Bella Thorne defends her 'controversial' reputation: 'I haven't been arrested. I'm not doing bad things.'

·3-min read

Bella Thorne is fighting back against slut shamers.

The Assassination Nation star, 24, who first rose to fame as a pre-teen on Disney Channel, spoke to The Daily Beast about being called a "controversial" figure, despite never having gotten in trouble with the law.

"I haven't been arrested. I'm not doing bad things," she explained. "Of course, I am a woman, and that definitely plays a part in it. If I post in a bikini, it's 'she's a slut,' but if a man posts shirtless on a beach, it's 'F*** yeah, bro.' If a man posts with a different girl every other day, it's 'F*** yeah, bro, keep getting that p****,' but if I'm in a three-year relationship, and then break up, and then get into another three-year relationship, it's 'Wow, Bella Thorne, she’s a ho. Look at her.' I'm like, what? I've been in long-term relationships my whole life!"

The actress and singer, who recently received awards for her adult film directorial debut and is currently fighting for clemency for cannabis offenders, said that she is also on a mission to help destigmatize sex work and make women more comfortable speaking about their sexuality.

"I have a lot of friends in the sex-work industry and when I see them go through pain, it's heartbreaking," she said. "These are my friends. So, as much as I can be a voice, I'm always trying. And it's another thing where people are like, 'Bella Thorne is controversial because she did this.' OK, well now there are all these celebrities hopping on the sex-positivity train — making vibrators and owning sex-toy brands. Now people are finally talking about it, but when I do it it's, 'Why is Bella Thorne doing this?'"

Thorne previously spoke about her reputation in a 2019 interview with Forbes, explaining, "I know that I'm hot, and I'm down with being hot. And I think that's dope. And I smoke weed. It has definitely been annoying to get people to accept me as I am, but it's nice now, because it feels like everyone is accepting my image finally."

In addition to wanting people to understand her, Thorne has long wanted to stand up for women's equality — especially in a world where the word "feminist" can still be considered controversial.

She told NYLON in 2021, "People have put such a bad connotation on the word 'feminist' — [and] it's a beautiful word — that now all of a sudden you feel afraid to say you're a feminist in a room because everyone's going to look at you like you hate men. Like you want to kill them all. Like you want no men on planet Earth and women run the whole entire world and want no men alive, and that is not what we're saying. That is not the point!"

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