Taylor Swift might finally be ready to open up about her split from ex-boyfriend Joe Alwyn. After the “Anti-Hero” singer, 34, announced her 11th studio album, The Tortured Poets Department, fans noticed a clue hinting that Joe, 32, might have inspired the title.
“I knew that Taylor Swift’s new album name sounded a little too familiar …” one fan wrote via X on Sunday, February 4, alongside a screenshot explaining that Joe was previously in a WhatsApp group chat called “The Tortured Man Club.”
Several others pointed out that the album title couldn’t be a coincidence. “Oh she’s wild for this LMAOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO,” one person wrote. Another chimed in, “Omg!!!!! Yes let’s go!”
The Catherine Called Birdy actor first opened up about the group chat during a December 2022 interview with Paul Mescal as part of Variety‘s Actors on Actors. At the time, Joe jokingly said he “started the group” with the Normal People star, 28, and Fleabag‘s Andrew Scott as a nod to the characters they play onscreen.
“It’s the Tortured Man Club, I think,” Joe said during the joint interview with Paul. “We were both in the Sally Rooney universe and crossed over with Lenny Abrahamson. We were so lucky to have that experience.”
The Conversations With Friends actor added that Andrew, 47, regularly messaged “himself good mornings” in the chat. “It hasn’t had that much use recently,” Joe continued of the group chat, while Paul jokingly noted that the three of them were “less tortured” at the time of the interview.
Joe and Paul’s interview took place toward the end of his romance with Taylor. The former couple split in April 2023 after six years of dating. She has since moved on with Travis Kelce, and even hinted that her notoriously private relationship with Joe inspired her to be more open about her romance with the Kansas City Chiefs player, 34.
After Taylor faced backlash for the attention she receives at Travis’ games, she proudly declared that she is not going to hide their relationship for the sake of other people. “When you say a relationship is public, that means I’m going to see him do what he loves,” the “Enchanted” singer told Time in December 2023. “We’re showing up for each other. Other people are there and we don’t care.”
She then seemingly referenced her relationship with Joe. “The opposite of that is you have to go to an extreme amount of effort to make sure no one knows that you’re seeing someone. And [Travis and I are] just proud of each other,” Taylor explained. “Life is short. Have adventures. Me locking myself away in a house for a lot of years, I’ll never get that time back. I’m more trusting now than I was six years ago.”
Taylor shocked fans when she announced her next album will be released on April 19 while accepting the Best Pop Vocal Album award for Midnights on February 4. After noting that the win marked her 13th Grammy award, Taylor explained to the crowd that it is her lucky number. “I don’t know if I’ve ever told you that,” the “Foolish One” singer jokingly said. “I wanna say thank you to the fans by telling you a secret that I’ve been keeping from you for the last two years.”
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