When It Comes To Airing Divorce Dirty Laundry Online, What The Protocol When A Friend Dates Your Ex-Husband?

After Ioan Gruffudd went Instagram official with his ex-wife’s friend, Alice Evans took to Twitter to accuse them of having a three-year affair...

Alice Evans, Ioan Gruffudd, Bianca Wallace

by Georgia Aspinall |

‘So it turns out that my husband, after two years of telling me I’m a bad person and I’m not exciting and he no longer wants to have sex with me and he just wants to be on set abroad…has been in a relationship for THREE years behind all our backs. Good luck, Bianca.’

This was the tweet posted by actor Alice Evans last night, the same day her ex-husband Ioan Gruffudd went Instagram official with his new girlfriend, and former friend of Alice, Bianca Wallace. It spawned a storm of Twitter reactions, some showing empathy for Alice, others attacking her for taking the scandal online.

According to Alice, who had been married to Ioan for 22 years until January this year when they separated (filing for divorce in February), Ioan and Bianca have been seeing each other for three years. She claims the pair have been having an affair long before they went Instagram official, with only Bianca’s friend coming to her defence online claiming this is untrue. Both Ioan and Bianca have not yet spoken publicly on the claims.

‘I have personally known Bianca for years and they have NOT even known each other for three years let alone have an affair,’ wardrobe assistant Amy Douglas, who worked on Ioan’s TV show Harrow posted on Twitter ‘I am also her friend and I KNOW they didn’t, as I said they didn’t even speak to each other until the end of season 3. Don’t buy in to the lies you are being fed.’

‘You totally and absolutely know that they started seeing each other before he told me he didn't love me and wanted a divorce,’ Alice replied. ‘If you want to get into this we can. But spitting on the victim isn't a great look.’

That was just one of a series of exchanges Alice has had online since posting her tweet last night, some positive, others markedly negative. Now, many have told her to stop taking this situation to social media, but according to Alice, it’s helping her heal.

‘Guys, thank you so much for allowing me to talk and work all this out with you,’ she said this morning. ‘Ioan and I had been together for 22 years and not a day had gone by without taking to each other. What I found out today ripped my heart out. Twitter has allowed me to get a sense of what is wrong and what is right. I know a lot of you felt I was embarrassing myself by discussing it publicly but try to understand how much that helped me - as did all of you with all your amazing thoughts.’

Her words beg the question: is publicly airing your relationship issues, or marriage fallout, the ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ thing to do?

While some point to her how her children – of which her and Ioan have two daughters aged 12 and eight – might react to seeing this online, others claim Alice is ‘embarrassing’ herself by tweeting so profusely about her despair. But in a society where everything is shared online, is posting about your relationship troubles or heartache really that different to posting the highs of your relationship?

We consider certain behaviours post break-up ‘embarrassing’ when done publicly: sadness, anger, jealousy. But they’re all emotions we experience, stages you go through to move on from any heartache- particularly those involving betrayal. We tell people to hide those parts of themselves, to not ‘air their dirty laundry’, as if they should be embarrassed by the fact that they’ve been cheated on or care deeply about another human being leaving them.

Our value rests on taking the high road, on not appearing too hurt, on moving on ‘with dignity'. But all that does is embed the idea that sharing our darkest emotions with others is somehow wrong, that someone else having power over our emotions makes us weak. In actuality, experiencing real pain after a breakup is just life - and a part we shouldn't shy a way from. In the social media age, being open about your grief, how hard marriage breakdowns can be and clearly caring very little about whether someone deems you embarrassing is actually quite brave.

It might not be how you would react post break-up, but that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily ‘wrong’. It certainly shouldn’t result in a pile-on for Alice, nor presumptuous trolling of Ioan or Bianca. As with all celebrity marriage breakdowns, we only see a window of what someone’s relationship and divorce was really like, and while Alice has invited us to share in her pain on this occasion, respecting the wishes of all parties is vital. Perhaps if we, as a collective, did that more often a celebrity getting real about their hurt post-divorce wouldn’t seem so controversial.

Grazia has reached out for comment from Ioan Gruffudd and Bianca Wallace.

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