Before yesterday, Liberty Ross was known as a successful fashion model and burgeoning actress. Then, Us Weekly broke the news of Kristen Stewart's "fling" with Ross's husband, Snow White and the Huntsman director Rupert Sanders, and Google searches for "Liberty Ross" spiked to five times their normal rate. Her personal website was so overloaded with visitors that it stopped working. Her model profile became the most-viewed page on NYMag.com. Obviously, the world was deeply curious about this wronged woman, who in a matter of hours had become the most mysterious (and arguably most sympathetic) figure in the bizarre love square caused by the Stewart/Sanders affair.
Who is she?
To those in the fashion industry, she's a distinguished model who has enjoyed a long and successful career; to the general public, she's a vaguely recognizable face but a relatively unknown name. According to the bio on her website, 33-year-old Ross was born in the U.K. and spotted by photographer Mario Testino when she was a teenager. She has since built a robust portfolio as a high-fashion model, posing for top publications like Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, i-D, Dazed & Confused, and others. She's also landed some lucrative campaign deals with labels like Burberry, Dior, Jimmy Choo, Ungaro, Jil Sander, H&M, Levi’s, and Solange Azagury’s jewelry. Other milestones include guest-editing British Vogue in 2004, being photographed for the Pirelli calendar by Nick Knight, and appearing on the twentieth-anniversary cover of The Face with Kate Moss in 2000.
She continued working after she had two children, now 5 and 7, with Sanders. In other words, she's hardly dependent on her husband for money or career help — although his involvement in Snow White probably helped her land a role (their two kids were also extras in the film, which probably seemed cute at the time and now seems creepy and awkward).
What was her marriage like?
In a recent interview in YOU magazine, now excerpted in the Daily Mail and Us Weekly, Ross talked about the difficulties of moving from London (where she had a thriving social life, according to many photos of her at various glamorous-looking parties) to L.A. for her husband's work. She says:
I romanticized domesticity for a while, and loved having a shopping list of groceries stuck to the fridge for the first time ... But moving here and starting a life all over again was a lot harder than I had anticipated. I just didn’t think it would be as isolating and daunting as it turned out to be ... I went from the glamour of working with Karl Lagerfeld and John Galliano to living on an isolated hilltop, with my husband gone most of the time ... I would never say out loud that I am raising my children alone, but a lot of the time it has felt like that.
What happens next?
Obviously, none of us can even begin to speculate about the state of Ross and Sanders's marriage, nor do we even know exactly what happened between Stewart and Sanders to begin with. But gauging by his public apology yesterday, Sanders is deeply remorseful and appears to be interested in keeping his family together. (And according to People, he has his dad's vote of confidence!) In the meantime, Ross appears to be lying low, which makes complete sense — for her own sake, but for her children's too.
See our slideshow of Liberty Ross's career in pictures.