Adele has been a source of nonstop joy in the past few weeks as she released new music (opens in new tab), got incredibly vulnerable (opens in new tab) in various interviews, and adorably tried her hand (opens in new tab) at Instagram Live. But life for the megastar was definitely not easy in the months surrounding her divorce from ex Simon Konecki (opens in new tab), with whom she shares son Angelo.
When the news that she and Konecki were separated became public knowledge in 2019, Adele wasn't prepared for the fan reaction, which was to immediately hope that her heartbreak would inspire new Adele-like music.
"During something like that, that kind of significant thing to happen in life, your mind sort of goes to those places: 'Why don’t they like me? Why would they write that if they’ve followed me for 10 years?'" she says in a new Rolling Stone (opens in new tab) cover story. "But in reality, that’s not their responsibility. In reality, their responsibility as a fan is to want a good record and to hope I deliver. So I took it with a pinch of salt, and it was fine."
Adele and Konecki are actually still great friends, and he apparently sent her memes during her interview with Rolling Stone, but the singer had known for a while that their marriage wasn't what she wanted it to be. "I didn’t really know myself," she said. "I thought I did. I don’t know if it was because of my Saturn return or if it was because I was well and truly sort of heading into my thirties, but I just didn’t like who I was."
But admitting to the world that her marriage had broken down was devastating for the star. "Then having so many people that I don’t know know that I didn’t make that work … it fucking devastated me," she told Rolling Stone. "I was embarrassed. No one made me feel embarrassed, but you feel like you didn’t do a good job."
But after a difficult period, Adele began to feel like herself again. In her new chapter, she also began to date sports agent Rich Paul, with whom she has the most "incredible, openhearted, and easiest" relationship. But, crucially, Adele has also found self-love. "I’m not frightened of loneliness anymore," she concludes.
Iris Goldsztajn is a London-based journalist, editor and author. She is the morning editor at Marie Claire, and her work has appeared in the likes of InStyle, Cosmopolitan, Bustle and Shape. Iris writes about everything from celebrity news and relationship advice to the pitfalls of diet culture and the joys of exercise. She has many opinions on Harry Styles, and can typically be found eating her body weight in cheap chocolate.
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