Thu. Sep 28th, 2023


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Man behind ‘dress that broke the internet’ accused of attempting to murder wife

2 min read

The man behind the insanely viral black-and-blue/gold-and-white dress in 2015 has been accused of trying to kill his wife.

Keir Johnston made an appearance at the High Court in Glasgow after being charged with the attempted murder of his wife Grace at their home last March.

Prosecutors allege that the 38-year-old man behind the viral sensation conducted an 11-year campaign of terror against his wife, domestically abusing her and aggressively controlling her for years.

The alleged abuser’s charges include, between April 2019 and March 2022, pushing his wife against a wall, shouting at her and throttling her, before threatening to kill her and brandishing a knife towards her.

Prosecutors said the campaign of abuse culminated in attempted murder after he allegedly brandished a knife, pinned her down and tried to choke her at their home on the remote Isle of Colonsay, in the Inner Hebrides, in March 2022.

Johnston has denied the charges.

Johnston allegedly spent years isolating his wife from her pals, and went as far as to monitor her movements and her finances, controlling the amount of money that she had access to at any given time.

The couple were invited to be on comedian Ellen Degeneres’ chat show shortly after the dress went viral and took home $10,000 (£7,600) and a trip to Grenada, after revealing that the dress was in fact black and blue.

The dress, nicknamed “The Dress That Broke the Internet”, went viral after it was first shared by a guest at their 2015 wedding, Caitlin McNeill, who appealed for help in solving the colour dilemma.

Shortly after it was shared, it exploded in popularity, with celebrities from across the world weighing on the hot topic.

Eerily, the dress was used in a domestic abuse campaign run by the Salvation Army, which created an advert showing a bruised and beaten woman clad in a white and gold dress.

The poster featured a tagline that read: “Why is it so hard to see black and blue? The only illusion is if you think it was her choice. One in six women are victims of abuse. Stop abuse against women.”

Johnston has denied the charges against him, and is expected to reappear in court again ahead of the 2024 trial.

If you have been affected by issues of domestic violence or coercive control you can call Refuge's 24-Hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline for free. The number is 0808 2000 247

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