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Is there proof that Harry Styles spit on Chris Pine?

We all remember where we were when #Spitgate happened. It was an event that tidily summed up all the drama and tension that had been building up within the promo tour for the controversial film Don’t Worry, Darling. Well, at least, we all thought it was an event.

The speculation regarding what happened continues to rage on, but Chris Pine, one of the stars of Don’t Worry, Darling, and one of the two people involved in #Spitgate, recently shed light on the truth. Turns out, it’s much less dramatic than we originally thought it was.

What happened at #Spitgate?

Let’s rewind the clock for posterity: September 2022. Don’t Worry, Darling, the highly-touted drama by director Olivia Wilde, is premiering at the Cannes Film Festival. The premiere is coming on the heels of a disastrous production, where Wilde allegedly feuded with her star, Florence Pugh, and prioritized her leading man, Harry Styles, whom she began dating.

Things began so fractured that Pugh avoided any interaction with Wilde at the premiere, and skipped out on the film’s Q&A session the day before. She also sat a few seats down from the core trio of Wilde, Styles, and Pine, which is where #Spitgate takes place. Styles walked back to his seat and made an odd gesture in front of Pine before he sat down. Pine then looked at his lap and chuckled to himself.

The footage of the interaction went viral, with many theorizing that Styles spit on Pine, and that the latter was laughing out of incredulousness. Photos of Pine looking bored had gone viral the day before, with many of them being taken while Styles was answering questions.

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The initial response

#Spitgate took over Twitter, and several users took to slowing down the footage and cobbling together footage from different angles at the premiere to get a better view of what really happened. Watching the footage back, it does look as though Styles could have spit on Pine, but representatives for the latter quickly issued a statement denying this.

“This is a ridiculous story — a complete fabrication and the result of an odd online illusion that is clearly deceiving and allows for foolish speculation”, the rep told People Magazine. “Just to be clear, Harry Styles did not spit on Chris Pine. There is nothing but respect between these two men and any suggestion otherwise is a blatant attempt to create drama that simply does not exist.”

The controversy surrounding #Spitgate may have helped drive ticket sales for Don’t Worry, Darling. Despite receiving mixed-to-negative reviews from critics, the film managed to gross $87 million on a $35 million budget, making it a mild commercial success. Styles was even nominated for Best Drama Movie Star at the 2022 People’s Choice Awards.

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Setting the record straight

The #Spitgate phenomenon faded once Don’t Worry, Darling went out of theaters, but Pine publicly addressed the incident during a recent interview with Esquire. He admitted that the footage did make it look like Styles spit, but in reality, the pop star was whispering a joke while he sat down.

“I think Harry leaned down and said, ‘It’s just words, isn’t it?’” Pine recalled. “We were all jet lagged and trying to answer questions. And sometimes when you’re doing these press things, your brain goes befuddled and you start speaking gibberish, so we had a joke: ‘It’s just words.’”

Pine went on to compliment Styles and confirm that they got along well during production and the subsequent press tour. “Harry did not spit on me,” he restated. “Harry is a very kind guy.” There you have it: a conclusive answer to one of 2022’s most viral moments.

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