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Lily Collins Says 'Toxic' Ex Would Call Her A 'Whore' & Other Verbal Abuse

Lily Collins Toxic Relationship Verbal Abuse Early 20s

Lily Collins is breaking her silence about her most “toxic” relationship.

On Wednesday’s We Can Do Hard Things podcast, the Emily in Paris star opened up about a horrible-sounding relationship in her “early 20s.” She admitted:

“For me, my romantic toxic relationship was verbal and emotional abuse and being made to feel very small.”

“Small” was apparently a big thing with him. She recalled the names he would call her, which were reductive in more ways than one:

“He would call me ‘Little Lily.’ You should be ‘Little Lily’ and he’d use awful words about me in terms of what I was wearing and would call me a whore and all these things.”

She said the “belittling words” did exactly what they were meant to — they left her “quite silent and comfortable in silence and feeling like I had to make myself small to feel super safe.”

Related: Emily In Paris Shoes Sent Lily To The Foot Doctor Every Week!

How did she make herself “small”? In one sense, quite literally. She’s opened up about her battle with eating disorders in the past, and it sounds like this emotional abuse pushed her deeper into it. She described how small animals react to predators:

“When prey felt threatened, they made themselves as small as possible. Possibly by not eating by making themselves look as least juicy and enticing as possible and that’s where they felt the safest.”

That is truly heartbreaking.

Lily was left feeling “anxiety” and “panic” — emotions that still surface every now and again, even though she’s now 33 years old and happily married to filmmaker Charlie McDowell. She explained:

“The situations are completely different 10 years ago to now… That panic is what I can still get triggered by. Even if I’m in the most healthy relationship, there can be a moment that happens throughout the day where history comes back like that. It’s like a millisecond, or shorter than a millisecond. And your gut reacts, your heart starts beating, and all of a sudden you’re taken back to that moment where they said that thing to you 10 years ago, but you’re not in that situation now and that’s the trigger and it’s f**king hard. It’s awful.”

We’re so glad things are better for Lily now. But like she says, those early relationship experiences can scar you for years to come.

Lily had a few high profile relationships during her early 20s. She was linked to Taylor Lautner briefly when they starred in 2010’s Abduction. That would have been when she was about 20. But it didn’t last very long — they reportedly split before the movie even premiered!

In 2012, Lily dated Zac Efron for about three months. But it’s highly unlikely she has any bad feelings toward him; they were friendly enough to co-star together again years later in the Ted Bundy movie Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile in 2019.

Her next relationship was actually “10 years ago.” She dated The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones co-star Jamie Campbell-Bower from July 2012 to August 2013. They apparently had a rocky relationship, breaking up and then getting back together for a bit in 2015 before splitting for good. In between she briefly dated Aussie actor Thomas Cocquerel in early 2014.

And the last relationship from her early 20s would be with Chris Evans. She and the Avengers star met at the Vanity Fair Oscars party and were seen on several dates in 2015.

Now of course, we’ve never heard anything about abuse, verbal or otherwise, about any of these guys. We have no idea who Lily is talking about here, and she isn’t ready to call him out by name. But we’re glad she’s feeling strong enough to put the behavior on blast at least. Hopefully whoever was responsible sees the error of his ways… and how that can affect someone for years to come.

[Image via Andres Otero/Joe/Mr. Blue/MEGA/WENN.]

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Feb 09, 2023 16:32pm PDT