On Friday, news started circulating that Emma Watson had broken up with her boyfriend William “Mack” Knight, a manager of a Silicon Valley tech company, whom she’s managed to keep impressively mum about over the course of their two-year relationship. In fact, so little has been known about the pair, who’ve pretty much only ever been spotted at a production of Hamilton, that we’re only just finding out about their breakup, which turns out to be old news: The pair actually split in early 2017.
It’s definitely no mistake, however, that noting this life change seems to have escaped Watson, an actress and UN Women Goodwill ambassador, in the months since the breakup. While she hasn’t shied from the press, she’s instead simply stuck to topics like how she brought Gloria Steinem as a date to a screening of Beauty and the Beast, and how men’s unwillingness to relate to women is a large part of why most films still feature overwhelmingly male protagonists. But when Vanity Fair profiled Watson in February, she “vehemently” refused to discuss anything related to her love life, and made it clear she didn’t plan on changing that any time soon.
“I want to be consistent: I can’t talk about my boyfriend in an interview and then expect people not to take paparazzi pictures of me walking around outside my home. You can’t have it both ways,” she said, noting that she’s stopped taking selfies with most fans so as to avoid giving any “tracking data” about her whereabouts, simply offering to answer any questions about Harry Potter instead. “I’ve noticed, in Hollywood, who you’re dating gets tied up into your film promotion and becomes part of the performance and the circus. I would hate anyone that I were with to feel like they were in any way part of a show or an act.”
Of course, many stars would agree with Watson, but few, apparently, are able to pull off what in everyone else’s case seems to be the impossible and keep the paparazzi at bay—and their personal life private. It’s unclear how Watson, 27, and Knight, 37, who were last spotted together back in May, even met in the first place, and her representative predictably isn’t providing any additional info, stating the obvious when contacted by Us Weekly about the split: “I’m afraid I don’t comment on my client’s personal life.”
Emma Watson’s Style Evolution, From Teen Witch to Disney Princess
Emma Watson found her footing on the red carpet early in her career. Wearing a modest navy dress with sheer overlay and youthful flats, the actress graces the red carpet of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire in New York City. 2005.
Loving to wear a bit of gold, Watson attended the Raisa Gorbachev Foundation’s party in London dressed in a couture gown by Chanel. Her look was accented with a metal clutch and logo shoes, also by Chanel. 2007.
Watson attended The National Movie Awards in a stunning white gown by Alexander McQueen featuring off-the-shoulder sleeves and an embellished bodice. 2008.
Watson wore a metallic trench coat to sit front row at the Dior Spring 2009 runway show during Paris Fashion Week. 2008.
The world premiere of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince may have been taken over by rain, but Emma Watson’s vintage dress by Ossie Clark shone bright. 2009.
All glitz and glam, Watson attended a Burberry after party during London Fashion Week wearing a sparkling Burberry gold dress. 2009.
Watson attended the ‘American Woman: Fashioning a National Identity’ Costume Institute Gala glowing in a bespoke Burberry gown. 2010.
In her final moment as Hermione Granger, Watson attended the New York premiere of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 wearing a stunning Bottega Veneta corset dress. 2011.
Watson attended the London premiere of My Week with Marilyn in a sophisticated black skirt and white embellished top from Jason Wu’s spring collection. 2011.
During a screening of her new film The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Watson continued her love of monochromatic white in a ladylike dress by Brood. 2012.
At the GQ Men of the Year Awards, Watson’s look was a departure from her usually ladylike dresses. Her Balenciaga two-piece look was figure accentuating and incredibly chic. 2013.
Watson looked elegant in Chanel at the Cannes festival premiere of her new film The Bling Ring. With a sparkling top and full-length skirt, the look was a perfect for the film’s mood of whimsical glamour. 2013.
In a nod to the night’s theme, Watson wore a revealing, yet sophisticated, black gown by Prabal Gurung, to the ‘PUNK: Chaos to Couture’ Costume Institute Gala. 2013.
At a London screening of The Perks of Being a Wallflower, the actress wowedin Christian Dior couture. The black strapless dress and trousers were paired with a Tiffany & Co. pendant for a look in line with the actress’ affection for femininity in fashion. 2014.
Continuing to show that she loves a cut-out, Watson wore anther Christian Dior couture look to the Golden Globes. Her red backless dress with paired with slim black trousers and finished with Roger Vivier heels and Dior pearl earrings. 2014.
Watson was radiant on the red carpet at the 86th Annual Academy Awards, wearing a two-toned gown by Vera Wang, accented by beautiful rings, and a ruby red lip. 2014.
Watson attended the London premiere of her film Noah in a white dress by Ralph Lauren. Although this dress is much sleeker than we are used to seeing her, a flowing skirt maintains the sophisticated style that the actress is known for. 2014.
In Windsor, Watson attended a dinner for The Duke of Cambridge’s celebration of the Royal Marsden. She wore a clean-cut white shirt and full-length grey skirt by Ralph Lauren collection. 2014.
Sitting front row at Haute Couture Fashion Week in Paris, Watson was a vision in an off the shoulder black and white Dior dress. 2014.
Sitting front row at Valentino’s Haute Couture fall runway show, Watson wore a black lace Valentino top and skirt paired with a BLK DNM leather jacket. Gaining a lot of attention from her single earring, most notable about this look is her Delfina Delettrez jewelry. 2014.
Looking incredibly chic at the British Fashion Awards, Watson graced the red carpet in a Misha Nonoo jumpsuit paired with an oversized black blazer and Anya Hindmarch clutch. 2014.
Always lovely in Dior, Watson attended the 2015 Time 100 Gala in an asymmetrical two-piece look. 2015.
A vision in white, the actress arrived the Berlin premiere of Colonia Dignidad wearing a Maiyet beaded dress that fell just below the knee paired with a cream overcoat by Behno. 2016.
Watson had all eyes on her at the 102nd White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner, wearing an Osman white floral split midi dress over blue trousers and a classic heel. 2016.
The actress made a striking appearance to the Met Gala wearing a gown made of recycled materials and designed by Calvin Klein. The eco-friendly look was definitely on trend with the ‘Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology’ theme. 2016.
Watson wore the ultimate Christian Dior sheer bustier gown as she attended the Women of the Year Awards, where she accepted the ‘Inspiration’ award. 2016.
In another Christian Dior dress by new creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri, Watson wore this fairytale look to Elle’s 2017 Style Awards. 2017.
The ultimate princess, Watson attended the United Kingdom launch event for Beauty in the Beast wearing an Emilia Wickstead gown, that was every bit royal with a long train. 2017.
Keeping up with her princess-inspired fashion, Watson wore an embellished Elie Saab gown and a ruby red rose to match the film at the China premiere of Beauty and the Beast. 2017.
Watson took a step away from royal dresses and slipped into a chic jumpsuit by Oscar de la Renta complete with gold rose pin. 2017.
As for Watson’s relationship with the press, that remains fraught as ever, and understandably so: Even though pretty much all Watson has discussed since her Harry Potter days has been related to feminism and her right to privacy, the photos that accompanied the Vanity Fair story still drew her criticism for opening up—quite literally, as she was called a hypocrite for daring to wear a top that exposed a good portion of her chest in the accompanying photo shoot. As Watson later put it, “They were saying that I couldn’t be a feminist and have boobs.”
For the most part, however, Watson has managed to stay out of the unwanted spotlight, even while maintaining a social media presence—a feat that celebrities who’ve recently taken a break from posting to protect themselves from criticism and maintain their privacy, like Kim Kardashian and Selena Gomez to name a few, have been unable to accomplish. That’s not to say, however, that Watson might not be letting us in on her personal life in more subtle ways: It’s worth noting that earlier this year, shortly after the breakup apparently occurred, she starred in The Circle, a dystopian film in which she battles a Silicon Valley-like enemy—and, of course, comes out on top.
Remembering 2017’s Most Devastating Celebrity Breakups
After ringing in 2017 together on New Year’s Eve last year, it seems Nina Dobrev and Glen Powell will be making alternative plans come midnight for 2018, as the pair is rumored to have split after just under a year of dating.
Despite weathering the storm of their controversial film mother!, Jennifer Lawrence and Darren Aronofsky split after a year of dating following the film’s release.
After being engaged for nearly a decade, Jennifer Hudson called it quits with David Otunga in November, as well as receiving a protective order of their 8-year-old son that they share.
After ten months of dating—and one public outing to the Met Gala—Selena Gomez and The Weeknd called it quits in October, just a few days after Gomez was spotted having breakfast with her ex-boyfriend Justin Bieber.
After nearly a decade together, it was reported that Rachel Bilson and Hayden Christensen had split in September 2017.
Together since 2004 and married in 2009, Fergie and Josh Duhamel announced they would be splitting in September.
Anna Faris and Chris Pratt split during the summer after 8 years together.
Scarlett Johansson began dating Romain Dauriac in 2012, and the pair married in 2014 before splitting in January.
Alexander Skarsgard and Alexa Chung were first seen together in 2015, and split earlier this summer.
Olivia Munn dated NFL player Aaron Rodgers for nearly three years, before breaking up in late spring.
Amy Schumer famously met furniture designer Ben Hanisch on an dating app; the pair dated for over a year.
Jenny Slate and Chris Evans quickly became an Internet-beloved couple when their pairing was revealed in 2016, but split after a year.
Despite an infamous paddle-board trip together, Katy Perry and Orlando Bloom split after just over a year together.
The teen set’s coolest couple, Jaden Smith and Sarah Snyder, broke up after nearly two years of dating.
Jane Fonda split from longtime partner record producer Richard Perry after nine years together in January.
After nearly two decades together, Summer Phoenix and Casey Affleck separated last year, officially filing for divorce last week.
After dating for a decade, Paramore singer Hayley Williams and New Found Glory frontman Chad Gilbert married in 2016, only to file for divorce a year later.
Janet Jackson gave birth to her first child, with husband Wissam al Mana, in January; the pair filed for divorce in April.
Together for nearly 15 years, Jesse Williams split with longtime wife Aryn Drakelee-Williams in April.
Jemima Kirke married lawyer Mike Mosberg in 2009; the duo separated in January.
Supermodel Elle MacPherson split from Florida-based hotel heir Jeffrey Soffer earlier this year.
Phoebe Tonkin and Paul Wesley met on the set of The Vampire Diaries, and stayed together for nearly four years.
After a tumultuous year together, Rob Kardashian and Blac Chyna officially split this spring.
After 17 years of marriage, Ben Stiller and Christine Taylor announced their separation in May.
In January, Nicki Minaj announced on Twitter that she had split from boyfriend Meek Mill.
After nearly two decades together, basketball star Carmelo Anthony and La La Anthony broke up earlier this year.
David Schwimmer separated from British artist Zoe Buckman after a decade together.
Billie Lourd briefly dated Scream Queens co-star Taylor Lautner before calling it quits this summer.
Mariah Carey got over her called-off engagement to James Packer by briefly dating dancer Bryan Tanaka.
See Emma Watson Take W’s Screen Test: