Sophie Turner Is Doing Just Fine (2024)

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Perched on a tiny wooded island humming with African rainforest birds, Gorilla Kingdom is one of the main attractions at London Zoo. On this unseasonably mild Tuesday morning in late February, it’s a hive of activity: The lowland western primates who live here have two adorable newborns in their midst. “Look, there she is, with her little one!” says Sophie Turner, pointing toward Effie, the proud mama with her yet-to-be named two week old.

The actor had initially proposed a walk on Primrose Hill, but happily obliged when I suggested the nearby zoo—because who could resist the allure of baby gorillas? When she lived in New York, Turner, 28, would take her daughters, Willa, almost four, and Delphine, two in July, to the Central Park Zoo, and this morning she’s come from Willa’s new West London nursery school in an oversized camel-colored Maison Margiela coat. “The one coat I brought with me from America,” says Turner, who moved from Miami back to the UK last year. “If you can believe it, I only packed one suitcase.”

Her long blond hair tucked casually into her collar, Turner could easily be mistaken for a stylish Swedish au pair on her gap year. She reads aloud in her best thespian voice: “ ‘Effie is our most playful and cheeky female. She was born in 1993 at Copenhagen Zoo, and is well-known in the Zoo for her huge appetite.’  ” This attracts the attention of a nerdy but charming zookeeper, who proceeds to share the particulars of Effie’s birthing story: This baby was born wrapped in its umbilical cord and is lucky to be feeding normally. “Do you see how she’s dangling her baby by one arm? That’s actually not the best way to handle their newborns,” says the zookeeper. “They’re supposed to be wrapped around the body.” A crowd has begun to gather. “So you mean to say she’s a mother of four and she still hasn’t learnt how to carry her baby correctly?” asks a voice in a mock-accusatory tone. Turner looks at me, eyebrows raised. Are we mom-shaming animals now?

CLOSE TO ME
Victoria Beckham wool jacket and trousers.

OPEN BOOK
Stella McCartney responsible wool tuxedo jacket and trousers.

But it is, in fact, Turner who has been subjected to mom-shaming—of the most egregious kind. Following news last September that her husband Joe Jonas had filed for divorce after four years of marriage, rumors proliferated in the tabloids and online that she’d been somehow shirking her maternal responsibilities. It was the bad-mother trope, old as time, and it spread wide when images of Turner at a wrap party in Birmingham for Joan—the six-part drama coming to The CW network later this year, inspired by the true story of Joan Hannington, Britain’s most notorious jewel thief—began to circulate. “Sophie Turner Partied ‘Without a Care in the World,’  ” read one headline. Meanwhile, her pop-idol husband was portrayed as the doting dad, captured dutifully tending to histwodaughters.

“I mean, those were the worst few days of my life,” says Turner with a sharp intake of breath, the memory still fresh. We’ve moved to a quiet corner in the zoo’s canteen, a vast light-filled space that’s mercifully empty now that the breakfast rush is over. “It hurt because I really do completely torture myself over every move I make as a mother—mum guilt is so real! I just kept having to say to myself, ‘None of this is true. You are a good mum and you’ve never been a partier.’  ”

At first, to the outside world, the couple had shared a united front, posting their joint statement the day after Jonas had filed legal papers in Miami. There are elements about the breakdown of her marriage she cannot discuss for legal reasons, such as whether news of the divorce was unexpected or that, as Jonas’s side has suggested, she was “aware” he was going to file. Much like everyone else, she has claimed she got wind of it all via the media. Then the “wayward mother” stories began. “It felt like I was watching a movie of my life that I hadn’t written, hadn’t produced, or starred in. It was shocking.”

Ruth Kenley-Letts, Joan’s executive producer, saw the fallout firsthand. “The paparazzi were relentless. I remember we were shooting in Spain, on the side of a mountain in the middle of nowhere, and they managed to get a photo of Sophie,” she says with an exasperated sigh. “I just couldn’t believe the lies that I read, that she was somehow out partying. And I knew they were lies, because I was with her. I’d been with her for five months straight.”

STREET SCENE
Proenza Schouler organza jacket, tulle jersey top, technical mesh trousers, and leather sandals.

It was in this emotionally heightened state that Turner would film the most challenging scenes in the series. “I’m not very good at processing my emotions. I lock them away, and then they’ll bubble up in years to come in some form of depression or anxiety,” she explains. Playing Joan gave her nowhere to hide. “With this role I was actually able to process those feelings.” Meanwhile, Turner’s experience had struck a nerve in the culture, one that had thousands of fans rushing to her defense online. “If something like this had happened to me 10 years ago, I don’t think I would have had the same support. I just feel very lucky to be alive in a time when people are open-minded,” she says. “Thank f*ck for Gen Z.”

Things reached fever pitch when it was reported that she was suing her estranged husband for the return of their daughters to England. (Jonas’s team was quick to respond, releasing a statement that underlined his desire to co-parent and adding, “This is an unfortunate legal disagreement about a marriage that is sadly ending.” In January, the lawsuit was dismissed, as the pair had reached a custody agreement.)

“There were some days that I didn’t know if I was going to make it. I would call my lawyer saying, ‘I can’t do this. I just can’t.’ I was just never strong enough to stand up for myself. And then, finally, after two weeks of me being in a rut, she reminded me that it was my children I was fighting for,” she says. “Once anyone says to me, ‘Do it for your kids,’ I’m doing it. I wouldn’t do it for myself, but I’ll find the strength for them.”

GOOD HANG
“I’m always drawn to the characters that have gone through so much in their lives that come out of it so strong, resilient.”

LIFT OFF
Another Tomorrow responsible wool jacket and flared trousers.

At the age of 24, Turner was among the first of her peers to become a mother. She recalls finding out she was pregnant while on a retreat in Bali. “Maybe because I was so young, I sat on it for a week,” she remembers. “Thankfully, there were therapists there to help me talk things through. I told my husband when I got back. I remember throwing the pregnancy test at him, saying, ‘What do you think we should do? Do you think we should have it?’ When you’re in your early 20s, life is so frivolous. At that point, I really didn’t know if I wanted to be a mother, but something changed in me that day. I just knew I had to have her.”

Her eldest child, Willa, arrived in the summer of 2020, when much of the world was locked down. It afforded Turner a 10-month period of mother-daughter bonding time. “Everything changes so quickly. One week they’re breastfeeding, and the next they’re sitting there eating avocado,” she says. Delphine, who was born two years later, was very much planned. “Because my ex and I travel so much, I wanted Willa to have a sibling,” she explains. “They’re so much fun, total girly girls, and absolute rays of sunshine in my life.”

For Turner, who has spoken about her struggles with an eating disorder in the past, motherhood would prove transformative. “I remember after I had my baby, my therapist asked me how I felt. And of course I was like, ‘Well, there’s milk leaking from my breasts and I’ve been bleeding for a month.’ Then she reminded me how amazing it is that we can do this and how important it is to put all the nutrients in your body so that it can do that. I mean, it sounds so simple, but I never thought that way before,” she says. “Being a young girl, especially one growing up in the spotlight, you really judge yourself.”

MEDIA GLARE
“Those were the worst few days of my life,” Turner says of the tabloid attention she received last fall, when news emerged of her marriage ending.

As a teenager, the actor was often the target of snide online comments if her weight fluctuated even slightly. But the bullying didn’t stop there. “When you’re bulimic, your face tends to bloat. So when I finally did get better in my early 20s, my face went back to normal. Then, suddenly, all the comments were about whether I’d had buccal fat removal or not. You can never win.”

Turner takes frequent breaks from social media and has been able to better manage her eating disorder as a result. Still, negative thoughts are tougher to tune out in moments of extreme stress. “I know when I’m in a bad headspace that the eating thing will always flare up,” she explains. “But now I regulate it by sitting in the discomfort and just getting used to that feeling of being full. It’s all exposure therapy. I think life is exposure therapy.”

Turner has taken medication to help with her anxiety and depression in the past, though she is currently not taking any. “Not since I moved back to the UK,” she says. “Which is great and also surprising, because I anticipated that I’d need to—now perhaps more than ever.” I’m curious to know what might have made the difference. “There’s something about a community and a support system that I’ve never realized is so important up until now. And I think the reason I was on medication for so long is because I didn’t have those people with me. Now that I’m back home, I’m actually the happiest I’ve been in a really long time.”

The youngest of three, Turner grew up in a close-knit community in Chesterton, a small village in Warwickshire. Her first memories involve happily running around her grandparents’ garden in her nappies. Her mother, Sally, a schoolteacher, enrolled her at age three in acting classes. “And then I just become such a show-off,” says Turner, chuckling. “Typical performing arts kid, always putting on plays for her parents.”

When Turner was cast in Game of Thrones at the age of 13, she’d work from June to November, then be in school for the rest of the year. “None of my school friends were old enough to watch Game of Thrones, so it was all so normal,” she explains. “Plus my [older] brothers kept me humble. My brother Will was on the rugby team at school and would basically intimidate any guy who would try and get close, so I never really got a date.”

SUITS HER
Wales Bonner tuxedo jacket and trousers.

When Turner finally did go on her now famous first date, age 20, to a pub in Camden, her brother was at her side. “Joe had just DM’d me on Instagram. I brought my brother and all my guy friends because I didn’t know if I was maybe getting catfished,” she says. What followed was a whirlwind romance: Jonas, almost seven years older, proposed in 2017, a year after they met. They eloped to Las Vegas in 2019 after attending the Billboard Music Awards. A second ceremony was held in Provence that summer for friends and family. By the time she was married and living in Los Angeles, it was as if her feet had barely touched the ground. “It was really surreal, like a fever dream,” says Turner. “Because he was older than me, I just felt like I was really taken care of, to the point I came back home and didn’t know how to do anything for myself.”

She found her new life in LA to be quite isolating. Although she was fully welcomed into her husband’s big celebrity family, a sense of unease lingered. “There was a lot of attention on the three brothers, and the wives,” she says. “It was kind of this plus-one feeling. And that’s nothing to do with him—in no way did he make me feel that—it was just that the perception of us was as the groupies in the band.”

Those feelings of alienation were only exacerbated when she and Jonas moved their young family to Miami in 2021. For the actor, it was nothing short of culture shock. “We were in this community full of 50-year-old men, so imagine trying to make friends on the dog walk,” she says. The moment she moved back to the UK, she quickly fell into the embrace of family and close friends. “I’ve always said that my girlfriends are the loves of my life,” she says. “The support I had from the women in my life during that time was the most amazing thing to see. I felt so held and so protected.” One of Turner’s oldest and dearest friends, Eleanor Johnson, was floored by her friend’s emotional fortitude. “I don’t think Sophie even realizes the inner strength or power she has,” she says.

NOTHING TO HIDE
Louis Vuitton top and trousers.

Around the same time, Turner was forging a new friendship. Taylor Swift, who had briefly dated Joe Jonas when she was 18, was spotted having dinner with Turner at Via Carota in Manhattan. Swift’s relationship with Jonas had famously ended with a 27-second phone call, which is said to have inspired the singer to write “Forever & Always” for Fearless, her second album. “Taylor was an absolute hero to me this year,” says Turner, who first met Swift around a decade prior but, for obvious reasons, hadn’t felt she was able to cultivate the friendship. When she found herself in New York last September without a place to stay, she reached out to Swift in hopes the pop star might know someone renting. Swift immediately offered up her place for free. “I’ve never been more grateful to anyone than I am for her because she took my children and me, and provided us with a home and a safe space,” she says. “She really has a heart of gold.”

I meet Turner a couple of weeks later for tea at Café Antonia in Paris’s Le Bristol hotel. Surrounded by frescoed walls and crystal chandeliers, we’re a long way from the picnic tables at the zoo. In a vintage red Ralph Lauren V-neck sweater, simple black leggings, and black ankle boots, her hair pulled back in a loose ponytail, Turner looks chic without trying too hard. In a couple of hours, she’ll begin getting red-carpet ready for the Louis Vuitton show. Up until recently, she’d been used to attending such events with her former partner on her arm; tonight she’ll arrive by herself. That said, she’s not entirely alone in Paris. In the past few days, she’s been papped on more than one occasion floating around the French capital with her rumored new beau, Peregrine Pearson, a handsome British property developer and viscount’s son. “I am having fun dating. It’s very fun,” admits Turner. “I mean, it’s strange when you get married so young. It’s like you never really learn how to date. So it’s all very new to me.”

Still, she’s got a good sense of what she now needs. “The number one most important thing is communication,” she says. “I’ve started doing this thing with friends called Safe Space Saturdays. We can tell each other anything that’s on our minds and sort it out with really healthy communication.” More than anything, she’s hoping to build a functioning co-parenting relationship with Jonas. “I’m unhappy with the way everything played out, especially when it comes to my children. They’re the victims in all of this. But I think we’re doing the best we can,” she says. “I’m confident that we can figure it out. Joe is a great father to our children and that’s all that I can ask for.”

FORMAL DRESS
Louis Vuitton satin jacket with scarf detail and leather slingbacks. Turnbull & Asser wool trousers.

I wonder whether she can envision one big happy blended family some day, and she knits her brow to ponder the thought. “My dream is to have a huge Christmas where my daughters can have their dad there, Joe’s whole side of the family, their grandparents,” she says. “I don’t care about the politics, I just want the girls to feel loved and have everyone show up for them.”

We arrange to meet later that evening in front of the famous pyramid at the Louvre, the venue for Vuitton’s show. I arrive a little ahead of Turner and there are several camps of screaming fans, each waving hand-drawn signs under their umbrellas for various K-pop stars and Hollywood A-listers. Turner shows up and strides past the blitz of flashing cameras in a pair of striped high-waist trousers and a bustier with draped hot pink sleeves from Vuitton’s new spring collection. Despite the hubbub, Turner is calm and in an exceptionally good mood. She talks excitedly about the things she’s looking forward to this year, including a thriller she’s set to start shooting called Trust about a fictional movie star whose private photos are leaked online. “I couldn’t believe it had come to me at this time. There’s no way I can’t not do it. It feels right. Although maybe next time I should pick a rom-com and manifest that instead,” she says, with a wry smile.

Soon she will take her seat on the front row with the likes of Saoirse Ronan and Cate Blanchett. “You know, I’m so used to being with Joe at these things, so you’ll just have to be my Vuitton wife this time,” she jokes, squeezing my arm. The truth is Turner doesn’t need me, or anyone else, to prop her up. She’s doing just fine, all by herself.

Cover look: Viscose/cotton tuxedo jacket and trousers, Wales Bonner. Hair: Jimmy Paul. Make-up: Hannah Murray. Nails: Adam Slee. Set design: Gideon Ponte. Production: Holmes Production. Digital artwork: Magnus Bergqvist. With thanks to Castle Gibson

Sophie Turner Is Doing Just Fine (2024)

FAQs

What is Sophie Turner doing now? ›

In recent months, Turner has been busy volunteering with an organization that helps unhoused U.K. residents, gracing the cover of Harper's Bazaar Germany and celebrating what she called "the year of the girlies" in a Jan.

Does Sophie Turner have kids? ›

Sophie Turner may be the proud mom of two daughters with her ex-husband Joe Jonas, but she admitted that she wasn't sure about becoming a parent at a young age.

What does Peregrine Pearson do? ›

Pearson started as the director at Cowdray Estate in 2016, according to his LinkedIn, and became the director of Weetman Developments in 2019.

Are Maisie Williams and Sophie Turner still friends? ›

Best Friends Forever: Sophie Turner and Maisie Williams Reunite on Game of Thrones. Best mates Sophie Turner and Maisie Williams reunite on Game of Thrones, causing excitement among fans. Discover their heartwarming journey and bond.

Who is worth more, Joe Jonas or Sophie Turner? ›

How much are Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner worth? Out of Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner, it's Joe who has the highest net worth. According to Celebrity Net Worth, he's worth a huge $50million. It's been reported Sophie has a net worth of $12million.

Who is Sophie's new boyfriend? ›

Yes, Sophie Turner recently said that she is dating aristocrat Peregrine Pearson. Sophie Turner and Peregrine Pearson went public in February after she and Joe Jonas filed for divorce in September 2023.

How much is Viscount Cowdray worth? ›

Viscount Cowdray and the Pearson Family — £224 million

The Cowdrays own a 16,500-acre estate in Midhurst, West Sussex and run a luxury hotel and golf resort from there. He is also part of the Pearson family - who head the large media group, Pearson Plc. He is number 545 on the list with a wealth valued at £224m.

How rich is Peregrine Pearson? ›

Peregrine's family has a very high net worth, reportedly over $270 million, and own large family estates. They have been converting some of them into businesses, turning the Cowdray Estate into a location for a Polo Club, a farm shop, café, golf club, and cottages.

What new show is Sophie Turner in? ›

Sophie Turner's upcoming ITV series Joan has landed a release window. The Game of Thrones star will take on the role of real-life jewel thief Joan Hannington in the six-part drama, which will focus on her transformation from petty thief to criminal mastermind during the 1980s.

Why did Sophie Turner go to therapy? ›

She sought help from a therapist at age 19 because her body image issues caused her to become suicidal. Turner told the Times she met her now-husband, Joe Jonas, at age 20 when she was “very mentally unwell” and credited him with helping her get better.

Will Sophie Turner return as Jean Grey? ›

Sophie Turner Confirms Her Return As Jean Grey For A New X-MEN Movie; Says Shooting Is Set To Commence Soon.

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