It wouldn’t be an internet discussion surrounding feminism and body politics if it didn’t involve everyone’s favorite: Emrata. Model, actress, and author Emily Ratajkowski jumped into the discourse fray late Tuesday, following allegations that Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine was conducting several flirty interactions, and one alleged physical affair, through his Instagram DMs.
On Monday, Instagram model Sumner Stroh claimed on TikTok that she had an affair with Levine that began through Instagram and that the singer “manipulated” her. But instead of being broadly embraced by the TikTok community, Stroh was chastised for engaging in a relationship with a married man. She then made a follow-up video, where she said she was under the impression Levine’s marriage was over and was being kept quiet to avoid any press.
“That’s why I feel exploited because he knew I believed everything he said, because of my vulnerable position being new to L.A.,” Stroh said, in a video that has now received 9.9 million views. “As soon as I realized that was not the case I cut things off with him.”
Stroh said she was “embarrassed and disgusted” and didn’t want people to think she was “playing the victim” in her original video. Regardless of her intentions, her mentions and stitches were flooded with women sympathizing with Behati Prinsloo, Levine’s wife, or claiming Stroh was only exposing the alleged relationship for clout. Then, more women began to reveal their online messages with Levine, with at least three other Instagram models saying the singer had DM’d them and began flirtatious conversations. A larger discussion quickly sprung up about where the responsibility lies when a partner cheats and whether the other woman is at all to blame — with most saying Stroh should have known better.
But Ratajkowski says she “couldn’t disagree more.” Ratajkowksi danced her heart out in the 2013 music video for Maroon 5’s single “Love Somebody,” a professional connection to Levine that didn’t seem to prevent the model from speaking out against the singer — and those bashing his alleged mistress online.
The model stuck her elegant neck out for the women, posting two TikToks stitching a negative take. While she didn’t mention Stroh by name, she described the details of the alleged relationships with Levine as a “skewed power dynamic” and “predatory and manipulative.”
“I don’t understand why we continue to blame women for men’s mistakes,” Ratajkowski said. “Especially when you’re talking about 20-something-year-old women dealing with men in positions of power who are twice their age.”
The actress continued, calling the backlash against the women talking to Levine sexism and “classic misogyny.” “If you’re the one in a relationship, you’re the one who’s obligated to be loyal,” Ratajkowski said. “So the whole other woman, ‘They’re to blame,’ that’s bad and it’s literally designed to keep women apart.”
Ratajkowski doubled down on her belief, inviting anyone else who had interactions with Levine to speak out. “If you have receipts, share them,” she said. “You’re doing other ladies a favor.”
In this instance, Ratajkowski might be the closest thing to an expert in this area. For one, she gave a criminally underrated performance in the 2014 ‘good for her’ film Gone Girl, as the young mistress of Nick (Ben Affleck), who leans hard into the virgin vibe to avoid being associated with a murder-accused Affleck. She also wrote My Body, a personal book about how her time as a model and actress gave her the life-shattering revelation that girls can be hot and feminist at the same time.
But in a more personal vein, it’s been less than three months since Page Six reported that Ratajkowski and her husband Sebastian Bear-McClard were divorcing, following months of rumors that he cheated on her. The video standing up for Stroh might be the first indication that she’s more focused on her husband’s alleged infidelity than blaming any woman he cheated with.
The model hasn’t publically commented on the divorce, but her social media presence has taken on a breezy and frankly relieved attitude — clubbing with comedian Ziwe, posting thirst traps on TikTok, and the most divorcee moment of all, getting bangs. So while it isn’t clear whether her posts on Levine’s dumpster fire of a week are firmly held beliefs or more marketing for the paperback version of her book, Ratajkowski continues to prove she’s not trying to play the blame game with her marriage. She’s too busy winning everywhere else.