MANILA — (UPDATED) After weeks of keeping silent, Julia Barretto finally addressed on Tuesday accusations that she was involved in the breakup of her fellow Star Magic artists Bea Alonzo and Gerald Anderson, and further, that she had cheated on her former boyfriend Joshua Garcia with Anderson.
Barretto made her statement via Instagram, posting an old photo of her as a child with an adult Alonzo which had been circulating online in the wake of the controversy.
“These past weeks, my faith, my patience, and my strength were put to the test,” she began. “I have endured many harsh words hurled against me and my family everywhere on social media. It is exhausting and painful. While some might have forgotten, I am also human.”
Barretto went on to address the two issues she has been “attacked” for: that she “cheated” on her boyfriend, and that she was “the cause of another relationship’s breakup.”
“Let’s be clear: Josh and I had broken up four months ago. We have publicly admitted it together and we have cleared that there was no third party involved,” she wrote.
Barretto was referring to Garcia, with whom she starred in four films and one teleserye in a span of just three years.
In June, Barretto hinted at the end of her relationship with Garcia, saying she was “in love with the peace I have gained,” and that she has let go of “toxic” people in her life.
In a joint interview weeks later, the “Block Z” co-stars confirmed changing their status to being “best friends.” At the time, they also both denied that Anderson, Barretto’s leading man in the romance film “Between Maybes,” was a factor in their decision.
“From now on, anything I do in my private and love life is not considered as cheating, and is none of anyone’s business,” Barretto said on Tuesday.
Barretto then brought up Anderson’s interview on Monday, where the actor stressed that “no one else was the reason” for his own breakup with Alonzo.
“Secondly, I believe Gerald has already made it clear that a third party was not the cause of their breakup. I would like to disassociate myself from the breakup of Bea and Gerald. Their issues are entirely their own,” she said.
Continuing her statement, but this time addressing Alonzo, Barretto wrote: “Since I was brought into this mess without a choice, this is what I have to say. Your heartbreak should have been a private matter, but you have selfishly turned it into something of national concern.
“Bea, you wanted to keep your hands clean by not mentioning me in your controversial post, but with a click of your finger, in your sly way, you have charged everybody to destroy me for you.”
Speculation surrounding Barretto’s ties with Anderson were revived in late July, when Alonzo hinted of infidelity in her relationship with an Instagram post about having had “enough.”
Alonzo’s visible Instagram activities at the time, including liking posts alleging an affair between Barretto and Anderson, led to the onscreen partners becoming the target of criticisms and allegations of cheating.
Those posts included photos of Barretto and Anderson greeting each other at the birthday party of a common friend, actor Rayver Cruz. One Instagram user went as far as alleging Barretto and Anderson rode the same car leaving the event, although no photo depicting that claim was seen.
Barretto’s mother, Marjorie, has since threatened legal action against the netizens behind the accusations.
Still addressing Alonzo, with whom she co-starred in the 2017 primetime drama “A Love to Last,” Julia went on: “You have encouraged a culture of hate by purposely liking harmless photos, putting malice into the minds of many, which resulted in the outrage of insults against me.
“You are a woman of great influence and following. You could have used that power to promote strength and grace in women, but instead, you’ve used that to promote social media irresponsibility. That is downright bullying.”
“You can play the victim all you want, but I refuse to be your victim,” she added.
Barretto’s and Anderson’s separate statement came over a week after Alonzo said that the actor had not accorded her a formal breakup and that he “just started not talking to me.”
“This post is not enough to sum up everything I went through,” Barretto wrote. “I took the time to step back and take a look at the situation that I am in.”
“It is so hard to be human in this industry but I still have every intention to stay in this business that I love so much. For the longest time, I’ve always dealt with everything in silence, but this time, I’m forced to grow up. I will not be sidetracked, derailed, and be dictated by people’s judgments and opinions about me.
“This is me getting myself free and getting my soul back,” she said.