There are fans, then there are super fans, and then there are fans who take it way too far. Outlander star Caitríona Balfe knows a lot about the latter. As soon as the actor was cast in the historical drama-fantasy based on the book series by Diana Gabaldon, she immediately had fans, because the novels were so popular. And once the show premiered, things only got more intense. One segment of the show’s following is now convinced that Balfe and her co-star, Sam Heughan, are romantically involved off-screen, even though Balfe is married and recently welcomed a child with her husband.
In a new interview with Vanity Fair, Balfe talked about these particularly invasive Outlander fans, who have gone to extreme lengths in attempts to “prove” that she is in a relationship with Heughan. Read on to find out what she had to say.
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Fans have tried to prove conspiracy theories.
The interview with Vanity Fair explains that after Balfe married her husband, music producer Anthony McGill, in 2019, she found out that someone harassed the secretary of the church where they got married, because that person believed the wedding was fake and was trying to find proof. Someone else hired a private investigator to prove that Balfe and Heughan are together. And, when Balfe and McGill welcomed their baby last year, Balfe found out that people were claiming Heughan was the real father based on similar bedsheets seen in the photo Balfe posted as the birth announcement and ones seen on Heughan’s Instagram.
Because of this, Balfe is keeping her child’s life private.
Unsurprisingly, Balfe is keeping her son away from the public eye, including not sharing his name or any photos of his face. When she announced that she welcomed a child, she shared a photo of their hands together along with a list of charities she supports.
“When you have a kid, you become really protective. I don’t want those crazies—because that’s what they are—I just don’t want them talking about him,” the Belfast star told Vanity Fair. “It’s sad, because you meet the loveliest people who are fans of the show and they’re super supportive and they do the nicest things—and then you have that little thing, which just taints it.”
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She also wants to keep something of her life to herself.
With Balfe being in the public eye, she also explained that it’s nice to have a privacy when it comes to her family. In reference to the fact that her pregnancy wasn’t disclosed publicly before she gave birth, she explained to Vanity Fair, “I’m a very open person. It’s not like I was hiding my pregnancy. Everybody at work knew, all of my friends knew, anyone I came into contact with in my life knew. But in terms of putting that out there, I don’t see the value in that. I think there’s certain things that are nice to have for yourself.”
Balfe and Heughan have both spoken out about online bullying and abuse.
Heughan opened up about people bullying and stalking him and people he’s close to in a lengthy statement posted to Twitter in April 2020. “My costars, friends, family, myself, in fact anyone I’m associated with, has been subjected to personal slurs, shaming, abuse, death threats, stalking, sharing of private information and vile, false narrative,” he wrote in part.
Balfe responded on her own Twitter account, writing, “Sad that Sam has had to come out and say all this. I would have thought mean b****y behaviour would have been left in the school yard. But unfortunately a VERY SMALL but very vocal part of this fandom use their energy to write and say awful untrue things…” She suggested that those fans “harness all that energy to get involved in their local charities” and to find something they enjoy rather than spending their time spreading hate.
Despite the conspiracy theories, their friendship is solid.
While Balfe and Heughan are not actually together, they are friends and supporters of one another. “We’re like brother and sister now—we know each other really well as we’ve been working together for six years which is just crazy,” Heughan said on the podcast The Love/Hate Club in 2020 (via Us Weekly).
As for Balfe, she told Parade in 2018 that she and Heughan decided to stand behind each other through whatever came of the show before it even premiered. “We hadn’t filmed anything yet,” she explained. “But we both said, ‘We’ve got to have each other’s backs. If we don’t support each other, who knows what kind of mess this could be?’ And we’ve done that from day one.”
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