Man behind viral ‘dress that broke the internet’ charged with attempted murder of wife
Remember the blue and black dress - or white and gold, depending on who you ask - that divided the Internet in 2015?
A man - one half of the couple behind that viral debate - has been charged with the attempted murder of his wife, according to media reports.
Keir Johnston, who resides in Colonsay, Scotland, was accused of a nearly 11-year-long streak of domestic violence and coercive control, culminating in what was allegedly an attempt to kill his wife, Grace Johnston.
He had shot to fame in 2015 when a dress worn by his mother-in-law to his wedding went viral, sparking a global debate over whether it was blue and black or white and gold.
Prosecutors say that in an incident on March 6 last year, the 38-year-old had allegedly pinned Ms Johnston to the ground and compressed her neck while making threats of violence. The actions were taken with the intent to murder her, the court heard.
Between April 2019 and March 2022, he had also allegedly assaulted Ms Johnston at their home repeatedly, including pushing her against a wall, shouting at and throttling her, and threatening her with a knife, reported British daily national newspaper The Times.
He had also allegedly placed her in a headlock and dragged her from a pub after she refused to leave with him.
Alleged aspects of his coercive control include isolating Ms Johnston from her friends, monitoring her movements and controlling her finances, reported The Telegraph newspaper.
Keir Johnston has denied all charges against him. The case has been continued for a further preliminary hearing, ahead of a trial next year.
Dress that broke the internet
The black and blue dress went viral in 2015 when the couple’s friend Caitlin McNeill posted an image of it on the online platform. It attracted global attention and became known as the “dress that broke the internet”.
At its peak, the hashtag “TheDress” saw more than 11,000 tweets per minute.
Celebrities such as Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber and Kim Kardashian, politicians in the United States, and even Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong weighed in on the debate over the dress’ true colours.
The couple were invited on the Ellen DeGeneres Show along with Ms McNeill, who initially posted the viral photo on Tumblr.
In the talk show, the dress, was revealed to be blue and black. The couple then also received US$10,000 and a trip to a resort in Grenada.
Ironically, the dress also gave rise to a campaign against domestic violence from the Salvation Army in 2015.
“Why is it so hard to see black and blue? One in 6 women are victims of abuse. #StopAbuseAgainstWomen,” tweeted The Salvation Army Southern Africa Territory on March 6, 2015.