Daniel Padilla hugs Kathryn Bernardo on stage at Bench's "The Naked Truth" fashion show last Saturday. Photo by Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBNnews.com
MANILA - Before Daniel Padilla admitted on Monday that his so-called "audio scandal" strained his relationship with rumored girlfriend Kathryn Bernardo, fans of the onscreen couple were already clued in on the brewing controversy.
The conversation heard in the 90-second clip triggered speculation about Padilla's ties with Jasmine Curtis-Smith, his co-star in the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) entry, "Bonifacio Ang Unang Pangulo."
Curtis-Smith, who is in a relationship with singer-actor Sam Concepcion, has since admitted exchanging text messages with Padilla, but emphasized that she is not romantically involved with him.
Here's a timeline of events leading up to Padilla and Curtis-Smith's respective first statements on the controversial audio clip:
September 11: Padilla and Curtis-Smith filmed scenes for "Bonifacio Ang Unang Pangulo." The two will portray present-day students studying the life of Andres Bonifacio, played in the film by Padilla's uncle Robin.
September 13: Robin Padilla explained on Instagram why Bernardo was not cast opposite Daniel in "Bonifacio," saying the 18-year-old actress is already part of another MMFF entry.
September 14: "Bonifacio" finished the filming of scenes featuring Curtis-Smith and Padilla, according to the actress.
September 15: Curtis-Smith's father, Australian lawyer James Ernest, underwent surgery. In her exclusive interview with ABS-CBN News last Monday, the 20-year-old actress said her fellow cast members in "Bonifacio," including Padilla, had noticed that she was worried about her father's health.
According to Curtis-Smith, she received a text message from Padilla expressing his support and asking about the condition of her father on the day of the operation.
"All our conversations revolved around how my father was doing, kumusta 'yung operation niya. Iyon, that's where it ended," she said. "Really, everything revolved as if we were friends. I thought nothing else of it. Nothing was meant from the texts, aside from concern, because they saw how fragile I was regarding my dad and his health."
September 18: The 90-second audio clip of Padilla's conversation with friends was uploaded online. In the covertly recorded clip, a voice tagged as Padilla's seemed to express excitement about receiving a text message.
In the latter part of the 90-second clip, a voice is heard saying: "Wala na si Patrick. Wala nang manggugulo sa 'kin. Wala na 'yung tropa ni Sam."
This triggered speculation that the "Sam" being referred to in the clip was Concepcion, who confirmed his relationship with Curtis-Smith in April.
Hours after the audio clip started circulating, Padilla on Twitter referred to supposed attempts to ruin him, although he did not specify an incident. He thanked his fans for continuing to support him despite the intrigues hurled at him.
On the same day, Padilla's mother, Karla Estrada, came to the defense of the 19-year-old actor and expressed confidence that his fans will support and stand by him.
Also on September 18, Curtis-Smith's sister, Anne, answered an Instagram user calling the younger actress a "slut" over her ties with Padilla. "You know nothing sweety," Anne said. "My sister is not a slut… Such harsh words from someone who doesn't know her or probably has never met her."
Anne responded to comment on a photo posted by Curtis-Smith showing her with Concepcion, with whom she will co-star in a TV series.
September 19: Photos of Padilla and Bernardo taken during rehearsals for the "The Naked Truth" fashion show by Bench made the rounds online. The actress' expression in the photos had fans speculating that she was not on good terms with Padilla.
However, in his interview on Monday, Padilla said Bernardo was not necessarily unhappy or had ill feelings toward him. "Hindi naman puwedeng [palaging] nakangiti, 'di ba? Atsaka binibigyan natin ng meaning ang lahat ng bagay. Huwag natin masyadong i-overthink ang mga bagay na hindi naman kailangan," he said.
Later on the same day, Bernardo posted on Instagram a photo of her with Padilla, captioned only: "Best guy ever." Fans hoped this was a sign that the "audio scandal" had little effect on the TV couple's relationship.
September 20: Padilla and Bernardo took their turn on the runway at the Bench show at the Mall of Asia Arena. The actor pulled a magic trick and handed Bernardo a rose from a handkerchief, before giving her a hug that quickly made headlines.
Speaking to ABS-CBN News on Monday, Padilla explained that he hugged Bernardo to show his appreciation for her understanding and for forgiving him after the circulation of the "audio scandal."
"Iyong yakap na 'yon ay talagang pagpapasalamat na pinatawad niya ako. Talagang kami ay back to normal kaya masayang-masaya ako," he said. "Wala, eh. Doon lang ako nagkamali. Lalaki ako, eh."
September 22: On Instagram, Bernardo alluded to a "hard battle" with a quote, which fans speculated was in relation to her relationship with Padilla. The actress, however, has yet to issue any statement regarding the controversial audio clip or her ties with Padilla.
Curtis-Smith, on the other hand, went on record to assure fans of Bernardo and Padilla that she has no intentions of getting in between the two. She maintained that she and Padilla were only talking as friends when they exchanged text messages.
The "Dementia" actress said she and Concepcion clarified matters immediately when the audio clip circulated. "Iyon naman ang maganda sa amin, eh. We always make sure that at the end of the day, there is communication between us, so that we're not lost with where we're going," she said.
Curtis-Smith also thanked those who, despite being fans of "Kathniel," still come to her defense amid harsh criticisms in connection with her ties to Padilla.
In a separate interview on the same day, Padilla finally confirmed that it was his voice in the audio clip and said he has learned from his mistake.
While Padilla did not directly mention Curtis-Smith or Concepcion, Padilla also asked his fans to refrain from further disparaging anyone's name to supposedly defend his tandem with Bernardo.
Asked how he has been coping, Padilla said: "Okay lang ako. Talagang lahat, pinagdadaanan 'yan. Isipin nalang natin na may mga taong mas mararami pang malalim na problema kaysa sa atin."
"Ako, nagpapasalamat nalang ako sa Diyos na binigyan niya ako ng ganitong problema. At least ako, talagang tumatag ako lalo. Sa pagdadasal, lalo kong [napalakas ang] sa faith ko sa Diyos. Nagpapasalamat ako dahil natututo ka sa mga pagkakamali."