Camila Morrone is once again defending the 23-year age gap she shares with boyfriend Leonardo DiCaprio.
The “Mickey and the Bear” actor, 22, spoke to the Los Angeles Times about her relationship with DiCaprio, who is 45. The age difference sparked major backlash in July, after Morrone posted photos on her Instagram.
The pictures were of actors Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall — who had a 25-year age difference ― and she captioned the black-and-white images, “A love like this.”
Many commenters assumed the actor was alluding to her relationship with DiCaprio and responded to the photo with criticism. The backlash was so upsetting to Morrone that she spoke out publicly in an Instagram live video.
“I guess I just hope on this Friday that people learn to live with a little less hatred and place their time and interests elsewhere, because living without hatred feels pretty good,” she said in the clip, according to E! News.
When the LA Times asked about the photos and people’s reactions to them, the actor said they were simply a nod to classic Hollywood, which she loves.
“There’s so many relationships in Hollywood — and in the history of the world — where people have large age gaps,” Morrone said. “I just think anyone should be able to date who they want to date.”
Despite the interest in her private life, the actor said she understands where people are coming from and adds, “I probably would be curious about it too.”
But she wants people to recognize her for her career and not attach her relationship to it.
“I think more and more now that people are seeing the film, I’m slowly getting an identity outside of that,” she said. “Which is frustrating, because I feel like there should always be an identity besides who you’re dating. ... I understand the association, but I’m confident that will continue to slip away and be less of a conversation.”
While Morrone is defending herself on social media from critics of her personal life, DiCaprio recently had to defend himself in an Instagram post after Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro repeatedly attacked him.
Bolsonaro baselessly claimed that the actor is fueling fires in the Amazon because of certain nonprofits he supports and said DiCaprio is “giving money to set the Amazon on fire.”
“The future of these irreplaceable ecosystems is at stake and I am proud to stand with the groups protecting them,” DiCaprio wrote in a statement over the weekend. “While worthy of support, we do not fund the organizations targeted.”
He added that he is “committed to supporting the Brazilian indigenous communities, local governments, scientists, educators and general public who are working tirelessly to secure the Amazon for the future of all Brazilians.”