Florence Pugh hits back at cyberbullying about boyfriend Zach Braff’s age

Florence Pugh, 24, defended herself on Instagram after commenters judged her for dating fellow actor Zach Braff, 45.
(Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

If her powerful turns as a WWE wrestler in “Fighting With My Family” and a trained assassin in “Black Widow” weren’t enough, now you know: Don’t mess with Florence Pugh.

The 24-year-old “Little Women” star let Instagram have a piece of her mind on Wednesday after trolls shamed her for dating — and quarantining with — 45-year-old “Scrubs” actor Zach Braff.

“I have been working since I was 17 years old,” Pugh said in a selfie video. “I have been earning money since I was 17 years old. I became an adult when I was 18 years old, and I started paying taxes when I was 18 years old.


“I’ll underline this fact: I am 24 years old,” she went on. “I do not need you to tell me who I should and should not love, and I would never in my life ever, ever tell anyone who they can and cannot love. It is not your place, and really it has nothing to do with you.”

An active Instagram user, Pugh uploaded the clip as a follow-up to a recent post celebrating Braff’s birthday. For the first time ever, the Oscar nominee said, she was forced to disable comments, after receiving several rude reactions on the snap of her boyfriend napping.

“Within about eight minutes of the photo being posted, I had about 70% of the comments hurling abuse and being horrid and basically bullying someone on my page,” Pugh said. “I have never been an Instagram page that encourages that. I have never been an Instagram page that likes that toxic vibe.”

Quoting the “Midsommar” star’s caption, singer Ariana Grande applauded Pugh in the comment section of her latest post — which is still turned on and thriving with support, especially from other young celebrities.

“‘Being hateful is not trendy,’ a new tattoo for my chest,” Grande wrote. “Oh I love and appreciate you so much.”

Before signing off, Pugh reminded followers of much more serious issues going on in the world than a 20-plus-year age gap between a couple of famous people in love.

“It makes me upset — it makes me sad — that during this time when we really all need to be together, we need to be supportive of one another, we need to be loving one another,” she said. “The world is aching, and the world is dying, and a few of you decided to… to bully, for no reason.”

The first trailer for Marvel’s ‘Black Widow’ pitted Scarlett Johansson and Florence Pugh against each other. A new ‘special look’ shows them working together.

Jan. 14, 2020


She also added that anyone who doesn’t “agree with anything that I just said” should unfollow her social media.

“I don’t want to have to be protecting my comments every time I post a picture of him,” she said. “I don’t want that on my page. It’s embarrassing. It’s sad. And I don’t know when cyberbullying became trendy. ... That’s never been what my page has been about.”