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Taylor Swift: An all-powerful entourage headed by her ‘ex-sister-in-law’ Selena Gomez

At the Golden Globes, the singer was seen talking to with performer Keleigh Sperry, while also encouraging Emma Stone, one of her close friends who she’s written a song about. Sophie Turner and Brittany Mahomes are also part of the superstar’s inner-circle

Taylor Swift
Selena Gomez and Taylor Swift with Keleigh Sperry (from behind) at the 81st edition of the Golden Globe Awards held at the Beverly Hilton hotel, on January 7, 2024, in Beverly Hills.Christopher Polk (Golden Globes 2024 via Getty Images)
María Porcel

Young love doesn’t always offer the expected results. Sometimes, it can give you even better ones.

Clearly, 34-year-old Taylor Swift and 31-year-old Selena Gomez can verify this. Both women dated the Jonas Brothers. The relationships — which took place in 2008 — saw Swift (then 18) date Joe Jonas, who’s now recently-separated from actress Sophie Turner. That year, at the age of 16, Gomez was with Nick Jonas, who’s now married to Priyanka Chopra.

There was a media frenzy when the four went out for dinner together in August 2008. Then, the relationships ended. Still, Swift and Gomez forged an alliance that — more than 15 years later — has become strong, overcoming time and distance. Their friendship is evidence of the power of support between women in the cutthroat world of American entertainment. And while nowadays such relationships are seen as matters of feminism and sisterhood, three decades ago, such friendships were treated almost as a joke.

The “girl power” that the Spice Girls were talking about nearly a quarter-of-a-century ago reached the Golden Globes last Sunday. Swift — Time magazine’s person of the year (and probably for many of the millions of people who’ve seen her in The Eras Tour, both live and in theaters) — was seen on the red carpet thanks to her nomination in a category created this year: “cinematic and box office achievement.” The category seemed practically reserved for Swift and for Barbie, which took home the prize. But on the carpet, at the gala and in the media, the singer boasted of friendship. And not only of her friendship with Gomez — who was nominated for her role as Mabel Mora in the series Only Murders in the Building — but also with the actress Keleigh Sperry, with whom she arrived arm-in-arm and sat at the table, along with nominee Jennifer Lawrence and the award-winning Emma Stone, whom she encouraged relentlessly.

Stone has said that she and Swift have known each other for more than 15 years and that they’ve always connected. In fact, the singer recently released a song called When Emma Falls In Love. And, throughout the awards season — as she was promoting the film Poor Things — when Stone was asked questions about whether she’s the Emma in the song, she would cryptically reply: “Ask Taylor.”

Selena Gomez and Taylor Swift at the premiere of 'Another Cinderella Story,' starring the actress, in Los Angeles, California, in September 2008.
Selena Gomez and Taylor Swift at the premiere of 'Another Cinderella Story,' starring the actress, in Los Angeles, California, in September 2008.John Shearer (Getty Images)

All of them are part of Swift’s entourage of famous friends. About five years ago, the superstar left behind her old gang — made up mainly of models — to focus on women in their thirties who’ve been building their success with hard work. Among them are the actresses Blake Lively, Zoë Kravitz and Lena Dunham, as well as the Haim sisters, who sometimes perform as her opening act.

In the case of Gomez and Swift, their bond goes beyond Hollywood and the public. Both have supported each other on dozens of occasions. Gomez sang on her friend’s previous tours and went to a recent concert in Texas with her little sister. Swift accompanied her a couple of years ago at the premiere of the documentary about her life and has invited Gomez to appear in music videos such as Bad Blood. And they’ve also privately celebrated birthdays, Fourth of July parties and other special occasions together.

“I never fit in with a cool group of girls that were celebrities,” Gomez told Rolling Stone magazine in November 2022. The former Disney star added: “My only friend in the industry really is Taylor Swift.”

“I’m proud of you, I love you forever,” Swift said of Gomez, following the documentary that touched on her mental health.

They both admit that they’re like sisters and talk almost daily. A few years ago, Gomez even said that she shows the singer and her parents her new music so they can advise her, and vice-versa. “Taylor played me Fearless [her second album, released in November 2008] before it came out. And I remember that feeling because ever since then, we’ve been best friends. And to see where I am and for her to see where I am is such a beautiful … it’s just so great,” she said, in a radio interview in 2019. As they’ve both explained, they have many stories — moments in which they’ve helped each other, as well as inside jokes — that they don’t always share on social media.

In January 2020 — in a long interview with The Wall Street Journal — Gomez explained that there was a feeling between them that has “this quality of sisterhood… and I don’t say that in a basic way. I knew from when I met her, I would always have her back. In my life, I have the ability to forgive people who have hurt me. But I don’t know if I can forgive someone who hurts her.”

That union became more than evident on Sunday, January 7, at the Golden Globe Awards. Both nominees were chatting animatedly in the ballroom of the Beverly Hilton hotel. The cameras didn’t stop focusing on them during the gala and in the intermissions. Above all, some images in which they chatted expressively with Keleigh Sperry were circulated around the world. According to some (many, in fact), Gomez told her friends that she’d approached actor Timothée Chalamet — nominated for the film Wonka — to ask for a photo. Apparently, Kylie Jenner — the younger sister of the Kardashains — had said no.

The faces of the three friends instantly went viral, and then came the memes. Gomez has denied the rumor in a response to a media outlet on Instagram: “Noooooo, I told Taylor about two of my friends who hooked up. Not that that’s anyone’s business.”

Only the three of them know the truth. As is the norm in Swift’s circle, her friends never talk about her… and, if they do, they say little. They don’t reveal information about her life, romances, family or work. Discretion is the law.

On the night of the Golden Globes, the least-known person in the photo was Keleigh Teller. Her maiden name is Sperry: she’s an actress and the wife of actor Miles Teller, and a regular in the photos that Swift has shared over the past couple of years. Although they’ve known each other since at least 2018, their friendship intensified in 2021, when she and her husband appeared precisely playing a couple at a wedding in Swift’s music video, I Bet You Think About Me. Since then, they’ve been seen together on many occasions, dinners, birthdays... especially this past 2023.

In addition to being a friend, Teller is a fan of the singer, as demonstrated by a review of her TikTok account (she has 710,000 followers), where each of her videos has a song by the artist playing in the background. For her birthday, Teller gave Swift a huge ring. She then had to confirm that it was her — not Travis Kelce, the singer’s boyfriend — who had gifted it, in order to silence rumors in the press.

The video clip with which their friendship was forged was co-written and directed by actress Blake Lively, another of Swift’s closest friends. It’s common to see them going to dinner together, or even attending Kelce’s football games. As a result, Swift has also become good friends with other girlfriends and wives of NFL players, such as Brittany Mahomes — the wife of Patrick Mahones, the quarterback and star of the Kansas City Chiefs — or Lyndsay Bell, partner of tight-end Blake Bell. In October, Lively and her husband — actor Ryan Reynolds — as well as fellow performer Hugh Jackman accompanied the singer to the MetLife Stadium in New Jersey to see Kelce play.

The friendship with Lively has been going strong for almost a decade, when they met in Australia in December 2015, during the singer’s 1989 album tour. Just half-a-year later, Lively and Reynolds attended Swift’s Fourth of July party. Since then, their friendship has been inspiring for both of them, so much so that the artist has featured the couple’s daughters in her songs. “I would do anything for that woman,” Reynolds commented on a red carpet at the end of 2022, while talking about how both he, his wife and their daughters listen to Swift’s music continuously at home.

They spend time together — in private or in public — as happened at the Chiefs game, one of the first times when Swift went to support her partner. Sabrina Carpenter — who has opened part of Swift’s tour — and the British actress Sophie Jonas (née Turner) also joined them. Sophie — who has been married for four years to Joe Jonas — is now going through a divorce. She’s taken refuge in a home that Swift has lent her, so that she can spend time with her daughters. Young love rarely survives — sisterhood usually lasts much longer.

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