Orange Is the New Black star Laverne Cox has announced her split from Kyle Draper, her boyfriend of two years.
The actress, who portrays Sophia Burset on the Netflix original series, and Draper made the announcement on Instagram with a joint statement Tuesday morning, revealing that they came to the decision after “much soul searching.”
“[Kyle Draper] and I have broken up,” the statement began. “After much soul searching and tears from both of us, we have decided it’s time for us to go our separate ways. We decided we should make a public statement since our relationship was public in ways neither of us anticipated. This is that public statement.”
“We know our relationship meant so much to so many people, especially trans folks, giving them hope that this kind of love is possible for them as well,” Cox added. “That hope, the hope for love has not waned for me in the face of this breakup but rather is fortified."
“Knowing that we are both capable of giving and receiving love with this level of kindness, respect, trust, affection, depth, and intensity has been so healing and life affirming for us both,” the statement continued.
“I am so grateful we were open to love and for every moment we had together,” it added. “We have both grown in innumerable ways as a result. Now its just time to move on separately. We both want a breakup that honors and respects the quality of our relationship and the love we shared. Its possible.”
On his own Instagram page, Draper shared the statement, adding, “[Laverne Cox] and I have broken up, and she wrote the most beautiful statement that sums up our feelings perfectly.”
Cox began dating Draper, the CEO of the record label Mateo Sound, in 2017 after first meeting on Tinder. Over the course of their two-year relationship, they frequently gushed about one another in interviews and on social media, and oftentimes shared their daily life adventures with their followers.
News of their split follows reports that Cox’s former OITNB co-star Lorraine Toussaint has filed for divorce from husband Robert Michael Tomlinson.
It also comes just a month ahead of the seventh and final season premiere of Orange Is the New Black. Speaking to PureWow earlier this month, Cox confirmed that fans “will see me in season seven” despite her character having been granted early release in Season 6.
Orange Is the New Black Season 7 premieres on Netflix on Friday, July 26. Seasons 1-6 are currently available for streaming.
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