Joe Jonas is facing scrutiny for romantically pursuing Gigi Hadid when she was still a child.
Hadid said in 2015 that Jonas had first asked her out "when I was 13 years old."
The backlash comes in the wake of Jonas' divorce from Sophie Turner.
Jonas and Hadid dated for several months in 2015, when the model was 20. However, she said Jonas first asked her on a date several years earlier, when she was only 13 or 14 and he was in either his late teens or early 20s.
Teen Vogue reported in 2015 that Hadid said in a Periscope stream that Jonas had awkwardly asked her out "at the Grammys when I was 13 years old."
"He asked me to a baseball game, and I said no," Hadid said. "I was so nervous; I literally didn't even know what it meant to hang out with a boy."
"And also, Grammys are on a Sunday, and I didn't want to tell him that I had school the next day, so I was like, 'No, maybe next time.'"
In Hadid's version of events, Jonas would have been 19 at the time, but as Entertainment Tonight pointed out, Hadid attended the awards ceremony for the first time when she would have been 14 and he would have been 20, citing photographs of the event.
According to Hadid, Jonas was not deterred by her rejection. Instead he "wrote his number on a piece of paper and gave it to my mom," beginning the former couple's friendship.
Regardless of whether she was 13 or 14 at the time, fans on social media have been expressing their shock and outrage at the story, with some users on X, formerly called Twitter, saying that it was "creepy" and "gross."
Another X user wrote that it was "wild how much we normalise" men asking children out on dates.
On TikTok, user Yourbestfriendjoshua also criticized the publication for thinking "it was a cute story" and running Hadid's comments with the headline: "13-Year-Old Gigi Hadid Rejected Every Girl's Disney Crush Joe Jonas."
"How is this article real?" he said in a video. "He's clearly got a thing for younger women because his soon-to-be ex-wife is seven years younger than him."
The backlash against Jonas has come after some fans speculated that Jonas or his PR team were behind the anonymous quotes given to TMZ that claimed that his and Turner's separation was because of her "party" lifestyle.
Fans expressed skepticism about the claims, resurfacing old comments Turner made in 2020 where she referred to herself as an "introvert" and a "homebody." Users posting on X have said they think there is a "smear campaign" against Turner.
After Turner and Jonas confirmed on Instagram that they had "mutually decided" to end their marriage, the "Camp Rock" star was seen in photos taken by Backgrid out in Los Angeles with the couple's two children — a move that fans suggested appeared to be staged as the couple had previously shielded their daughters from the paparazzi. It is unclear if the photos were staged or not.
Representatives for Hadid and Jonas did not immediately respond to requests for comment from Insider, made outside normal working hours.
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