Florence Pugh has called out online trolls for criticising her relationship with fellow actor Zach Braff.
On Monday, Pugh, 24, shared a rare photograph of Braff on Instagram to mark his 45th birthday.
But the British actor has now revealed she felt compelled to turn the comments off due to the vitriol the post prompted among her followers, many of whom took issue with the 21-year age gap between her and Braff.
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In the video, the Little Women star began by explaining she had been “wrestling” with idea of whether or not to do this video.
“On Monday I posted a photo in honour of Zach’s birthday, and I wrote a birthday message for him,” she said.
“It is the first time in my entire Instagram life that I’ve had to turn off the comments on my page, I have never been an Instagram page that encourages that, I have never been an Instagram page that likes that toxic vibe,” she continued.
“I have only been an Instagram page that tries to bring some light and tries to be positive, and tries to make people smile.
“I will not allow that behaviour on my page, I’m not about that. It makes me upset, it makes me sad that during this time when we really all need to be together, we need to be supporting one another.”
While Pugh did not address the age gap directly, she went on to stress that she is more than capable of making her own decisions about the person she dates.
“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 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.”
Pugh concluded the clip by urging critics of her relationship, adding: ”The abuse you throw at him is abuse you’re throwing at me and I don’t want those followers”.
Singer Ariana Grande wrote: “Oh I love and appreciate u so much” while actor Joey King added: “You are simply the coolest”.
It’s not the first time Pugh has publicly defended her relationship with Braff.
In December last year, Braff had left a crown emoji beneath one of Pugh’s Instagram posts, prompting one person to comment: “You’re 44 years old.”
Pugh replied simply: “and yet he got it👌🏽”.
Neither Braff nor Pugh have spoken about their relationship in interviews, though they have been regularly photographed out in public together since April 2019.