Laura Austin

From The Horse’s Mouth: Robert Pattinson & Kristen Stewart Leak

21 March 2013, 10.07 | Posted in Photography | 34 comments »


Oh the power of social media. What I thought to be a humorous Instagram & Twitter post, very quickly turned into a viral (that word is horrible I know) celebrity news story. For those of you who don’t pay attention to celebrity gossip… I shot a photo of my friend Lany Morrison with Twilight stars Robert Pattinson & Kristen Stewart since they happened to be hanging out at the same bar I was at with my friends on a Tuesday. Little did I know that photo was going to spread like wildfire across every entertainment media site around the world.

First of all, I have never even seen any of the Twilight movies… and I only recognized “Robsten” because you would have to be living under a rock to at least not know what they look like. With that being said, I definitely don’t pay attention to celebrity gossip. I didn’t know that these two were ever a couple… much less that they had been supposedly broken up and my photo was going to be the first proof in two months that they had even seen eachother in person. Had I known that there was so much media hype built around these two, I probably wouldn’t have even asked them if I could take a picture, with the fear of making them feel uncomfortable and skeptical of my intentions. I almost didn’t even post the image, thinking that it would be corny to blast out a “celebrity sighting”. However, after posting the photo I quickly realized how diehard their fan base is and in turn, how hungry the media was for any dirt on these two. It’s funny that I have been shooting photos for years and now my most publicized one is a blurry pic I took with an iPhone.

Within minutes the photo had been shared thousands of times on twitter, causing the tag “#robsten” to trend worldwide, and “liked” hundreds of times on Instagram. I was bombarded by tweets from fans asking me every little detail of what I saw, and e-mails & phone calls from every media outlet from People, to E!, to Perez Hilton, to US Weekly asking me the same questions. I had to turn all notifications off on my phone because I thought it was going to overheat from vibrating so much. Due to not wanting to cause drama and the Twitter character limit, I was vague in my answers giving responses like, “I just ran into them at a karaoke bar by my house… mellow night. They were just there hanging out with a few friends.” And avoided questions that I knew would just foster rumors like if Kristen was pregnant, or if there was any PDA going on. I responded to those saying that I wasn’t paying close enough attention to give an honest answer… because that was the truth. They were just normal people hanging out at a bar trying to enjoy themselves, I wasn’t going to be all googly-eyed watching their every move. Quickly my words were twisted and assumptions had been made that these two were “officially back together” just because they were posing in a picture together.

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I feel weird having caused such a huge uproar in celebrity gossip, so to set the record straight this is exactly what I saw that night. My friend Lany spotted Robert & Kristen with two other friends (one guy one girl) while we were standing outside our small, local karaoke dive bar, Ye Rustic Inn. Lany is a fan so she told me she thought it would be cool to get a photo with them. Being a photographer and used to approaching people for photos, so I walked up to them and asked if I could take a photo of them with Lany using my iPhone. Kristen was enthusiastic about it, putting her arm around Lany and cracking a smile… however Robert wasn’t keen on the idea… jokingly trying to get me to take the photo with his back to the camera. Kristen told him to stop being an asshole and the result is the photo that spread like wildfire. After I shot the photo everyone headed into the bar and their group went straight into a booth in the back so they could have at least some privacy. From then on I mostly minded my own business. Occasionally I would glace over and their crew would be laughing or joking around with the bartender that was bringing drinks to their table… and their guy friend that was with them sang one karaoke song but “Robsten” never got on the mic. Once the bar closed around 2 everyone shuffled out and as I was biking home I saw their crew hanging around a truck talking, ready to leave to wherever they were going next. Yes they seemed to be enjoying eachother’s company, yes Kristen Stewart is capable of smiling, yes they were sitting next to eachother in a booth… but none of which is clear evidence that Robert and Kristen are “officially back together”… even if my friend Lany told press that she had her hand on his back. But who knows, maybe they were never even broken up in the first place and it was just a story the media dreamed up since Robert was out of the country filming for a movie.

I guess I’m writing this because the 24 hours of dealing with all the fans and media was basically an interesting social experiment to me… I got to sit front row at a circus and watch and be involved in the craziness that ensued. On one hand it was insane to see how obsessed fans were about every single detail on “Robsten”… seemingly living their lives vicariously through a celebrity. But on the other hand it was entertaining to see how the media will take the smallest little thing, basically create a back story off of limited information, and run with it just to stir the pot. Most of which didn’t even contact me for details, just basing the story and quotes around a few tweets I sent out. And in turn I watched all these hyper-fans eat up every little detail the media put out, and even imagine up their own more elaborate story of what happened that night based on the little information the media gave out. This unexpected “experience”, I guess you could call it, has given me a brief glance at what some celebrities have to deal with on a regular basis… and to be honest, it’s a little scary.

  1. sonia z:

    just want to straighten out something for you, since you aren’t really a fan. The ones that follow these two KNOW they are together. There is no question of that. Rob has been in Australia for two months – and this entire time the media has been screaming that they have broken up, that Rob hates her, that Rob didn’t want her in OZ, etc. just typical lies. The fans know these are lies. Rob just returned back after being gone since January – the day before you took your picture. Your picture proves that yes, they are still together, just as we all knew. Your picture was a real F You to the gossip mags (the ones that called you all day today) It’s a small distinction, but an important one. The FANS know and knew the truth. You didn’t tell us anything we didn’t know. It’s the media and the haters who stir the pot. The fans don’t need you to tell us what we know, but the haters and media obviously do. Losers. The gossip sites that make up stories need to be held accountable. They aren’t. They just tell whatever lies they want to. so thank you for taking the time to set them straight, even though you had no idea you were doing so! Your picture just proved that the gossip sites are liars and should stick to just telling the truth. The fans know the truth.

  2. sonia z:

    one last thing – you weren’t the only person who reported about the night. there were other people there who talked to the media. all the quotes were not just from you, which may explain the extra information that you didn’t provide them,

  3. lulu:

    Bullpucky! First he says you have to be living under a rock then pretends like he doesn’t know about their hype. He knew what he was doing. This person is FOS!

  4. Gina:

    Aren’t you doing the exact same as the press in ‘assuming’ that they were ever broken up? Rob has been in Australia working for 2 months. They were seen together up until the day he left for it and the day after he came back you and your friend saw them out with Kristen’s friends. The press used their time apart to create fiction and drama and now that it’s obvious that they are very much together, they are pretending that there was a dramatic reunion. Similar to how the Miley Cyrus/Liam Hemsworth tabloid angle is going.

    And AS IF you didn’t know they were a couple! Pull the other one!

  5. Yeaaaaah!!! Everything is right in the world again!!!

  6. Zoe:

    LMAO. So you’re better than the media while still trying to make a name off of them too. You’re a fucking hypocrite. You did a damn Q&A you loved the attn they brought you so spare me. Enjoy your 2 1/2 minutes of fame loser.

  7. [...] Radcollector (L. Austin): I feel weird having caused such a huge uproar in celebrity gossip, so to set the [...]

  8. Leila:

    The media really create bullshit stories out of a single photo and details. Its just sad that these celebreties sometimes suffers of what the media wants to write about them. Living in fame is not easy! I hope everyone have Respect for all the celebrities, of course for Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart. :)

  9. [...] Austin, the photographer who took the snap, also wrote about her encounter with the duo, saying that when she went to take the photo with “Robsten” and her friend Lany, “Kristen was [...]

  10. chris twilight fan:

    Yes the first person above exsplained it very well, it was obvously not about you personally,you were simply a witness. You don’t even have to be a witness for a pic to go viral. The pic of RK at the Mexican Restaurant in London also went viral because of the same thing,it proves they were together that night. Those waitress in the photo did not even speak to the media,but their image was spread across twitter like wild fire. I know a little something about being in the same pic as RK,I am in about 50 pics standing behind the cast at a Premiere. My image is in those pics and they are spread all over the internet,I look at those pics and see me and so do people who know me,but the general public see’s the pic and only looks at the celebrity. It is all about the celebrity, the rest of of us are nobody’s. We are just props in the pics, the public fanbase just looks to see the celebrity. Before twitter came alone,people just shared their pics with their friends and family, it was personal, but twitter makes it a news story for the world,that is if it is a news worthy photo, a personal fan pic taken at a premiere is not news worthy, the media pics show the news event. The fan pics at a premiere are numerous and one looks like the other,so people have little interest in them. You were a witness in a big news story, and that pic became just that, a news story,not just a simple fan pic to show your family and friends that you met movie stars.

  11. PRsten:

    LOL This PR relationship is beyong pathetic. Only their obsessed fandom thinks that this two are together. After 2 months apart, a real couple spend the night with friends and her publicist. So normal! PR, PR, PR and only the delusional fanatics believe in this circus. They need to forget the Rupsten pics.

  12. PRsten:

    “even if my friend Lany told press that she had her hand on his back”. OMG!!!! Her hand or his back???? Only a real couple do this!!!! OMG!!! “Kristen told him to stop being an asshole”. The onlu asshole here is her. She is pathetic. She is a famewhore. She is desperate for attention. She fucks with a marred man. She brokes a family. She is disgusting. She needs this PR relationship because without Rob even her fandom doesn’t give a shit about her. PRsten!!! PRsten! Her pathetic fandom need more proofs?

  13. sonia z:

    Chris: would love to see the pics of you at the premiere, which one? will you post the url so them? and thanks for your sweet compliment about my post!

  14. [...] Austin, the photographer who took the snap, also wrote about her encounter with the duo, saying that when she went to take the photo with “Robsten” and her friend Lany, “Kristen was [...]

  15. tanker:

    I had intended to post your first hand account until I saw you put a HollywoodLies vid on it…no way I’m putting those liars on my TL. Thax for posting the pic but shame on you for promoting Bonnie Fuller who spends her life making up sh!t and spreading rumors about them.

  16. [...] morning, the photographer — Laura Austin — took it upon herself to explain what went down so as not to cause any confusion. She called [...]

  17. [...] that Pattinson, 26, is back from filming his new movie “The Rover” in Australia. The photo appeared on Laura_Austin’s [...]

  18. [...] morning, the photographer — Laura Austin — took it upon herself to explain what went down so as not to cause any confusion. She called [...]

  19. [...] morning, the photographer — Laura Austin — took it upon herself to explain what went down so as not to cause any confusion. She called [...]

  20. Lisa:

    So nothing happened. They act like millions of friends do around the world. The media is cray making up details. Celebs get a lot if unwanted attention but these two have millions upon millions and started in a popular franchise, what else would be expected?

  21. no me gusta:

    They’re both really bad actors whose 15mins of fame should be over by now, neither are worth any of the drama they elicit from fans. They just got ‘lucky’ and landed roles in something that had a built-in, massive, psychotic fanbase. Who cares if they are banging IRL or not? No one would care about them without this BS relationship drama, it’s not like they have talent.

  22. [...] morning, the photographer — Laura Austin — took it upon herself to explain what went down so as not to cause any confusion. She called [...]

  23. [...] Columns | Laura Austin | From The Horse’s Mouth: Robert Pattinson & Kristen …. [...]

  24. [...] Columns | Laura Austin | From The Horse’s Mouth: Robert Pattinson & Kristen …. Share this:StumbleUponTwitterFacebookPinterestTumblrGoogle +1Like this:Like Loading… This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. ← Column: Celebrity culture is becoming toxic and leading us to set impossible standards [...]

  25. Velma Holmes:

    I had a lot to say in answer to the one hollering PR. PR PR. like a simi demented teen. But I don’t think I will, Why feed the crazy machine. This is not just a crazy fandom, It’s two people’s lives. And regardless of our feelings for them love or loath, they deserve better from their fellow man than this.

  26. foufymaus:

    Thanks for being straight forward with your account. Ignore the crazies. The fandom usually does. lol

  27. DG:

    Nice explanation – social media is a slippery slope. If you yourself call it a “leak”, you must have been fully aware that this would violate their privacy when you posted it. They are two of the most “anti-twitter” celebrities out there.

  28. [...] Austin, the photographer who took the snap, also wrote about her encounter with the duo, saying that when she went to take the photo with “Robsten” and her friend Lany, “Kristen was [...]

  29. tpk:

    congratulations…your desperate need for 5 minutes of fame has ruined it for everyone. Rob and Kristen will be less likely to take pics with fans now and all because you’re a famewhore. You said Rob was less inclined to take the pic so he probably knew what you really were like…poor Kristen was trying to be nice and you screwed them and us. happy now?

  30. lilface:

    All you people make me laugh, I love these two actors, but it doesn’t mean that because I read and follow theyre reports that I can claim to know “that they are together” Two people know what is going on in theyre personal life. Robert P and Kristen S, I agree with the publisher let people live to be so obsessed is kinda border line stalkerish and creepy. If this was you, wouldnt you want your privacy….

  31. [...] morning, the photographer – Laura Austin – took it upon herself to explain what went down so as not to cause any confusion. She called [...]

  32. Kimmie:

    Thanks for posting the pic. The people up in an uproar aren’t up set because you did the interview…They are mad because you told the truth and didn’t embellish that they were cuddly romantic with one another like the other tabloids were doing. Some people need constant reassurance that “Robsten Lives”.

  33. Whoah!:

    every person that commented on this is a PYSCHO! Get lives, jobs, friends, SOMETHING!
    Laura Austin you are Rad!

  34. [...] fan of the pair’s photo went viral on Twitter. The photo appeared on Laura_Austin’s [...]

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