Black Widow Star Florence Pugh Responds to Critics of Her Relationship With Zach Braff

Black Widow star Florence Pugh has responded again to people critical of her relationship with actor Zach Braff. Pugh, who is 25, began dating Braff, who is 46, in 2019 after meeting on the set of Braff's short film "In the Time It Takes to Get There." The 21-year age gap between Pugh and the Scrubs star has drawn unwanted attention from followers on social media. Pugh has had to deal with this for years, it came to a head recently when Pugh shared a happy birthday post for Braff on his birthday. Speaking to The Sunday Times while doing press for Black Widow, which opens this week, Pugh defended her and Braff's relationship.

"It's so weird to me to go on to someone's page and s*** on it," Pugh says. "That's so not my nature - to go and bully for the sake of bullying. It's such an odd thing that we've become OK with in the past ten years of social media. The thing is, people want Instagram to be a nicer place, they want to see nice things. They want to be inspired and they want to be happy. I don't mind you not liking me, that's absolutely fine. In which case don't follow me.

"I think it bugs people that it's not who they expected," she continued. "But it's my life and I'm not doing anything to please people or to make it a better headline or story. I want to also be a person!"

Last year, Pugh had to go as far as blocking comments on her Instagram account. She also posted a video telling her followers to stop sending comments to her disparaging her relationship with Braff. "I am 24 years old. I do not need you to tell me who I should and should not love," Pugh said at the time. 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."

Around the same time, she made an appearance on Sue Perkins' podcast An Hour or So With… and again defended her relationship. "I'm old enough to be an adult and pay taxes, but I'm not old enough to know who I should and should not have sex with?" she said. "Yet again, once again making a young woman feel like s*** for no reason. I think I did feel s*** for a while... and then I thought how ridiculous is that? I'm 24 and I can't choose who I love? There's a reason why I'm not with someone my age – it hasn't worked."

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Pugh plays Yelena Belova in Marvel Studios' Black Widow. The film opens in theaters and on Disney+ Premier Access on July 9th.