At one point, actresses Gwyneth Paltrow and Winona Ryder were practically inseparable.
The two were seen together constantly in the late 1990s, which was the peak of both their careers.
Before Ryder, she had gained fame for her roles in “Beetlejuice,” “Edward Scissorhands” and “Little Women,” while Paltrow had recently starred in “Se7en” and “Emma.”
On top of that, both women had been dating best friends Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, and Paltrow was even the one who introduced Ryder to Damon.
The two stars were reportedly roommates at one point and were always seen attending glitzy Hollywood events together, though their friendship was quickly soured by a movie role.
Why did Gwyneth Paltrow and Winona Ryder fall out?
The two icons are said to have hit a snag in their friendship in the late 1990s and haven’t been the same since.
Gwyneth Paltrow allegedly stole a script from Winona Ryder’s home – sparking their feud.
It all started after Paltrow visited Ryder at her home in San Francisco and saw the script for “Shakespeare in Love” which immediately piqued her interest.
Paltrow is said to have read the script for the 1998 film and instantly fell in love with the lead role of Viola de Lesseps.
The “Iron Man” actress wasted no time calling her agent to book an audition, despite Ryder competing for the same role because she had the script.
Of course, that caused a lot of conflict in Paltrow and Ryder’s friendship.
It was made worse after Paltrow was not only cast in a 1998 romantic period comedy-drama film; but also received the Academy Award for Best Actress the following year.
Despite the rumors that Paltrow swiped the script from Ryder’s home and stole the role, the “Sliding Doors” actress has denied doing so in the past.
Paltrow accused Ryder of making up “lies” about her.
In a 2015 interview with Howard Stern, Paltrow claimed the allegations were an “urban legend.”
“I swear to God I didn’t do it, I’m putting my right hand on the Bible. I swear to God,” she said, adding that she hadn’t seen or spoken to Ryder in years.
She further claimed that Ryder’s “jealousy” had caused the “Stranger Things” actress to “make up a lie” about their friendship and subsequent ending.
Paltrow had previously hinted at a rift between her and Ryder.
Although Paltrow has vehemently denied that she had any role in Ryder’s failure to secure the lead role in “Shakespeare in Love,” she once alluded to a falling out with Ryder in 2009.
In a Goop newsletter post titled “Evil tongue and living in negativity,” Paltrow referred to a “freak” she once had that was “hell ready to take me down.”
“This person really did everything they could to hurt me,” she wrote, according to Access.
“I was very upset, I was angry, I was all those things that you feel when you find out that someone you thought you liked was toxic and dangerous.
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She continued: “I stopped myself from fighting back. I tried to take the high road. But one day I heard that something unfortunate and humiliating had happened to this person. And my reaction was one of deep relief and … happiness. There it went the highway.”
While Paltrow didn’t directly name Ryder in the 2009 post, many believed she was talking about her former friend, especially after writing about an “unfortunate” incident that happened to an unnamed man.
Many believed that Paltrow made an unwise reference to Ryder’s 2001 shoplifting arrest in Beverly Hills.
At the time, the actress was accused of stealing $5,500 worth of designer clothing and accessories from a department store, where she was later convicted of grand theft, shoplifting and vandalism.
In December 2002, Ryder was sentenced to three years’ probation, 480 hours of community service, a $3,700 fine and $6,355 in restitution to the Saks Fifth Avenue store.
Nia Tipton is a writer living in Brooklyn. She covers pop culture, social justice issues, and popular topics. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter.