The Untold Truth Of Julia Fox

The following article includes mentions of sexual abuse.

We first got a taste of Julia Fox in Josh and Benny Safdie's "Uncut Gems" as Adam Sandler's vivacious lover who fares better than he does in the contentious ecosystem of New York's diamond district. This was just the beginning for the wide-eyed love lead. More recently, Fox's name garnered major headlines thanks to her highly publicized, albeit brief, relationship with Kanye West. Was she his stunt girlfriend, following his split from Kim Kardashian? "It definitely felt like I was his girlfriend," Fox said of her relationship with West in an interview with The New York Times in March 2022. "But it also felt like I was being cast in the role of his girlfriend — and he was casting me. He was the orchestrator of it all. It really did feel like a movie."

While the apparent project of being West's metaphorical art installation was brief, Fox used the publicity from those six weeks with the rapper to reach an even higher level of stardom. She appeared in Diesel's fashion show in Milan, as well as LaQuan Smith's show in New York, and cozied up to Donatella Versace, thanks to her and Fox's mutual love of black latex. It might seem inane to ask, looking at her budding curriculum vitae, but does Fox feel jaded by the brief relationship with West? Hardly. She knows exactly what it did for her. "Look at the big picture," she said to The Times. "That was amazing for me. The exposure was priceless." It certainly was.

Let's take a closer look at the untold truth of Julia Fox.

Julia Fox painted canvases in her own blood

Julia Fox was raised in New York's Upper East Side. According to The New York Times, her diverse resume includes fashion design, modeling, activism, painting, and photography. She published "two books of photography that quickly became cult items on the independent book fairs circuit," The Times reported. In 2017, she held an art show called "R.I.P. Julia Fox," where she painted silk canvases in her own blood. According to Refinery29, that event was curated by fellow "nightlife fixture" Richie Shazam. 

Those two also collaborated on a photography project called "Six Feet Away from Julia Fox" — a shoot that featured a scantily-clad Fox on stairways in New York City's subway. That kind of display takes some serious confidence. Fox admitted to The New York Times that she wasn't always so comfortable in her own skin, but she landed one somewhat unusual job that gave her all the training she needed.

Prior to Uncut Gems, Julia Fox was a New York dominatrix

When asked how she got into acting, Julia Fox told The New York Times: "I just tell them that's really something that started in my dominatrix days." She reportedly lived with her father in an apartment in the East Village, but at 18, she packed up her stuff in plastic bags and flew the coop. Fox worked various jobs until she heard that there was an opening in an East Village dungeon. 

"It was fantasy role play," she said. "I'd have one minute before a session. They'd give you a piece of paper with the guy's info. 'O.K., he wants me to be like his angry mother. Got it. Boom.' And, you've got two seconds to get in that mind-set," she told The Times. That gig gave Fox the confidence to pursue her dreams: "I went in there insecure and with low self-worth. I didn't understand my value. I left with too much self-esteem. Nobody was going to ever cross me again," she said.

We love her wild route to stardom, and after watching Fox reign supreme in "Uncut Gems," we were sure we'd be seeing much more of this remarkable person! After all, with Refinery29 praising the actor's performance for transcending "cliched mistress, bad girl" stereotypes, the movie's costume designer, Miyako Bellizi, told The Times that Fox is "that real New York City girl that this film needed."

She was born in Italy but grew up in New York

Julia Fox seems New York through and through. In an interview with Highsnobiety in 2019, Fox said that she grew up with her father in Manhattan. "We moved around a lot," she explained. "It was kind of unstable. We were homeless at one point. I actually have lived in almost every single neighborhood — Harlem, Chelsea, everywhere. I moved Downtown when I was 17 and I haven't left."

Fox absorbed the vibe of the Big Apple, and she told The New York Times that her teenage years in the East Village were significant to her in creating an aesthetic and making connections in the city that are still serving her. Despite this deep connection to New York, Fox was actually born in Milan, and her mother has remained in Italy, while Fox moved back to the States at age 6. Throughout her life, she's returned to Italy many times, including a brief period at school in Como, a city in northern Italy.

Fox has two younger brothers, one of whom lives in Italy and the other lives in New York, but the latter bro and Fox are on very different pages when it comes to lifestyles. "He's like a mad scientist recluse," Fox told Highsnobiety. "He builds 3D printers for fun." And as for her father, Fox explained that it doesn't get more New York than him. "My dad is American," she told the outlet. "He's, like, a seventh generation New Yorker. He's out of his mind. I pretty much grew up with him. Single dad. Poor guy."

The actor wrote and directed Fantasy Girls

Julia Fox created the short film "Fantasy Girls," which was released in the U.S. in 2021, to shed light on sex trafficking. Interestingly, we know Fox best for her acting, but it's working behind the scenes that really piques her interest. "My real passion, though, is directing and producing," Fox told Paper in 2019. And she's certainly gone on to prove that.

She explained to Elle in December of that same year that she and a friend traveled to Reno, Nevada and met a group of young girls. After exploring the town and uncovering the real story, they discovered a dark truth. "We were informed [that] the whole town is an underground prostitution ring," Fox explained. "So many children are being trafficked and girls go missing all the time, and they were at risk. I was like, I want to tell this story in an artful way, not like a documentary."

This is how "Fantasy Girls" came about. Fox noted that the plot line is about the girls preparing for a talent show, only to discover that there is no show. Rather, the location is a strip club. All of this happens under the looming shadow of a kidnapper in the area. "These girls are trying to preserve their youth and innocence in a town where that's just not doable," Fox said. She added to Paper that her intention in making the project artistic rather than a documentary-style was to draw more people in, saying, "It will get more attention that way."

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).

Julia Fox is a mom to son Valentino

True to her Italian heritage, Julia Fox named her son Valentino. Fox shares her son with pilot Peter Artemiev, whom she married in 2018 and divorced in February 2020, according to Us Weekly. Valentino was born in January 2021. On his first birthday, Fox posted a series of photos and videos to Instagram in honor of his big day. "Thank you for being my biggest blessing," she wrote in part in the caption. "My greatest accomplishment. My masterpiece. I don't deserve you but somehow we're here and I promise to love you unconditionally and accept you for who you are."

But Fox and Artemiev were facing hurdles even before their son was born. "Well, actually, when I got pregnant, I was already in the middle of the divorce with my husband and then I ended up pregnant," she told Office magazine in January 2022. "It was like, 'F**k!'" But when Fox realized that the due date fell on her best friend's birthday, she took it as a good omen. "I just knew that this was a gift and I was going to rise to the occasion," she said.

Conflict continued to pervade her relationship with Artemiev though. In one of her Instagram Stories, Fox alleged, "This man left me with a 5 month old and a dog and a home and ALL THE BILLS. It's wrong!!! It's not fair" (via Us Weekly). Later, however, Fox apologized for blasting her ex and claimed that he was a wonderful father to Valentino.

The star launched the fashion line Franziska Fox

Julia Fox and best friend Briana Andalore launched their line Franziska Fox in 2014 when they were both 23. The two New Yorkers used the city as inspiration and designed a line to embrace a voluptuous, sensual look. "I really wished to propose a novel concept for knitwear, a form of dressing that I am most passionate about, and also to have a collection that is unafraid within today's fashion landscape, in regards to the female form and intellect," Fox told Elle at the time. "I think those are the two focal points for the label."

The clothing line was an incredible feat considering how young both Fox and Andalore were. But the latter spoke with Dazed about the asset of doing something daring when you're young. "At the beginning we were totally fearless, which I think is the most amazing thing of all," Andalore explained. "When you get older, you have more anxiety around doing things, partly because you just have more knowledge, because you're aware of all the ways it could go wrong. But at that time, we were able to just do whatever we wanted to do, because we weren't afraid. Sometimes I wish I could get that back."

The line ended up closing down, something that was challenging for both of them to face, but Andalore has continued to style Fox as she's become more famous, even collaborating with Kanye West on some of Fox's looks.

Dating Kanye West was a 'crash course on how to be famous'

Julia Fox and Kanye West blasted on the scene as the unexpected new it-couple of early 2022. West was hot off the heels of his split from Kim Kardashian, and Fox had recently divorced her husband, Peter Artemiev. They met on New Year's Eve in Miami, Fox wrote in Interview magazine, saying that they had chemistry right off the bat. They then headed to New York to take in the Broadway show "Slave Play" and have dinner later at Carbone. And, typical of West, it was anything but ordinary. "At the restaurant, Ye directed an entire photo shoot for me while people dined! The whole restaurant loved it and cheered us on while it was happening," Fox wrote. True to his design instinct, West styled Fox while they were dating, bequeathing her with an entire hotel room of outfits. "It was every girl's dream come true," Fox said of the gesture.

But the couple ended up splitting after six weeks of dating, due in large part to their hectic work schedules. Naturally, though, the exposure made Fox a major figure in tabloids, garnering both interest as well as vitriol. "It's not real," Fox told The New York Times of the subsequent experience. "It's only happening on the internet. I'm not actively engaging with it. I don't feel it. I'm still 1,000 percent me. Nothing's changed, except, I will say, having been around Kanye was like a crash course on how to be famous."

Julia Fox has a podcast called Forbidden Fruits

If we know anything about Julia Fox, we know that she covers all the bases. She's an actor, a director, a fashion designer, a muse, and, of course, a podcaster. Did we expect anything less? The "Uncut Gems" star hosts "Forbidden Fruits" alongside co-star Niki Takesh on Spotify. The two hosts cover and interview major cultural figures, including FKA Twigs, "Euphoria" star Chloe Cherry, Zola (an exotic dancer who inspired a movie based on tweets), and Azriel Clary, a survivor of sexual abuse at the hands of R. Kelly.

One of their most famous episodes was with Anna Delvey, whose real name is Anna Sorokina and is the infamous woman who pretended to be a German heiress. Her story inspired "Inventing Anna," the Netflix production by Shonda Rhimes. Fox and Sorokina bonded over their New York stories and how they deal with haters. Sorokina, as Paper magazine notes, was famously busted by then-friend Rachel DeLoache Williams, who later used Sorokina's story to write the book, "My Friend Anna: The True Story of a Fake Heiress." Sorokina implied to Fox and Takesh that revenge was coming, saying somewhat cryptically with a laugh on the podcast, "If Rachel was mad about the Netflix series, she has not seen anything yet."

Fox agreed. "I actually have so much compassion for my haters," she responded. "Hating me must be the worst thing ever, because it's like I always win." It was ultimately an amusing display of power and fearless ego — perhaps Fox met her match!

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 loves Anna Nicole Smith's style

Of any style icon, Julia Fox is most inspired by Anna Nicole Smith because of her bombshell vibes and over-the-top glamor. "I love her because she's flawed and open about it," Fox told Vogue in 2021. "She's unapologetically herself, and that's what drew so many people to her."

Fox's love of Smith taps into the late Playboy star's vulnerability but also her strategic sense of style and sex appeal. Smith created a career and a lasting persona based on her ability to remain interesting. Fox spoke about this discovery with Office magazine in January 2021, and about when she understood that she could use her looks to get ahead. "I realized it in middle school," Fox said. "Prior to that I was a tomboy. I was kind of a lesbian. I grew up with my dad and my brother and my next door neighbor who was a boy. I wasn't into being girly."

The shift came when Fox noticed that she had more power over men when she channeled a certain look. "But then when I realized, 'Oh guys like me when I'm more feminine presenting, they're nicer to me, and I can get things when I am this other way... .' The switch was overnight. I started wearing heels the same week," she said. "I was fully going to milk it to the max, you know?" Fox's seductive style hasn't slowed. She's only gotten more adventurous, something else she's likely picked up from her icon, Smith.

All the hype around Julia Fox's intense eye makeup

Julia Fox started rocking an intense smokey eye vibe in 2022 — and we mean intense. Fox graciously offered a tutorial on Instagram to share how to achieve the "fox eye." She set a nice tone when she put her foundation on with her fingers and whispered that "it's really not that serious." Fans were all over it, noting how unique the look really is. "I think it would look terrible on anyone else! But amazing on her," one person commented. Someone else wrote, "Everything about this is a hot mess but I'm gagged and I am living for it."

In June 2022, Fox spoke with People about why she was taking such risks, especially with her makeup looks. "I think just being fearless, not giving a f**k, doing what I feel like doing, and not caring about whether society thinks it's normal or not," Fox said. "If I think it's cool, then it's cool."

Turns out that the look was inspired by none other than Kanye West. On her Instagram Stories that January, she posted a photo of West drawing her liner all the way out to her hairline and wrote: "Wanna [know] who my fave make up artist is?" (via Cosmopolitan). It's certainly no huge surprise that West had an innovative impact on Fox's makeup routine. But there was also a professional involved in the conception of this look, makeup artist Daniel Kolaric, who helped solidify things.

The actor's youthful party days in New York

Growing up in New York City meant that Julia Fox got to get her partying days out of the way early. When speaking to Page Six, Fox reminisced about the old days, when she couldn't get into places that she has total access to now. In June 2022, for example, Fox hosted a party for an adult film site at Paul's Baby Grand, an iconic cocktail bar in Tribeca. But in the past, Fox wasn't allowed in and sorted things out herself. "So I climbed over the [conservatively 12-foot high] hedges out there with my red-patent leather jumbo Louis Vuitton bag and came in through [the side door]," she explained. "The bouncer saw me dancing and said, 'Julia... How... You know what, I don't even want to know.'"

For Fox, she started going out young — at the age of 14 — which meant that she was also young when she got the New York club scene out of her system. "By the time I was 18, I was tired," she told Paper magazine. "It just got boring and repetitive. I already knew what the night would be like — it just wasn't fulfilling to me anymore." 

But what about New York itself? Would Fox stay in the city to raise her son, Valentino? "I feel like, growing up here, I don't know, I have such a love-hate relationship with New York," she told Office magazine. "I've been trying to move to California for a really long time."

Julia Fox gave a refreshingly honest take on the paparazzi

With Julia Fox on the brink of major stardom, she still has a complex relationship with paparazzi. On the one hand, she could certainly benefit from exposure, but on the other hand, it would mean that her whole life would change. In May 2022, she told The Face that, for the time being, she can live her life in anonymous peace. "Once I get recognized, then people will start to come up," she said of her New York street presence, adding that she doesn't like to travel with a group of handlers to avoid drawing attention. "That's the trick if you want to lead a normal life, which I do," Fox went on. "I don't want to live in a bubble. I don't want to live that celebrity life. I want to very much still be me. And being me means being in the streets."

While she loves her anonymity and her freedom, Fox also recognizes the fact that paparazzi play a useful service in amping up her visibility. That June, Fox jumped on her Instagram Stories to admit that she was trying to get photographed, per BuzzFeed. Showcasing one of her daring outfits, Fox wrote: "Decided to walk to increase the chances of being papped cuz the world needs this look. You're welcome." 

No one can say she doesn't know the drill.

Why her relationship with her stylist is so significant

Julia Fox's stylist, Briana Andalore, was of course her business partner in their fashion line, Franziska Fox, and she's continued to work with Fox in an even more significant way these days. Andalore and Fox met as teenagers, the latter told The New York Times, and linked up because of their bold fashion choices and even bolder love of New York nightlife, which they both grew out of. Andalore told Dazed, "I met [Fox] when I was 16 — we first met on the street, actually. Then we met again at a party, where she had a cat, and I had a backpack full of weed, so it was kind of like a match made in heaven."

But their mutual dedication to evolving fashion has meant that Andalore has been an invaluable resource for Fox. As she has become more famous, Andalore has stepped up to create looks for her. When Kanye West came onto the scene, it was major, and Andalore knew it. "[West] came along, and it was just this incredible new resource that meant anything was possible," she told Dazed. "I already had all these skills for so many years when it came to making clothes — I feel like I could literally make anything appear — but when you have a great budget, and have a lot of amazing friends who can work on things and make things happen at the drop of a hat, everything changes." 

Friendship and fashion are, in this case, forever.

So what's Julia Fox worth, anyway?

Growing up, Julia Fox didn't have access to money. Living with her dad in New York meant that Fox had something of a rootless childhood. "We stayed at whatever apartment my dad was renovating at the time," Fox told The New Yorker in 2021. "We were, like, homeless."

Things have obviously changed for Fox in terms of her success, but that doesn't mean she's shed the mindset from her past. "Oh, I'm still super cheap," she told Office magazine in January 2022. "Everyone knows that about me." Fox joked that if she was spending someone else's money, she'd have no limit, but now that she has money, she's cautious. "I'm also really into saving and smart financial decisions and I think that does come from growing up without money and always being afraid that it's going to be taken away at any moment," she added. "I live in the East Village and that's my lifestyle. It's not glamorous at all."

So what's she worth? $1 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth, and we imagine this figure is going to do nothing but grow. After "Uncut Gems," Fox's career was stalled briefly because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but things have picked up in a major way. In May 2022, she told The Face that she was working on a new movie called "The Trainer." Fox said, "So far, it's been a hell of a ride. I think it's gonna be a very [polarizing] movie." If we've learned anything, it's that Fox never fails to make a sensation.