The Don’t Worry Darling star, who recently appeared on the cover of Vogue’s January 2023 issue, reflected on her past relationship with the Scrubs actor after they called it quits in early 2022. Despite keeping a low-profile, the pair still received considerable backlash due to their 21-year age gap.
Now, the British-born star said she’s still “figuring out” how to navigate single life, telling Vogue: “My breakup has been very new, so I’m figuring that out.”
Pugh previously called out online trolls in 2020 after she shared a rare photo of Braff to mark his 45th birthday. She was forced to turn comments off on her post due to the barrage of negative comments from users pointing out their age difference.
In a short video, Pugh said she received thousands of comments from people akin to “bullying” and stressed she will “not allow that behaviour” on her social media page.
“I’m 24 years old, I have been working since I was 17-years-old, I have been earning money since I was 17-years-old, I became an adult when I was 18-years-old and I started paying taxes when I was 18-years-old, I underline this fact, I am 24-years-old,” she said. “I do not need you to tell me who I should and should not love, and I would never in my life ever tell anyone who they can and cannot love.”
Over the years, Pugh has often shared her guesses as to why she and Braff have received so much criticism. Back in 2021, the Midsommar star told The Sunday Times that she thinks people are “bugged” by her relationship because “it’s not who they expected,” and they would much rather her be with someone like Timothée Chalamet.
Pugh maintained to Vogue that fans “just didn’t like” her relationship with Braff and preferred her to be with “someone younger”.
“We weren’t in anyone’s faces. It was just that people didn’t like it,” she said. “They imagined me with someone younger and someone in blockbusters. I think young relationships in Hollywood are so easily twisted because they add to the gossip sites. It’s exciting to watch. And I think I was in a relationship that didn’t do any of that.”
Florence Pugh and Zach Braff were first romantically linked in April 2019, but didn’t confirm their relationship until the end of that year. The two previously worked together on the short film, In the Time It Takes To Get There, which was developed by Braff, and starred Pugh and Alicia Silverstone.
In August, the 27-year-old actor confirmed she and Braff had split in an interview with Harper’s Bazaar, explaining that the former couple had been “trying to do this separation without the world knowing, because it’s been a relationship that everybody has an opinion on”.
“We just felt something like this would really do us the benefit of not having millions of people telling us how happy they are that we’re not together. So we’ve don’t that,” she said at the time, before adding that she “automatically” gets a “lumpy throat” whenever she talks about the breakup.
However, the exes appear to be cordial after the two recently exchanged friendly comments on social media. Just last week, Braff celebrated Pugh’s 27th birthday when he posted a picture of his ex-girlfriend to his Instagram story. The black and white photo showed Pugh smiling at the camera and sitting behind the Hollywood sign, with the sweet caption: “Happy Birthday, legend.”
Pugh re-posted her ex’s Instagram story, and added a white heart emoji.