After Cara Delevingne And Ashley Benson Split, The British Model Spoke Candidly About Her Sexuality

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Having publicly dated several celebrities of the same sex, Cara Delevingne is one of the most high-profile Hollywood names to fall under the LGBTQ spectrum. But the model and actress has refused to commit to a label when it comes to discussing her sexuality. However, in a 2020 interview for Variety’s Pride issue, Delevingne decided it was time to say exactly what she identified as loud and proud.

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The interview was conducted just a month after Delevingne’s split with Pretty Little Liars star Ashley Benson. The pair had been dating for nearly two years and at one stage had been all too keen to let the world know that they were in love. They referenced each other in new tattoos and uploaded footage of them kissing to Instagram. And then Delevingne gave a revealing interview to Porter magazine about how Benson had changed her for the better.

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Delevingne explained, “I’d never truly let anyone in before, for fear of them leaving. I never really trusted people, or felt worthy of it, and I always pushed them away. She’s the first person [who] has said, ‘You can’t push me away. I’m going to be nice to you, I love you.’ I’m just like, ‘Wait, so all I have to do is just let you be nice to me? Why have I never done that before?’”

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Sadly, by early 2020 things had turned sour for the once loved-up couple, and Us Weekly confirmed their split in May that year. Reports soon emerged that Benson had started seeing hip-hop star G-Eazy – a development which enraged some Delevingne fans. However, the Suicide Squad star soon leapt to her former girlfriend’s defense.

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Addressing the wave of negativity toward Benson on social media, Delevingne told her Instagram followers, “It’s more important now than ever to spread love, not hate. To everyone hating on [Ashley Benson], please stop. You don’t know the truth, only her and I do and that’s exactly how it should be.”

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We’ll return to Delevingne’s love life a little later, but let’s first learn a bit more about the star. She was born to a socialite mother and property developer father and grew up in the London district of Hammersmith. While attending boarding school, Delevingne developed a passion for acting and later unsuccessfully auditioned for roles in the Harry Potter franchise and the Alice in Wonderland remake helmed by Tim Burton. However, her big break came when she swapped the stage for the runway.

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Incredibly, Delevingne had already appeared in Vogue Italia at the age of just ten. And by her mid-teens she’d signed a deal with Storm Model Management. The star began to attract global attention when she walked down the runway to model Burberry’s Autumn/Winter 2011 collection. Delevingne then went on to work for several high-end fashion houses: including Dior and Chanel.

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Delevingne might have taken the fashion world by storm, but she still felt unfulfilled in her career. She continued to pursue her acting ambitions but found it difficult to find roles that she felt comfortable with. The star told Variety, “I thought I would do anything. But my agent would give me scripts, and I was like, ‘I’m not playing the dumb girl [who] gets killed.’”

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After supporting turns in Anna Karenina and The Face of an Angel, Delevingne landed her first leading lady role in Paper Towns. The model – who played cool girl Margo in the young adult adaptation – told Variety, “It was just so funny. It was my dream to go to an American high school. And look, I went to an amazing boarding school in England. But it was really the idea of lockers that got me. I don’t know why.”

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In fact, Delevingne enjoyed the experience so much that she soon decided to quit modeling altogether to concentrate on acting. And the move soon paid off; in 2016 she was cast alongside the likes of Margot Robbie, Will Smith and Jared Leto in Suicide Squad – the movie adaptation of the comic book series. But Delevingne initially experienced imposter syndrome when she walked on to the film’s set.

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Delevingne admitted to Variety, “I was just so shocked. I was like, ‘How am I with these people? What is happening?’ I was so scared. I felt very out of my depth. I was like, ‘How did I trick them into getting me here?’” However, Delevingne ended up acquitting herself well in the blockbuster and subsequently bagged several other major roles.

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Delevingne went on to take center stage in Luc Besson’s ambitious sci-fi Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. She also hit the small screen – appearing alongside Orlando Bloom in the Amazon fantasy drama Carnival Row. And though she had previously announced that she’d given up modeling, the lure of the catwalk still appeared to be too strong.

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In 2018 Delevingne returned to her runway roots when she modeled for Christopher Bailey’s final Burberry collection. A year later she graced the catwalk at Paris’ Grand Palais for Chanel as a tribute to Karl Lagerfeld – the iconic fashion designer who had just passed away. And the star has also regularly appeared on the front covers of magazines such as Vogue Paris and British GQ.

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Of course, Delevingne’s love life has often attracted just as much interest as her career. The star has dated a string of fellow celebrities over the years – starting with troubadour Jake Bugg in 2013. The pair met through their mutual friend Rita Ora and reportedly spent several months together before their respective professional commitments got in the way.

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Delevingne was then linked to two of the biggest pop stars in the world. Firstly she was rumored to be dating Harry Styles after she was spotted getting cozy with the One Direction singer at London Fashion Week. And then speculation grew that she was seeing Miley Cyrus following an Instagram pic in which the pair appeared to be engaging in some tonsil tennis.

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While no one involved commented on the Styles and Cyrus rumors, the next celebrity linked with Delevingne was all too happy to make things official. In a chat with the Daily Mirror, Fast and Furious star Michelle Rodriguez confirmed she was dating the model/actress. She told the newspaper in 2014, “It’s going really well. She’s so cool. When we started hanging out I just thought she was awesome, and we have the best time together.”

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However, by 2015 the British star had moved on to musician Annie Clark – aka St. Vincent. And this time around, it was Delevingne doing all the gushing. In an interview with British Vogue, she said, “I’m completely in love… Before, I didn’t know what love was – real love. I didn’t understand the depth of it. I always used to think it was you against the world. Now I know the meaning of life is love.”

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But, sadly, Delevingne’s gushing words appeared to tempt fate. For just a month after they were published, she and Clark had parted ways. An insider reportedly told British newspaper The Sun in 2016, “The cracks were beginning to show on Cara’s birthday in August when Annie wasn’t there for her party. [Delevingne] and [Clark] still care about each other, but pressures of the long-distance romance just became too much.”

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Clark appeared to back up the source’s claims when she spoke to Vogue magazine a year later. Discussing her relationship with Delevingne, she said, “We’ll always be really close. I’ll love her forever. I fell in love with this very famous person. It’s not anything I was in any way ashamed of, so I wouldn’t have hidden it.”

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In 2018 Delevingne then appeared to add Paris Jackson to her list of celebrity partners. The pair first got tongues wagging when they were pictured in March that year slow dancing and smooching in West Hollywood. Michael Jackson’s daughter later seemed to confirm that there was some sort of romance when she tweeted that she was “never officially exclusive” with Delevingne.

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Delevingne, meanwhile, has never been afraid to discuss her sexuality with the media. During the period in which she was dating Clark in 2015, she told People magazine, “I haven’t made a concrete decision about anything. Every day, I change. Every day, I’m discovering new things about myself. I want to be as open with people as possible. There are a lot of things people don’t know about me, but I just want to be honest.”

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In a 2017 chat with Glamour magazine, Delevingne reiterated that she didn’t want to be labeled. She said, “Once I spoke about my sexual fluidity, people were like, ‘So, you’re gay.’ And I’m like, ‘No, I’m not gay.’ A lot of the friends I have who are straight have such an old way of thinking.”

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Delevingne continued, “[They] don’t understand it. [If] I’m like, ‘Oh, I really like this guy,’ [they’ll say], ‘But you’re gay.’ I’m like, ‘No, you’re so annoying!’” She went on, “Someone is in a relationship with a girl one minute, or a boy is in a relationship with a boy, I don’t want them to be pigeonholed.”

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The issue of sexuality also came up in one of Delevingne’s most revealing ever interviews. In 2020 she appeared on the front cover of Variety magazine’s Pride issue, and inside she reflected on everything from her career ambitions to past relationships. But it was the talk of her sexual identity that made the headlines.

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Delevingne admitted, “The thing is with me, I change a lot. I feel different all the time. Some days, I feel more womanly. Some days, I feel more like a man.” Despite previously snubbing the idea of labels, the actress then revealed she had found a term which she felt comfortable with.

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“I always will remain, I think, pansexual,” Delevingne confessed. For reference, this is a term which means finding all genders attractive. She went on, “However one defines themselves, whether it’s ‘they’ or ‘he’ or ‘she,’ I fall in love with the person and that’s that. I’m attracted to the person.” And the Suicide Squad star’s candidness didn’t end there.

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Delevingne went on to reveal the inner struggles that she faced regarding her sexuality as a youngster. She said, “I grew up in an old-fashioned, repressed English family. And I used the word ‘gay’ to describe things which were s**t all the time, ‘That’s so f*****g gay of you, man.’ Everyone used to talk about, ‘Oh, my God, imagine going down on a woman.’ I’d be like, ‘That’s disgusting.’”

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But Delevingne admits that such language was simply a coping mechanism, adding, “I think that came from the fact that I just didn’t want to admit who I was. I didn’t want to upset my family. I was deeply unhappy and depressed. When you don’t accept a part of yourself or love yourself, it’s like you’re not there, almost.”

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Delevingne recalled the moment that she truly realized she was attracted to both boys and girls. She said, “I had this best friend, who I really connected with on a level, because we spoke a lot about our families. You know how trauma connects people? And I just remember being so in admiration of her strength. She also played the harp, which I really enjoyed to sit and watch.”

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“I remember realizing, ‘I like her more than she likes me,’” Delevingne explained. “And I remember she made friends with someone else and I was heartbroken. I felt like, ‘This is the beginning.’” The star had initially managed to keep her sexuality a secret from her family, but the stress from this and problems elsewhere soon began to take their toll.

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In fact, Delevingne ended up having a mental breakdown at the age of just 15. And things only got worse. She told Variety, “By the time I was 17, my antidepressants weren’t working anymore. I hated myself at that point. I was like, ‘I’m never going to amount to anything.’ I was really like, ‘I’m going to be dead by…’”

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Thankfully, Delevingne was able to pull herself back from the brink. She added, “I think holding that thing in was fundamental to why I exploded in the way I did mentally. But I’m not ashamed of it. I wear my scars like it’s jewelry.” Sadly, her first same-sex relationship left her in a similarly troubled state. But on this occasion, she was able to rely on the support of her family.

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Delevingne recalled, “I’ve never been very good at talking about my emotions with my father. And I remember one day, I was so upset because I was heartbroken. And my dad was like, ‘You never talk to me.’ And I screamed at him, ‘I’m f*****g heartbroken.’ I ran downstairs. I remember he gave me a hug, and I started crying so much. I said, ‘She broke my heart.’”

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So scared was Delevingne at the time that she genuinely believed that her father may kick her out of the family home. However, his response proved to be the exact opposite. The star explained, “I was honestly terrified. And he was like, ‘She isn’t worth the energy. You deserve to be loved.’ He was so sweet, I could cry about it right now.”

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Variety then asked Delevingne what message she’d like to give her fans for the month of LGBTQ celebrations, The star answered, “Pride to me is a sense of something that I never really had as a kid. A sense of pride is like a sense of belonging, a family outside your family, a place where you don’t have to apologize or feel ashamed.”

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“I guess I never felt like I belonged anywhere as a kid,” Delevingne continued. “Or I always felt like I didn’t belong in my own body. I felt so lost. Once I could talk about my sexuality freely, I wasn’t hiding anything anymore. And the person I hid it from the most was myself.”

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Of course, Delevingne has always been a proud advocate for the LGBTQ community. In 2019 she was honored at an annual gala staged by The Trevor Project – an organization designed to prevent suicide among queer youths. The star had been instrumental in facilitating a partnership between the nonprofit and sports giant Puma worth $1 million.

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And Delevingne felt particularly proud at gracing the front cover of the Variety issue dedicated to Pride. She told the magazine, “I wish I could have told my 16-year-old self that, because honestly, I never would have believed it.” And according to The Sun newspaper, Delevingne will be opening up even further about the issue of gender and sexuality for a BBC documentary.

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That same month Delevingne also found her love life once again being gossiped about in the press. This time around she was alleged to have been involved in a three-way affair involving Elon Musk and Amber Heard. The claim was made by Heard’s friend Josh Drew in a hearing for a lawsuit that Johnny Depp had filed against News Group Newspapers.

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In her interview with Variety, Delevingne had also commented on how difficult she found the press intrusion into her love life. She said, “I’ve always felt bad for anyone I’ve ever been in a relationship with. It’s very hard to maintain the normality in it. I think it’s why I tend to keep my private life a lot more private now, because that public thing can actually ruin a lot of things.”