did a good job – fooled ya!’ And yet, the rumours persisted. The US publication Page Six, for example, reported last week that ‘Hollywood is buzzing that Gaga fell for Bradley during pre-production and filming, creating the intense emotional energy you see on-screen and at the Oscars. He wanted an authentic love story on-screen.’
One source who attended the party later told Grazia that the chemistry between the pair was undeniable, adding, ‘It was magnetic. Once inside the Vanity Fair party, Gaga and Bradley immediately found each other and reflected on their performance. Even the A-listers in the room were gawping at them. It was all very celebratory but there was no ignoring the fact it felt awkward with Irina there, only because Bradley and Gaga looked every inch the Hollywood superstar couple.’ A second source revealed that, while rehearsing their duet the day before, it was the same story. ‘Bradley and Gaga’s performance was them getting back into character to a point, but the rehearsal the day before was just as electrifying when the cameras weren’t on,’ said the insider. ‘You almost felt like you were intruding on a very private moment.’
But are the rumours to be believed? According to another source, ‘Gaga has been freaking out about all the speculation as she certainly doesn’t want to be painted as the other woman. The word is that, while they’re not together, they have become obsessed with each other after working so closely. Understandably, that’s been really difficult for Irina to deal with.'
Indeed, Grazia has previously reported that, even while the pair were filming A Star Is Born, their close relationship had caused tension with Irina, with whom Bradley has a daughter, Lea. Last month, we also reported that Gaga’s relationship with her fiancé and agent, Christian Carino, came to an end in part because of the friendship . It’s well known by now the lengths that Bradley and Gaga went to in order to develop a believable on-screen romance. They both felt it was ‘important to create a natural chemistry’ so they worked hard on it, said an LA-based source. ‘Gaga would cook for Bradley and they’d hang out at her house for hours. That was all-consuming and involved Bradley spending all his time with another woman.’ Things only got more difficult as promotion for the film intensified (Bradley’s appearance at Gaga’s Las Vegas residency, earlier this year, which saw the singer kneel at his feet and gaze adoringly at him, is said to have been a low point). ‘Irina feels embarrassed about it all,’ added the source.
All eyes will now be on the Shayk/Cooper household to see what happens next. ‘It’s well known that she’s been frustrated by his intense relationship with Gaga,’ an insider told Grazia. ‘In some ways, the fallout from the performance has left Irina feeling vindicated.'