Man who rose to global fame after his mother-in-law wore ‘the dress that broke the internet’ to her wedding is accused of trying to kill his wife
A husband who shot to global fame with his wife after a dress bought for their wedding “destroyed the internet” because people saw it in different colors is now accused of trying to kill his wife.
Keir Johnston appeared in Glasgow High Court after being charged with the attempted murder of Grace Johnston at a holiday home in March last year.
Johnston is accused of conducting a nearly 11-year campaign of domestic violence and coercive control before attempting to kill her by pinning and compressing her neck.
The 38-year-old repeatedly assaulted his wife at their home on the Isle of Colonsay in the Inner Hebrides, culminating in him brandishing a knife at her and attempting to strangle her, the court heard.
The couple, both natives of the island, gained worldwide fame after their wedding in 2015, after the mother of the bride wore a dress that sparked a global phenomenon about its true colors, as millions of people saw it as black and blue, and millions of others have seen white and gold.
Keir Johnston appeared in Glasgow High Court after being charged with the attempted murder of his wife Grace (pictured together)
Internet sensation: This photo of this dress from their wedding was seen all over the world after it went viral online because people saw it as black and blue or white and gold
Dubbed “The Dress That Broke the Internet,” it became a social media hit when it was first shared on Tumblr by wedding guest Caitlin McNeill, who asked for help solving the color dilemma.
Celebrities including Kim Kardashian, Kanye West, Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift have also shared it. The pair went on to appear on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, where they received $10,000 and a trip to Grenada after revealing on American TV that he was black and blue.
But now Johnston is in court accused of attempting to kill his wife. Johnston’s allegations include, between April 2019 and March 2022, pushing his wife against a wall, yelling at her and choking her, before threatening to kill her and brandishing a knife at her.
Dubbed “The Dress That Broke the Internet,” it became a social media hit when it was first shared on Tumblr by wedding guest Caitlin McNeill, who asked for help solving the color dilemma. Celebrities like Kim Kardashian, Kanye West, Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift have also shared it. The couple went on to appear on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, where they received $10,000 and a trip to Grenada after revealing on US TV that it was black on blue
He also allegedly attempted to enter a vehicle his wife was in, hitting her through an open window of the vehicle.
Johnston also allegedly put his wife in a headlock and dragged her out of a pub after she refused to leave with him.
Further allegations allege that Johnston isolated his wife from her friends and monitored her movements and finances, controlling how much money she had access to.
When the pair first hit the headlines, the image of the dress was generating as many as 11,000 tweets per minute under the hashtag “#TheDress.”
Following its initial popularity, the dress then featured in a domestic abuse campaign by the Salvation Army, which created an advertisement showing an injured and beaten woman dressed in a white and gold dress.
The poster features a slogan that reads, “Why is it so hard to see black and blue?” The only illusion is if you think it was his choice. One in six women are victims of abuse. Stop the abuses against women.’
Despite this, prosecutors say the couple’s relationship has crumbled. And there were a series of violent attacks by Johnston which led to the attempted murder of his wife. Johnston’s behavior allegedly culminated in a further allegation that on March 6, 2022, he pinned his wife to the ground and sat astride her.
He then allegedly proceeded to repeatedly place his hands around her neck and squeeze them, restricting her breathing while threatening violence.
It is then alleged that he threatened to kill her and brandished a knife at her, all to her detriment and endangering her life.
The Crown claims Johnston’s actions were with intent to kill his wife.
The 38-year-old denies any wrongdoing against him, with the case continuing for a further preliminary hearing ahead of trial in 2024.
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