Fast Facts About Cara Delevingne

The following article contains references to mental illness, addiction, homophobia, and allegations of sexual misconduct.   

There once was a time in which supermodels were perceived as aloof, inaccessible media idols, the high priestesses of couture beyond the reach of mere mortals. But that all changed at the start of the 2010s when a new breed of model emerged. The advent of online social platforms provided unique access to superstars in a way that was previously unheard of. And the perfect embodiment of this social media-savvy supermodel came in the form of Cara Delevingne.

The eyebrows that launched a thousand ambassadorships, the model cultivated a persona framed around approachability, relatability, and perhaps most importantly, fun. Whereas the iconic likes of Kate Moss, to whom the multi-talented model has frequently been compared, were content to grimace in all their Chanel refinery at glitzy, exclusive events, Delevingne was playing the clown on social media. 

As W Magazine notes, the model's persona has always been the antithesis of glamor and one of brazen authenticity, keeping it real with makeup-free selfies and goofing off with her pals like any other millennial. "In our industry, people can be rather forced, not genuinely themselves," esteemed designer Stella McCartney once told Vogue. "Cara would never pretend to be someone she's not, and she's not living her life for other people's approval."

Although born into a privileged family, Delevingne's life has been far from an easy ride. All the while, however, she has maintained her wit and genial nature. As these fast facts about Cara Delivingne prove, it's been one epic rise to fame for the multitalented model turned musician turned author turned actor.

Cara Delevingne had a traumatic childhood

Cara Delevingne was raised in the affluent Belgravia neighborhood of London to property developer Charles Delevingne and society lady, Pandora, a descendant of the publishing tycoon, Sir Jocelyn Stevens, and the aristocratic Jane Sheffield, per Vogue. Born into a wealthy home, her parents frequently welcomed celebrity guests, including Madonna (though the adolescent Delevingne was more interested in watching TV than meeting the queen of pop) and Joan Collins, who is her godmother

Despite her privilege, the model had a difficult childhood, as she watched her mom struggle with substance misuse. "You grow up too quickly because you're parenting your parents," she admitted to Vogue. "My mother's an amazingly strong person with a huge heart, and I adore her. But it's not something you get better from."

A gifted and precocious child, she already had the reading ability of a 16-year-old by the age of 9. However, she was diagnosed with dyspraxia and developed anxiety and depression, spending much of her schooling with mental health services. In an interview with Esquire, she acknowledged her social advantages but was saddened that people assumed she had no reason to be depressed. "I realized how lucky and privileged I was, but all I wanted to do was die," she disclosed. "I felt so guilty because of that and hated myself because of that, and then it's a cycle." Reflecting on her childhood trauma in Vogue, she gave her younger self some words of wisdom, "Love yourself ... accept yourself, be yourself."

If you or anyone you know needs help with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

If you or someone you know needs help with mental health, please contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741, call the National Alliance on Mental Illness helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264), or visit the National Institute of Mental Health website.

She was first featured in Vogue as a child

Before she'd even reached her teens, Cara Delevingne was being scouted for modeling work. She was first discovered by Sarah Doukas, who also scouted Kate Moss. As the fashion entrepreneur recalled to Fashionista, she had known Delevingne since she was a young child, as her daughter went to the same school as the budding young model. Accordingly, Doukas observed the model's star power. "I've known Cara since she was four years old and I always thought she would be amazing," she gushed.

Not a lot of 10-year-olds have a Vogue modeling shoot to their name, but Delevingne was no ordinary preteen. Per Grazia, back in 2002, the youngster was spotted by acclaimed photographer Bruce Weber, who requested that she appear in a shoot for the prestigious publication, posing in a bright yellow Ascot hat. "Cara probably doesn't remember but she was gorgeous then," recalled hat-maker Philip Treacy. "I think that was the first time she was featured in print ... I think she is going to be as big as Kate Moss. If not even bigger." 

Despite the constant comparisons to Moss, there are few similarities between Delevingne and the catwalk veteran. As Esquire notes, while Moss was renowned for her stoic chic, Delevingne fully embraced her weird girl persona. And whereas Moss always had an air of unapproachability about her, the younger model would go on to base her persona around unabashed authenticity, becoming a true icon of her generation. 

She dropped out of school

At 16, Cara Delevingne took a temporary break from school for the sake of her mental health and was put on medication, per Esquire. "I missed out [on] a lot from 16 to 18," she poignantly conceded. Although she returned to school, she ended up dropping out before the age of 18 with the mission of living her truth, as Tatler notes. "After seven years of being at school and having a schedule, being spontaneous was a revelation," she told Vogue. She tried her hand at modeling but was initially met with disdain from the major fashion houses. In another interview with Vogue, she recalled an instance in which she walked into Burberry in the hopes of securing a job, but was shooed away. Elsewhere, she was exposed to predatory men, lamenting, "Never trust a straight photographer at a test shoot."

Thereafter, in a true "Devil Wears Prada" moment, she ditched her modeling aspirations and took on an office job at ASOS. It was there that she was spotted by Burberry designer, Christopher Bailey, who offered the 18-year-old her first modeling job.

Her unmistakable charisma did not go unnoticed. As Stella McCartney told Vogue, "The thing about Cara is that she's more than just a model — she stands for something in her generation's eyes ... She's brought back some of that energy you saw in the supermodel era." Soon enough, Delevingne found herself walking the catwalks of some of the biggest designer brands.

The Charlie Chaplin of the fashion world

With her famous brows and mischievous, impish smirk, it certainly wasn't difficult to see why Cara Delevingne swiftly became the definitive it-girl of her generation. In 2011, she made her runway debut for Burberry at London Fashion Week, per W Magazine. Then, she had a career breakthrough when she graced the Chanel runway for the Metiers d'Art fashion show the following year (she would go on to model for the luxury brand multiple times). 

Indeed, among her admirers was Chanel's esteemed, and controversial, creative director Karl Lagerfeld, who dubbed Delevingne, "The Charlie Chaplin of the fashion world." The fashion legend made the bold declaration in an interview with The Times, in which he stated, "She is kind of genius, like a character out of a silent movie ... Girls admire her like they used to Kate Moss. They all want to be as free as her."  High praise indeed from the man who was notorious for his shady and often highly problematic put-downs of female celebrities. 

Still, fame was daunting for Delevingne, who noted the stark contrast between the fanbases of those who grew up as millennials, like herself, and those of Generation Z. "It's a different kind of fandom now, it's like they're obsessed," she remarked in a chat with The Guardian. "They find one person they obsess over and they follow them — they have to know everything about their lives, because you have that access, Instagram and Twitter ... It's kind of scary really."

Cara soon grew disillusioned with modeling

By 2015, Cara Delevingne had taken a break from modeling. In an interview with The Times, she admitted that she'd grown disillusioned with the industry, stating "Modelling just made me feel a bit hollow after a while." Later, she elaborated, "I am a bit of a feminist and it makes me feel sick. It's horrible and it's disgusting. [We're talking about] young girls. You start when you are really young and you do get subjected to ... not great stuff." Accordingly, Delevingne embarked on an acting career despite having no formal dramatic training or experience. But since she was a child, acting had been her main passion, and she was determined to realize her dreams. "Dreams don't always come true, but they did," she told The Guardian

That year, she scored her first major Hollywood role with the part of Margo in the teen romance, "Paper Towns." Although a huge achievement, Delevingne, as with so many women in the spotlight, soon found that scrutiny and undue criticism were lingering around the corner. Promoting the flick, she gave a now infamous interview with CBS Sacramento in which she was accused of looking bored and disinterested. John Green, author of "Paper Towns," defended the star in an essay for Medium, arguing that the backlash was rooted in sexism. Thereafter, Delevingne found herself acting alongside the likes of Margot Robbie and Will Smith in "Suicide Squad," and battling Clive Owen in "Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets."

She is proud to be part of the LGBTQ community

Cara Delevingne proudly identifies as pansexual. As she told Vogue, she never formally came out, but rather, made a conscious decision to live her truth. "I just decided to put my cards on the table and say, 'Look, I'm in love, I'm in love with who I'm in love with,'" she said. "It just meant that I was done with being in the closet. I was done with being ashamed for who I loved and who I was."

In 2014, she embarked on a highly publicized relationship with indie musician, Annie Clark, aka St. Vincent. Per Grazia, the couple first met in December of that year and were soon snapped smooching at the Brit Awards. The following year, Delevingne gushed about her relationship to Vogue. "I think that being in love with my girlfriend is a big part of why I'm feeling so happy with who I am these days," she announced. Sadly, the attractive couple called it quits in 2016, per The Sun

Thereafter, Delevingne dated a bevy of beauties. She was linked to high-profile women like Paris Jackson, Miley Cyrus, and Michelle Rodriguez, but her second most high-profile relationship was with actor, Ashley Benson, whom she began dating in 2018. There were even rumors that the loved-up twosome got married, though it was later confirmed that they'd actually had a friendship ceremony, per E! After almost two years of dating, they split in 2020, per People.

Her alleged Harvey Weinstein experiences

In the wake of the MeToo movement, Cara Delevingne was faced with the uncomfortable revelation that she may have been a victim of disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein. At first, she didn't realize that his behavior towards her amounted to abuse, but she experienced an epiphany after hearing of other women's harrowing interactions with the producer. "I was like, 'Oh my God, that means I was abused?'" she told Marie Claire. "I don't think he'll ever be able to repay what he's done."

Speaking to Porter, she discussed the ordeal, as well as the former movie mogul's warning that she would never make it in Hollywood as an openly queer actor. "One of the first things Harvey Weinstein ever said to me was, 'You will never make it in this industry as a gay woman — get a beard,'" she recalled. At a later date, she alleged that he sexually harassed her and tried to force her to make out with another woman in front of him. At an audition, the producer reeled off the names of various female celebs, asking Delevingne if she had ever been intimate with any of them. "I just thought: this is insane," she said.

On Twitter, Delevingne disclosed why she didn't report the abuse, and explained that she was made to feel ashamed of Weinstein's alleged misconduct against her. "[I] didn't want to publicly ruin someone's life, even though they privately ruined mine," she added. 

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

She recorded music with Pharrell

From a young age, music was Cara Delevingne's passion. It was also a refuge for the troubled tween, who began playing the drums at 10 to alleviate her hyperactivity, per Vogue (she can also do a mean beatbox). In 2015, following her break from modeling, she began taking her musical aspirations seriously. At the time, she revealed that she wanted to launch her own record label and reportedly sought out the expertise of Simon Cowell. The Daily Star (via The Mirror) suggested that Delevingne had told a source, "If I was rich enough, I would love to launch my own record label. I would love to try and give all my musically talented friends a start in the industry."

Although she didn't start a record label, her musical dreams came to fruition in 2014 when she performed a duet with Pharrell Williams for Karl Lagerfeld's Chanel film "Reincarnation." "He inspires me so much," Delevingne told Vogue. Three years later, the pair reunited on the track "I Feel Everything" for the "Valerian" soundtrack.

However, she told the outlet that performing her own music in front of an audience remains her greatest fear. "There's nothing to hide behind," she conceded to Marie Claire. "The words come out." She faced her fear when she performed at a charity gala for the LGBTQ organization The Trevor Project, where she received the Hero award. Having overcome her greatest fear, she remarked, "I think at this point, being intimidated is a waste of time."

She's a YA author

Undeniably, Cara Delevingne is a woman of many talents. She's a model, actor, singer, tattoo enthusiast — and a young adult book author. In 2017, she released her debut novel, "Mirror, Mirror," a coming-of-age mystery. "Another pinch me moment!" she declared on Instagram regarding the book's release. During an appearance on "This Morning," she divulged that the book was inspired by her own experiences with depression. "For teenagers now who grow up with so much pressure ... so much issues with identity and sexuality ... I felt it was my duty to write a book they could really connect to," she stated. 

The model-turned-novelist explained that she wanted to emphasize to teen readers that mental health is just as important as physical health, hoping to alleviate the enduring stigma surrounding mental illness through her book. She also discussed her amazement at having been able to finish the novel in the first place, having never believed that she was any good at writing due to her poor performance at school. "It wasn't until after school where I carried on doing it for myself, cathartically," she told "This Morning." "The only way I would learn how to express my emotions was through writing."

Although "Mirror, Mirror" generally received mixed and lackluster reviews, iNews praised Delevingne for her sensitive depiction of issues such as sexuality, stating, "The novel becomes a mirror of its supermodel author at this point: bold, brave and fierce."

If you or someone you know needs help with mental health, please contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741, call the National Alliance on Mental Illness helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264), or visit the National Institute of Mental Health website.

Cara Delevingne is all business

Despite being barely out of her 20s, by 2022 Cara Delevingne had amassed a jaw-dropping fortune of $50 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth. Back in 2014, she was steadily on her way to becoming a multimillionaire, with The Telegraph (via The Hollywood Reporter) disclosing that she earned approximately $8,000 a day in 2013. Six years later, The Sun declared that the then 27-year-old was the U.K.'s highest-paid model, having made a whopping £21.5 million ($22.8 million) in 2016, placing her earnings above the likes of Kate Moss. By this point, Delevingne was reportedly raking in a colossal £59,164 ($62.9k) per day.

According to The Mirror, Delevingne has also snagged a lucrative side hustle as a property tycoon, having developed an impressive real estate portfolio with her dad, Charles. In 2019 alone, she and her dad made a staggering £278,000 ($297.4k) from their business. Additionally, Delevingne has raked in millions as a brand ambassador. The Daily Mail notes that she earned over $1 million as the face of Dior lipstick and skincare. Moreover, her films have grossed millions, with "Paper Towns" making a handsome $85.5 million against a budget of $12 million

Despite these earnings, she remains modest when it comes to discussing financial matters. On an episode of "RuPaul: What's the Tea?" she explained, "Money is not everything. You get to the point where you're like, 'Oh, I've made money, but I'm so deeply unhappy and alone.'"

She's a supermodel turned TV star

Over time, Cara Delevingne moved away from films and towards television. In 2019, she scored her first major TV role in "Carnival Row," playing a faerie who is shunned by conservative society. In a chat with The Guardian, Delevingne explained that she was drawn to the social commentary of the series, as the mistreatment of faeries served as an allegory for the injustices faced by refugees. 

As for people's preconceived notions about a supermodel embarking on a serious acting career, Delevingne said that she welcomed criticism. "I work extremely hard and also I like the fact that people were questioning my talent," she said. "Because to be honest, I like having to prove myself to people, you know. I don't want an easy ride." Decider praised her performance, arguing, "Delevingne ... shows a streak of toughness, informed by a lifetime of pain and suffering, that few actors can pull off while wearing a pair of fairy wings."

Then, in 2022, she snagged another television gig when she exhibited her sizzling chemistry with Selena Gomez in the Disney+ series. "Only Murders in the Building," playing charismatic art dealer, Alice. Regarding the inevitable wagging of tongues concerning her on-screen sexual tension with Gomez's character, Delevingne suggested that audiences still have a long way to go when it comes to accepting LGBTQ representation. "Let them think what they want — they'll be on the wrong side of history," she told Glamour. "I didn't think beforehand about how the kiss between us might go down with the viewers."

Cara Delevingne experienced some personal issues

By the summer of 2022, stories began circulating of Cara Delevingne's apparent personal difficulties, with the Daily Mail publishing photos of Margot Robbie crying as she left the model's home. The model had previously failed to show up to the launch of her fashion collection at New York Fashion Week (she later promoted the collection in Paris) and didn't join her "Only Murders in the Building" co-stars at the Emmys. The outlet also published intrusive snaps of the model allegedly taking drugs in her car while looking exhausted. Delevingne's friends apparently told TMZ that they were seeking options for rehab and mental health intervention to help her. 

For Elle, writer Jess Pullar heavily criticized tabloid coverage of the model's turmoil as being reminiscent of the media denigration of Britney Spears in the 2000s. "In 2021, the world watched in horror as these details were revealed," Pullar wrote. "Yet this is exactly what the media are currently doing to Cara Delevingne, and they're getting away with it as though the past 15 years didn't happen."

Considering that Delevingne overcame harrowing obstacles in her adolescence to become the proud LGBTQ role model and mental health advocate she is today, media intrusion into her mental state seems inappropriate. Shortly before stories of her supposed instability surfaced, Delevingne gave an interview with Harper's Bazaar in which she uttered some pertinent and prophetic words — "Helping people is one of the most amazing things you can do. Always lead with kindness."

If you or someone you know needs help with mental health, please contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741, call the National Alliance on Mental Illness helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264), or visit the National Institute of Mental Health website.