Actress-model Kristen Zang is taking on the media for its portrayal of Leonardo DiCaprio’s past relationships.
The actor made headlines recently when he broke up with his girlfriend of four years, Camila Morrone, who is 25.
As a former girlfriend of DiCaprio, Zang has taken issue with the narrative media has taken with reporting the separation.
The 48-year-old dated the actor from 1995 to 1999, when they were both 21 years old.
“I’m a very private person, much like my ex-boyfriend. But this past week, for the first time, I have felt compelled to share a few things,” she told People. “Leo and I dated for four years. I met him casually through friends when I was 19 years old and we started dating when we were both 21.”
Reflecting on the relationship, the model said there was a different attitude for celebrities dating in the public eye.
“It was a different time back then. We could go places and not be followed by the paparazzi. It was 1995 and he was making a movie called ‘Marvin’s Room’,” she recalled. “I remember vividly while visiting him on the set, watching the O.J. Simpson verdict while in Meryl Streep’s trailer. It was a surreal moment for a Michigan country bumpkin like myself.”
Zang recalled the honeymoon period of dating, where they met each other’s friends and called it an “innocent” period, comparing Hollywood in those days to “a big high school.”
“Then, about 4 months after my 25th birthday (ha, I know what you’re thinking) it was over for good,” she continued.
She revealed, however, that surprisingly it was her decision to end the relationship.
“It was a choice I made. I don’t how to explain it exactly, I just felt like I was ready for our relationship to be done,” she explained. “It was like I had outgrown that version of myself, the Hollywood high school girl. I wanted to figure out who I was and what I wanted.”
The actress felt compelled to speak out after seeing how the reporting was concentrating on Morrone’s age and worried about the message it was sending to young people.
“Now over 20 years later when I read the headlines and online comments with his most recent ex girlfriend being referred to as having ‘aged out’ or being ‘too old for Leo at 25,’ puh-lease (insert dramatic eye roll),” she wrote. “I think we can and should do better. What kind of message is this sending to young people?”
In her 20s, Zang said she was still figuring out who she wanted to be, especially in the modelling industry where 21 was considered too old to model anymore. She eventually found her passion in dog nutrition and started her own company at 33.
“I met the love of my life when I was 38 and got married when I was 40. So you youngins out there, listen up,” she advised. “Life gets so much better after 25. Yes, you get more wrinkles but you also get more confidence and more love for yourself.”
Directly addressing the breakup, herself, she asked for respect towards the couple.
“As far as Leo and his latest breakup, who knows what happened,” said Zang. “Maybe she really cared for him but was just ready for the next chapter, perhaps it’s temporary, or maybe it’s none of our business but can we stop with the ageist headlines and comments? But let’s keep the funny memes coming, they’re stellar. Truly.”
As a final note, she joked about her current relationship, teasing her former flame.
“As for me, I’m 48 years old now, (ancient indeed). I live in the countryside of Oregon with my hot husband, Shea, who’s a builder and also happens to be younger than me (joke’s on you, Leo).”