Everything There Is To Know About Taylor's Controversial Relationship With Matty Healy Ahead Of Her New Album (2024)

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As you are probably aware, we are now less than 24 hours away from the release of Taylor Swift’s highly anticipated new album, The Tortured Poets Department. Taylor and Matty’s origin can actually be dated back to 10 years ago, with the two first sparking romance rumors after Taylor was spotted at his band's concert in 2014. And Matty’s controversies came to a head at the start of 2023 when he was accused of doing the Nazi salute while marching on stage during one of his shows just days after International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Matty told Adam that he’d messaged Ice Spice, and was asked: “So you slide into her DMs and ask ‘What are you? A f*cking Eskimo or something?’” The star laughed and replied: “Yeah, that's what I was like, you f*cking…” before saying something unintelligible. Taylor’s rekindled affiliation with Matty was soft-launched in January 2023, when she was still publicly in a relationship with Joe. At the time, Taylor simply gave a surprise performance at The 1975’s London concert, singing her hit “Anti-Hero” and an acoustic cover of the band’s song “The City.” Things escalated from here, with Taylor and Matty pictured holding hands, spotted kissing, and filmed looking cozy as they left a party together. Matty was also seen entering and leaving Taylor’s New York City home on multiple occasions, as well as joining her at a recording studio. But as exposé after exposé on the concerning things that Matty had done started to emerge, Taylor appeared to remain defiant. Although she had previously teased that she sees everything her fans say about her online, she seemingly made a point of ignoring the offense that her new relationship was causing. Taylor ended up being branded “another complicit white woman,” and horrified fans even said that they were canceling their preorders for her upcoming album and selling their tickets to her tour. As the scrutiny reached fever pitch, Taylor announced that she had collaborated with Ice Spice for a new version of her 2022 song “Karma” — a move that was branded “insidiously calculated” as Taylor was accused of using the rapper to distract from the growing backlash surrounding her relationship. Just days later, on June 5, it was reported that Taylor and Matty had broken up. At the time, it was said that they had “decided to just go back to being friends” and that “nothing complicated happened.”

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As you are probably aware, we are now less than 24 hours away from the release of Taylor Swift’s highly anticipated new album, The Tortured Poets Department.

Everything There Is To Know About Taylor's Controversial Relationship With Matty Healy Ahead Of Her New Album (1)

Neilson Barnard / Getty Images for The Recording Academy

With the star renowned for the autobiographical nature of her music, fans are expecting to gain some insight into what has been going on in Taylor’s life since the release of her last album, Midnights, in October 2022.

This includes the surprise end of her six-year relationship with British actor Joe Alwyn, which was announced in April 2023, and her controversial fling with The 1975’s Matty Healy the following month.

And with Joe already dominating headlines in the lead-up to the album’s release, what better time to refresh our memories on Taylor and Matty’s ill-fated romance? Here’s everything there is to know.

Taylor and Matty’s origin can actually be dated back to 10 years ago, with the two first sparking romance rumors after Taylor was spotted at his band's concert in 2014.

Everything There Is To Know About Taylor's Controversial Relationship With Matty Healy Ahead Of Her New Album (2)

David M. Benett via Getty

However, Matty got incredibly defensive when quizzed about these reports in a 2016 interview with Q magazine, where he claimed that it would be “emasculating” to date Taylor.

Matty initially dismissed the star by saying that she “wasn't a big impact on my life," and then ranted: “If I had [properly] gone out with Taylor Swift, the first thing I would’ve [thought was] ‘f*cking hell I am NOT being Taylor Swift’s boyfriend.’ You know, f*ck. THAT.”

“That’s also a man thing, a demasculinating, emasculating thing,” he added at the time.

In the years since that interview, Matty has continued to cultivate a seriously divisive public image and has been repeatedly accused of racism, misogyny, antisemitism, and being anti-Muslim.

And he actively leans into this image, even adding a skit to The 1975’s recent tour where he acted as though he was going to go on a racist rant before being cut off by his bandmates playing the beginning of the next song.

And Matty’s controversies came to a head at the start of 2023 when he was accused of doing the Nazi salute while marching on stage during one of his shows just days after International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Everything There Is To Know About Taylor's Controversial Relationship With Matty Healy Ahead Of Her New Album (3)

John Parra / Getty Images for Audacy

Later in January, Matty posted a screenshot of a “List of Jews” Wikipedia page to his Instagram story, which some deemed to be an unsettling reference to the records of Jewish people that Nazis kept during the Holocaust.

The following month, Matty faced even more backlash during an appearance on The Adam Friedland Show podcast that was deemed so offensive it was eventually removed from Spotify and Apple.

In the episode, Matty laughed hysterically as the host made a series of racist jibes, referring to American rapper Ice Spice as “one of the Inuit Spice Girls” and a “chubby Chinese lady” before mocking a variety of accents.

Everything There Is To Know About Taylor's Controversial Relationship With Matty Healy Ahead Of Her New Album (4)

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Matty told Adam that he’d messaged Ice Spice, and was asked: “So you slide into her DMs and ask ‘What are you? A f*cking Eskimo or something?’” The star laughed and replied: “Yeah, that's what I was like, you f*cking…” before saying something unintelligible.

Everything There Is To Know About Taylor's Controversial Relationship With Matty Healy Ahead Of Her New Album (5)

Taylor Hill / Getty Images

Matty then encouraged Adam to do an impression of Japanese people working in concentration camps, and he could be heard laughing uncontrollably at the racist stereotyping as the host mocked the Japanese accent.

In the same podcast, Matty nonchalantly admitted to masturbating to Black women being “brutalized” on an extreme p*rnography website that is renowned for its controversial videos that have been branded “abuse p*rn.”

In April 2023, Matty apologized to Ice Spice for his comments on the podcast, insisting during one of The 1975’s New Zealand shows that his “joking got misconstrued” and that he feels “a bit bad” about potentially offending the young rapper.

Taylor’s rekindled affiliation with Matty was soft-launched in January 2023, when she was still publicly in a relationship with Joe. At the time, Taylor simply gave a surprise performance at The 1975’s London concert, singing her hit “Anti-Hero” and an acoustic cover of the band’s song “The City.”

Everything There Is To Know About Taylor's Controversial Relationship With Matty Healy Ahead Of Her New Album (6)

Arturo Holmes / FilmMagic

Then, on May 3, 2023, it was reported that the two were dating, with a source telling the Sun: “She and Matty are madly in love. It’s super-early days, but it feels right. They first dated, very briefly, almost ten years ago, but timings just didn’t work out.”

“They are both massively proud and excited about this relationship and, unlike Taylor’s last one — which was very much kept out of the spotlight, deliberately — she wants to ‘own’ this romance and not hide it away,” they added at the time.

Initially, fans didn’t believe the report — especially as news of Taylor and Joe’s split had broken less than a month earlier on April 8. However, just two days after the news broke, Matty was spotted with Taylor’s friends and family in the VIP tent at her Eras Tour in Nashville.


He ended up attending all three shows that weekend, and even performed with Taylor’s opening act, Phoebe Bridgers.

Things escalated from here, with Taylor and Matty pictured holding hands, spotted kissing, and filmed looking cozy as they left a party together. Matty was also seen entering and leaving Taylor’s New York City home on multiple occasions, as well as joining her at a recording studio.

Everything There Is To Know About Taylor's Controversial Relationship With Matty Healy Ahead Of Her New Album (7)

Robert Kamau / GC Images

Perceptive fans then noticed that both stars mouthed the exact same words during their respective shows in an apparent secret declaration of their love.

During Matty’s May 3 concert, he mouthed: “This is about you. You know who you are. I love you,” while on stage. Taylor did the same thing during her May 5 show in Nashville.

Suffice to say, Taylor’s involvement with Matty did not go down well with her fans, who were left disappointed by her decision to associate with him, considering his problematic history. Understandably, Jewish, Black, and Asian Swifties were particularly upset.

But as exposé after exposé on the concerning things that Matty had done started to emerge, Taylor appeared to remain defiant. Although she had previously teased that she sees everything her fans say about her online, she seemingly made a point of ignoring the offense that her new relationship was causing.

Everything There Is To Know About Taylor's Controversial Relationship With Matty Healy Ahead Of Her New Album (8)

Jeff Kravitz / FilmMagic

In fact, the star was accused of doubling down on her decision to date Matty amid the backlash. Just days after his comments about masturbating to “brutalized” Black women resurfaced, she made the uncharacteristic decision to reference her personal life during her Eras Tour show.

In a pointed statement, Taylor suggested that she was unfazed by the online discourse, telling fans: “I’ve just never been this happy in my life — in all aspects of my life — ever before.”

And while some defended Taylor by saying that she shouldn’t be held accountable for her boyfriend’s actions, others refuted this by pointing out that she was actually being criticized for her own actions — the decision to align herself with someone who had made so many problematic statements, as well as the implication that she was unbothered by the concerning things that he’d said and done.

Taylor ended up being branded “another complicit white woman,” and horrified fans even said that they were canceling their preorders for her upcoming album and selling their tickets to her tour.

Everything There Is To Know About Taylor's Controversial Relationship With Matty Healy Ahead Of Her New Album (9)

Joseph Okpako / WireImage

Amid all of this, Matty shot down the public outrage surrounding him as he shared his thoughts on the situation in an interview with the New Yorker.

He claimed: “It doesn’t actually matter. Nobody is sitting there at night slumped at their computer, and their boyfriend comes over and goes, ‘What’s wrong, darling?’ and they go, ‘It’s just this thing with Matty Healy.’ That doesn’t happen.”

“If it does, you’re either deluded or you are, sorry, a liar,” Matty went on. “You’re either lying that you are hurt, or you’re a bit mental for being hurt.”

“It’s just people going, ‘Oh, there’s a bad thing over there, let me get as close to it as possible so you can see how good I am,’” he then insisted. “And I kind of want them to do that because they’re demonstrating something so base level.”

Matty was called out for his reductive remarks on social media at the time, with people accusing him of having a “lack of empathy” and “hiding behind satire/edgy humor.”

As the scrutiny reached fever pitch, Taylor announced that she had collaborated with Ice Spice for a new version of her 2022 song “Karma” — a move that was branded “insidiously calculated” as Taylor was accused of using the rapper to distract from the growing backlash surrounding her relationship.

Everything There Is To Know About Taylor's Controversial Relationship With Matty Healy Ahead Of Her New Album (10)

Kevin Mazur / Getty Images for TAS Rights Management

It was pointed out that this was the first time that Taylor had ever collaborated with a Black woman in her 17-year career, and the timing was considered to be very “telling,” with many theorizing that Ice Spice teaming up with Taylor was supposed to imply that Matty’s past podcast comments were a non-issue.

Things escalated when Adam Friedland, the host of the podcast in question, suggested that Taylor’s collaboration with the rapper was a direct result of Matty’s involvement in the controversial episode. He retweeted an account reporting on the collaboration and simply wrote: “You’re welcome.”

Then, on May 29, photos of Matty wearing merchandise for Red Scare, a cultural commentary podcast hosted by Dasha Nekrasova and Anna Khachiyan, emerged online.

Matty is good friends with Dasha, and he has regularly been spotted with her over the years; however, his continued support for her podcast amid his relationship with Taylor raised eyebrows.

This is because Dasha and Anna have been less than complimentary of the US singer in the past, and in their podcast episode “Make Americana Great Again,” the two hosts made cruel comments about Taylor’s body, sexual assault case, and even her mom — who they referred to as “Miss Piggy” — in a 30-minute tirade.

Just days later, on June 5, it was reported that Taylor and Matty had broken up. At the time, it was said that they had “decided to just go back to being friends” and that “nothing complicated happened.”

Everything There Is To Know About Taylor's Controversial Relationship With Matty Healy Ahead Of Her New Album (11)

Taylor Hill / Getty Images for TAS Rights Management

But fans questioned this narrative when a video of Taylor choking up while performing her heartbreak song “I Don’t Want to Live Forever” emerged online from one of her first shows post-split.

In the clip, Taylor looked emotional, and her voice audibly cracked as she sang the line: “Wondering if I dodged a bullet or just lost the love of my life,” prompting speculation that this is how she felt about Matty.

Around the same time,TMZ reported that Matty’s various controversies were not a factor in the relationship ending. They stated that Taylor was well aware of Matty’s reputation before they started dating and that she “simply blocked out” the “noise” from her concerned fans.

Taylor started her relationship with NFL tight end Travis Kelce a few weeks after her and Matty’s split, and the two are currently still together and looked seriously loved up during a recent appearance at Coachella.

Taylor has never publicly commented on her romance with Matty, but fans believe he will be referenced to in her upcoming songs, with speculation mounting when the track list was revealed in February.

And with The Tortured Poets Department finally being released on Friday, we thankfully don’t have much longer to wait before finding out.

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Everything There Is To Know About Taylor's Controversial Relationship With Matty Healy Ahead Of Her New Album (2024)
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