Bella Thorne doesn’t like lying about her life.
During the launch of MCM X LA! Pride on Wednesday, Bella Thorne spoke about her new relationship with Italian singer Benjamin Mascolo, her openness with sexuality and her support for LGBTQ equality.
“If I’m not saying something then I have to go out of my way to hide it,” she told PEOPLE about going public with a new romance. “Because no matter what, paparazzi stalk me and fans find out so then I have to go out of my way to hide something.”
Thorne, 21, was first spotted alongside Mascolo, 25, in April — just days after she announced her split from boyfriend Mod Sun.
Though she had hoped to keep her new relationship under wraps for a bit longer, the actress and singer says she is in a happy place with her new man — even if he lives 6,000 miles away. Mascolo is half of the Italian music duo Benji & Fede.
“Ben is a cutie pie and seeing him on FaceTime all the time makes me smile very big,” she said. “Clearly, he lives in Italy so it’s an interesting thing.”
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Prior to dating Mascolo, the I Still See You actress was in an open relationship with Mod Sun and influencer Tana Mongeau. During Wednesday’s event, Thorne read an excerpt of her upcoming book The Life of a Wannabe Mogul: A Mental Disarray dedicated to the YouTube star.
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“Tana is not here. My ex-girlfriend clearly doesn’t love me enough to show up to my own event so,” she said before she began to read.
“Tana, Tana, Tana, you beautiful baby. When will you ever learn, you give the world enough just by living here? You tasteful lady, when will you ever learn your mind is enough but your big behind stops traffic, my dear, crazy baby. Will you stay with me, maybe?” she read.
“She has a boyfriend right now, so no,” she laughed.
Later that evening, Thorne shared a screenshot of a text message conversation with Mongeau on Twitter, captioned, “When she’s soooo confusing.”
Mongeau responded, “TAKE ME BACK how’s that for not confusing?”
Thorne’s poems took a more emotional turn when she read a piece not included in her book, called “Pride.”
“I wish they could see me with a lidless box,” she read. “I wish they could see me. Maybe not today or tomorrow, maybe when they do, time will stop. And then maybe I’ll be free from this disgusting box.”
Earlier, the singer mirrored the same “lidless box” theme with reporters, citing her want to not be constrained.
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“I’m in this really chained down, really tight box,” the Disney Channel alum told reporters. “That’s kind of one of the worst things, and [to] grow up and still be stuck in my mid-40s. I’ll be really unhappy with myself if I’m still in this chained-up box so yeah, I try to make it like, ‘You can’t pin anything on me because I’m a little bit of everything.’”
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The actress’s collaboration with MCM kicked off Pride Month Wednesday, with 20 percent of proceeds at the event going to LA! Pride. Thorne also said she will sign Taylor Swift’s petition in support of the Equality Act — even if she thinks the government will never change.
“I love the idea, and I will sign it because if something is a step in the right direction, I will take that step,” she said.
“We need to change schools, we need to teach kids in schools, change their upbringing,” she elaborated. “You can’t just tell a person that the religion that they’re raised in — everything they know about the world, everything that their parents have ever told them — [that] it’s all lies.”
Thorne’s book The Life of a Wannabe Mogul: Mental Disarray is available for pre-order on Amazon.