Celebrity cheating scandals (whether true or not) are as old as time, but thanks to social media, there's a new kind of character involved in the drama: The Person Who Hints That Maybe They Were Sort Of Involved and Appears to Be Bragging About It Online. As the world found out this weekend, no one encapsulates that persona more than Rachel Roy, who got in the middle of whatever is going on with Beyonce and Jay Z's marriage.
Roy, a fashion designer and ex-wife of Jay Z's ex-business partner, was rumoured to be the root of the famous fight in the Met Gala elevator back in 2014 between Solange Knowles (Beyonce's sister) and Jay Z. So when Beyonce dropped her surprise Lemonade album this past weekend, and included multiple lyrics about infidelity ("He better call Becky with the good hair"), some Beyonce fans looked in Roy's direction. Roy helped them out with a coy Instagram caption: "Good hair don't care, but we will take good lighting, for selfies, or self truths, always. live in the light #nodramaqueens."
The response was so vicious that Roy had to shut down the comments and make her Instagram account private, but not before the Beyhive edited Roy's Wikipedia page with some new nicknames. Roy later tweeted: "I respect love, marriages, families and strength. What shouldn't be tolerated by anyone, no matter what, is bullying, of any kind," but the damage was done.
This isn't the first time a much less-famous person has been the target of internet fury after inadvertently (or very intentionally) getting mixed up between two celebrities.
Here are the three kinds of ways that relatively unknown people get involved:
The lovesick subtweets
Cady Groves, an aspiring country singer, made tabloid headlines years ago when it was revealed she and Blake Shelton had traded tweets.
So fans didn't take too kindly when, mere days after Shelton and Miranda Lambert divorced, Groves starting tweeting sad thoughts about love, and some thought she was using the opportunity to vent about Shelton.
"I never quit loving you - you just ran," she wrote, adding, "It's sick that I experienced a once in a lifetime love - still as strong as the day it happened - & have been punished every single day since."
Naturally, people assumed she was talking about Shelton and didn't respond kindly - even when Shelton strongly denied anything happened.
The no-shame subtweets
There's posting feelings on Twitter, then there's posting a photo of your new Lexus while rumours fly that you were involved in your celebrity boss' divorce.
"Keep calm and meet my new drop-top Lexi," Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner's former nanny, Christine Ouzounian, wrote on Instagram, just as stories began to emerge about Affleck and Ouzounian's alleged affair.
As the story picked up steam, Ouzounian was photographed handing Affleck champagne and later in a bikini poolside at the Hotel Bel-Air - both of which "sources" told tabloids were likely staged paparazzi shots. "This girl knows what she is doing," one told the New York Daily News. Though stories surfaced about possible reality show deals, Ouzounian disappeared from the limelight shortly after.
The innocent photo
What could go wrong? Reality star Lauren Richardson met One Direction's Zayn Malik in a Thailand nightclub and they snapped a picture together ("Partying with Zayn from One Direction last night #thailand #1D #best #night #patong #phuket.") Then there was another picture of them holding hands. It was all innocent! That was her story, but it didn't stop thousands of One Directioners from coming after her; Malik was engaged to singer Perrie Edwards at the time.
Malik broke up with Edwards soon after (and left the band). Richardson said she got death threats from One Direction fans, though she managed to leverage her fame into a gig on British reality show Love Island.