Maybe you've heard, but Twitter is abuzz over Caroline Calloway. The Instagram influencer received a ton of attention this week when her former co-writer wrote an article about their working relationship, artnet reports. In the Cut, Natalie Beach describes the 27-year-old as a beguiling storyteller who could burst into tears over a simple gift or apparently lie about it being stolen; who lived halfway between her true self and her romantic online persona; who wrestled with an Adderall addiction and threatened suicide if Beach kept working on their manuscript about Calloway's life. When they abandoned the book, they parted ways. But it's the relationship—and the insight into an influencer's life—that seem to have struck a chord.
- Beach says she was sucked in by their high-energy partnership. She even blew it off when Calloway admitted to having bought tens of thousands of fake Instagram followers to jump-start her career. "After all, she was constantly calling me her best friend and work wife, telling me she loved me," writes Beach. "I thought we were in this together."
- Others have also accused Calloway of scamming. The influencer recently had to abandon $165 "creativity workshops" for her 800,000 Instagram followers after a journalist dismissed them as a "scam," per the New York Post.
- Calloway's response? She wrote a post criticizing her own greed and overconfidence and wore a T-shirt that read "scammer," per NBC News. "To anyone I've disappointed or outraged—I have so much empathy for how you must be feeling right now," Calloway wrote. "It's so valid and I'm so sorry." She later hosted a sold-out workshop called "The Scam."
- Calloway also gushed about Beach, calling her "brilliant" and saying "everything in Natalie's article will be brilliant and beautifully expressed and true," per E! Online.
- But Calloway's no fool. She wrote in a now-deleted post that she would charge brands as much as $1,000 to mention them on Instagram and $5,000 for regular mentions. Flatiron Books offered her $375,000 for her book and now wants more than $100,000 returned. Calloway is apparently working on that.
- Now the media is abuzz with articles like "Are You a Caroline or a Natalie?" (BuzzFeed) and a New York Times followup interview with Beach. "My inbox is pretty full right now," she admits. "I'm a little overwhelmed with sort of a tidal wave of attention."
- But Beach holds no grudge against Calloway for any apparent lies or manipulations. "Caroline was caught between who she was and who she believed herself to be, which in the end may have been the most relatable thing about her," Beach writes. "This is why, when people ask me if Caroline is a scammer, I try to explain that if she is, her first mark is always herself."
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