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Rare appearances and a 'sex bench': Inside Cara Delevingne and Ashley Benson's relationship.

After two years together, Cara Delevingne and Ashley Benson reportedly parted ways in April, putting an end to one of everyone’s favourite couples and leading to a very important question: Who gets custody of the sex bench?

The 27-year-old supermodel and 30-year-old Pretty Little Liars actress were first linked in May 2018, after meeting on the set of their movie, Her Smell. But they didn’t officially confirm their relationship until after their first anniversary last year.

It began like many celebrity relationship rumours, with paparazzi images. Throughout May 2018, the pair were spotted leaving a Lauryn Hill concert together at the Apollo Theater in New York City, leaving a party, and leaving a bar hand-in-hand.

Plus, there were the Instagram hints.

 

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After 50 tries…we got a blurry one @caradelevingne ????????????

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Eloise x 3

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For the next few months, the paparazzi shots and Instagram posts continued until in August 2018, when Benson said she had no intention of confirming any relationship.

“I think [privacy is] the best way in any relationship,” she told People Now. “I’ve always been very private about them, and I think it’s just better.

“I mean it’s hard, I don’t know, you kind of can’t get away from that if you’re in the public eye. I just kinda try to keep myself as private as possible.”

Even so, ‘a source’ told US Weekly in October of that year they were “very happy” together.

“Ashley and Cara are dating. This is the first girl she’s ever dated,” the source said of Benson. “This relationship with Cara is the first time she’s been in a healthy relationship and she feels as if it’s really easy with her.”

Their first Insta-PDA didn’t come until March 2019, when stylist Jamie Mizrahi posted an intimate moment of the two after Karl Lagerfeld’s final show for Chanel in Paris.

“Post show cuddle puddle,” Mizrahi captioned the post of the two embracing, along with an emoji of two women kissing.

 

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post show cuddle puddle ????‍❤️‍???? @chanelofficial

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In April 2019, Delevingne called Benson her “true love” in a Instagram comment in response to trolls criticising their relationship.

“You are f*cking disgusting! If you have a problem with true love then come and say this sh*t to my face instead [of] pathetically hating through Instagram,” she wrote. “I genuinely feel sorry for you both, you are clearly not happy with your lives and have far too much time on your hands. Maybe get a hobby that doesn’t involve being homophobic and hating others for being happy.”

A month later they… sort of broke the internet, actually.

In May, paparazzi captured them carrying a package called a “Dicktator Extreme Sex Machine,” or sex bench, as it’s become popularly known, into their house.

People were googling ‘what is a dicktator’ and ‘what is a sex bench’ and some blogs wrote… explainers.

Delevingne acknowledged it in an interview with Marie Claire, rolling her eyes as she recalled accidentally introducing ‘sex bench’ to the American vernacular.

In June 2019, US Weekly reported they had officially moved in together in Los Angeles, which we had already gathered from the sex bench, and the same month they finally confirmed their relationship – with an Instagram post, of course.

Delevingne posted a video of her kissing Benson with the caption “#PRIDE” and tagging her in the post. Benson commented with three red hearts.

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#PRIDE ????❤️????????❤️???? @ashleybenson

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Later that month, she told E! at a TrevorLIVE Gala event, Pride Month seemed like a good time to go public.

“It is Pride, it’s been 50 years since Stonewall happened and I don’t know,” she said. “It’s been just about our one year anniversary so, why not?”

Later on in the night, she gave Benson a shout out in her gala speech, saying there was a “very special woman in this room to thank”.

“She’s one of the people who helped me love myself when I needed it most and I really needed it. She showed me what real love is and how to accept it, which is a lot harder than I thought. I love you, Sprinkles.”

In October 2019, Delevingne opened up further about their relationship in a cover story with Elle UK.

“It’s sacred. I get why people care so much, and I don’t want to be so secretive that people think I’m ashamed of anything. But I’ve never been in a relationship where things are so public, or where I posted pictures of someone else. This seemed different. We had gotten to the point where we had kept it a secret, or at least not wanted attention, and now I feel like I’m not going to not be proud. Which isn’t the same thing as wanting to pose on a red carpet together, either.

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“People make their own assumptions and that’s what worried me. Because if it is something that is so good, you don’t ever want anyone to ever change it, even though people shouldn’t have that power.”

She added “it just feels incredible when you’re not alone, when you’re facing the world with someone else”.

Two months later, breakup rumours started when Delevingne seemingly tweeted “Me and Ashley broke up”, but it turned out she had been hacked and the tweet – along with others, including a fake iPhone giveaway – were deleted just 20 minutes later.

If any doubt lingered, Delevingne’s birthday post for Benson on December 19, put them to rest.

“There is so much I could say but something I love and cherish most about us is that I don’t need to because YOU KNOW and that’s all that matters,” she captioned images of her girlfriend on Instagram. “It’s you and me which is my favourite. My safe place.”

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They were still going strong earlier in 2020, with matching, gushy Valentine’s Day posts.

As the COVID-19 pandemic began to shut down much of society in March, the couple seemed to going well in self-isolation, making TikTok content with their friends. But since then Delevingne has been isolating with famous friends Margaret Qualley and Rainey Qualley, the daughters of Andie MacDowell, and Cindy Crawford’s daughter Kaia Gerber.

This week, news of their breakup was reported, with sources telling People that the split happened in April.

“Cara and Ashley always had their ups and down before but it’s over now,” the source said. “Their relationship just ran its course.”

For now, neither Benson nor Delevingne has confirmed the breakup and both still follow each other on Instagram.

Given how private they were about their relationship, a formal breakup announcement seems unlikely, but who knows what the future holds.

Feature image: Instagram.

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