Stars Who Defended Their Lovers From Terrible Fans

Some say all's fair in love and war, but the old adage might not be true when it comes to those celebrities whose fans have gone nuclear on their significant others. In this age of so much social media presence by stars and fans alike, a lot of Hollywood hunks have become viral knights by stepping up to shield their romantic interests from hateful internet chatter. Here are a few celebs who've defended their girlfriends or wives from some terrible fans.

Prince Harry

Britain's most eligible bachelor, Prince Harry, lashed out at the international spectacle the media and his legions of fans made of his budding relationship with Suits (2011-) actress Meghan Markle in a scathing public statement issued by his communications secretary (via Entertainment Weekly). In the release, the regal redhead's reps said that while he was used to existing within the fishbowl of international fame, his lady love didn't deserve the excess scrutiny and cruelty that emerged after their romance was revealed to the public.

"His girlfriend, Meghan Markle, has been subject to a wave of abuse and harassment," the statement said. "Some of this has been very public—the smear on the front page of a national newspaper; the racial undertones of comment pieces; and the outright sexism and racism of social media trolls and web article comments." The onset of so much negativity, the release continued, was jeopardizing to Markle's well-being: "Prince Harry is worried about Ms. Markle's safety and is deeply disappointed that he has not been able to protect her. It is not right that a few months into a relationship with him that Ms. Markle should be subjected to such a storm. He knows commentators will say this is 'the price she has to pay' and that 'this is all part of the game.' He strongly disagrees. This is not a game—it is her life and his." Talk about a royal smackdown.

Justin Theroux

Not that Jennifer Aniston has had any trouble defending herself from negative attention, but her husband, Justin Theroux, has also done his part to protect the former Friends (1994-2004) star from unkind words about her weight fluctuations and the endless speculation about whether she'll ever become a mother.

Speaking to Men's Health UK (via Vanity Fair), Theroux said the tabloid and fan attention to her belly region was tantamount to abuse and showed a deeper problem with celebrity obsessions. "At some point it becomes bullying," he said. "It sucks when people aim cameras at your stomach on some bizarre womb watch. But more to the point, it's equally damaging to the national conversation."

Aniston previously penned an op-ed in The Huffington Post about the same subject, writing that she was "fed up with the sport-like scrutiny and body-shaming that occurs daily" from the press and that she felt it reflected a bigger cultural concern about the standards of physical or familial perfection that are set for celebrities and, by extension, all women today. Theroux, for one, said he was a fan of the article and that "it was a rare insight into how disgusting all that is."

Robert Pattinson

Ever since he rose to fame as the hunky, sparkling vampire Edward Cullen in The Twilight Saga (2008-12), Robert Pattinson has steered clear of social media. However, the actor has still been at the center of some intense digital fandemonium, especially when it comes to his relationship status. When he was still one half of "Robsten" with Twilight co-star Kristen Stewart, the attention the couple received was absolutely endless and invasive. But it's been his post-Saga relationship with Brit pop star-dancer FKA Twigs (real name Tahliah Debrett Barnett) that's drawn the most reprehensible behavior from the crowd.

After receiving a barrage of hateful comments, particularly regarding her race, Twigs posted on Twitter in 2014, "I am genuinely shocked and disgusted by the amount of racism that has been infecting my account" and added, "Racism is unacceptable in the real world and it's unacceptable online."

In 2015, Pattinson condemned cyber-bullying in an interview with NME, saying, "I was talking to my dad about this and I bet him that if he looked up Nelson Mandela's funeral on YouTube, the first comment would be a racist one. And it was, with like a million upvotes. What I don't get is why. I think it's because most normal people are not commenters—I've never met anyone who's left a comment on anything. It's just demons who live in basements. You have this weird thing where you end up trying to fight against this faceless blob, where the more you hate it, the bigger it gets, because it's all in your head."

Hugh Jackman

Logan (2017) star Hugh Jackman has long battled back against questions about his sexuality, particularly when they carry mean-spirited undertones that his wife of more than two decades, Deborra-Lee Furness, might not be good-looking enough or is too old for the international heartthrob.

In 2013, Jackman told Australia's 60 Minutes (via E! Online) that he found the rumors about his sexuality frustrating because of how they impact Furness, with whom he shares two adopted children, saying: "It's, to me, not the most interesting things about a person, anyway...I do get frustrated for Deb, 'cause I see Deb go, 'Ah, this is just crazy!'"

The next year, Furness told Australian Women's Weekly that she had grown tired of people calling her "lucky" for marrying Jackman, saying, "That to me is a putdown. [It is] like you suggesting I won the chook raffle. I think we create our own destiny." Jackman again doubled down on that sentiment on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in 2016 when he added that his marriage to her "gets better and better, I can honestly say that...She's the greatest thing that ever happened to me."

Ian Somerhalder

It's rather fitting that Ian Somerhalder rose to true TV heartthrob status by playing swoony vampire Damon Salvatore on The CW's The Vampire Diaries (2009-) because when some of his fans criticized his now-wife Nikki Reed on his own social media channel, the actor-philanthropist definitely showed some teeth in his biting response.

Somerhalder, who'd previously dated his on-screen romantic interest Nina Dobrev before dating and marrying Reed, went for the jugular when he responded to comments about his lady love on Instagram in September 2014. He wrote, "You HATE NIKKI REED? Really? Do you know her? Hmmmm, I'm not sure that you do. Look on her Instagram feed or twitter and all you will see is a compassionate and beautiful human being. Please put your negative energy elsewhere. You don't even know the person you're talking about."

He also asked the same "fans" who were taking potshots at his charitable lady if they were even really that—fans. "Do you care about me? Ask yourself that question. What's the answer? Is it yes? If it is—then please be happy for me. Stop this nonsense—you're spreading horrible energy into the world. Do some research on the person you say sucks or you HATE. You'll find that she's a magical person doing great things in the world."

John Legend

Model-turned-TV host Chrissy Teigen has no qualms about taking people to task on Twitter, but her soul-singing husband John Legend has still stepped to her digital defense on one particularly hot-button issue: mom-shaming. After the pair had their first child together in the spring of 2016, Teigen was quickly criticized for going out to dinner with Legend sans their then-two-week-old daughter, Luna, but Legend pointed out that the negative attention she was receiving over their date night was unfairly disproportionate to what was being said to him, who was also on the same date.

"Funny there's no dad-shaming," he said on Twitter. "When both of us go out to dinner, shame both of us so Chrissy doesn't have to take it all. We'll split it."

Teigen has also risen to her hubby's defense on occasion, too, including when she was asked by Cosmopolitan how she felt about him having so many other models as ex-girlfriends. "I didn't know it, but John used to be a notorious modelizer. To me, he was the sweetest teddy bear. What's funny is that I get along with everyone he's ever been with. I end up really liking them. After I see them, I'll tell him, 'Oh, I was on-set with your ex today—it was fun!'...It was before me, so it's fine," she said in defense of his prior dating history. It probably doesn't hurt their solidarity that he wrote a hit love song about being devoted to her.

Kevin Hart

Comedian and actor Kevin Hart has stepped up over the years to bat down a barrage of insults aimed at his wife, Eniko Parrish. In 2015, he responded to social media commentators who claimed the model was an opportunist only interested in him for money and fame, writing (via Bossip), "Message to all the angry women that leave negative comments on her page...Your life must truly suck if someone else's happiness bothers you. The question that all of you negative unhappy put your page on private b****es should ask yourselves is while your [sic] wrecking your brain worrying about us...ARE WE WORRYING ABOUT YOU???? The answer is not even a little bit. Now have a blessed negative thinking day."

It wasn't the first time Hart responded to such claims, but it certainly was the most direct and forceful. Hart might always be good for a laugh, but this clearly was not a joke to him. He married Parrish the next year and told ET Online that he didn't spare any expense to make his second wedding the lavish affair she wanted it to be. "I'm looking at the number—everything she says to me, I'm like, 'Yeah, that's great. It's going to be nice. How much?' We're in some crazy places right now, but it's all worth it. You know why? Because this is the woman that I love. And I want my woman to have a perfect day. That's what any man should want."

Liam Payne

The One Direction fanbase is known to be a rowdy bunch, so it's really no surprise that Liam Payne has had to speak out on behalf of his romantic relationships in the past—but what might be surprising is how often the pop star has had to do so.

In 2012, he launched a series of tweets responding to negative attention his then-girlfriend, dancer-model Danielle Peazer, was receiving online (including death threats directed at their dog, Loki), writing, "Just as I start to like twitter again I see the nasty side of people who like to dislike somebody who makes me...Me." He added that he loathes the social media site "when it becomes a place to abuse people who [you've] never met [and] never did anything to you but you still choose to be cruel." He also instructed anyone who'd tweet mean things to her to "grow up."

The bad buzz wasn't exclusive to Peazer, however, because in 2014, Payne had to again confront a web troll who'd set in on his subsequent girlfriend, classmate Sophia Smith—this time by direct message (via Inquisitr). He reportedly fired back at someone who was pinging him about their distaste for his choice of companion, cursing at the user and adding "When u find someone who u care for like I do sophia...maybe you'll understand...Until then go grow up. Child there's more to life than being sat on ur computer."

Charlie Hunnam

In March 2016, Sons of Anarchy (2008-14) star Charlie Hunnam tried to shut down all the web negativity against his girlfriend, jewelry designer Morgana McNelis, by posting a video plea (via Entertainment Weekly) asking for the cruel lingo-slinging to come to a halt once and for all. In the video, the star said that he didn't understand how his fan-base could put forth so many insensitive remarks about McNelis and called the posters "immature girls" for submitting "a large number of hard messages aimed at [his] long time girlfriend."

Hunnam asked for the commenters to call it quits with the rampant insults, saying, "She is an intelligent, beautiful, kind person who just tried to live a simple life and has nothing to do with the entertainment industry. If you want to talk s**t, talk s**t about me, leave her out of it." He went on to say, "What is most confusing is that these negative and totally unprovoked attacks appear to be coming from the people who call themselves my fans. Think about the logic of this for a moment. This is a girl I love very much and have spent the last 11 years of my life with and hope to spend the next 60 years. She has been my loyal and supportive partner long before I had any success or money. Why would you attack her out of admiration for me? It makes no sense."