Man Behind Viral ‘Dress That Broke the Internet’ Confesses to Strangling His Wife

#TheDress became a global phenomenon in 2015 and had everyone debating if the garment was black and blue or white and gold.

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Keir Johnston, known for the viral “dress that broke the internet” in 2015, reportedly pled guilty to strangling his wife Grace Johnston, The Guardian reports.

The incident occurred in March 2022 at their residence on the Isle of Colonsay, a remote Scottish island where there is no permanent police presence. 

According to the prosecutor, Grace had lived in fear of her abusive husband and defied his demands not to attend a job interview on the mainland.

The 38-year-old, who was drinking at a local pub, reportedly texted his wife “You should support me but you do not.”

When Grace returned home, Keir woke up and announced that he would be leaving her. An altercation ensued when Keir threw his wife to the ground.

“He placed both knees on her arms, so she was unable to move. He then began strangling her with both his hands,” said prosecutor Chris Macintosh. “She was initially able to scream and feared for her life and believed Johnston intended to kill her as he was very forceful.”

The Guardian reports that Kier had told Grace, “Someone is going to die.” The timeline of that specific threat was not made clear.

Grace did not require medical treatment for her injuries from the attack despite sustaining severe bruising.

Kier pled guilty to the attack on Thursday at the high court in Glasgow, Scotland. He was denied bail and remanded in custody until his sentencing, which will take place on June 6.

A report from The Guardian last year detailed further abuse, with prosecutors at the time claiming that Keir terrorized his wife for 11 years. He was accused of threatening to kill Grace while holding a knife and of assaulting her on other occasions. 

The couple gained fame when their different perceptions of the dress’s color went viral in 2015 after their friend Caitlin McNeill shared it on Tumblr. They appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show that year where they were given $10,000 and a honeymoon trip to Grenada.

Shortly after #TheDress became a global phenomenon, the Salvation Army in South Africa launched a campaign utilizing the color-confusing dress to raise awareness about abuse against women, according to NBC News.

Is it so hard 2 see black & blue? 1 in 6 women are victims.#StopAbuseAgainstWomen#blackandblue #whiteandgold

— TheSalvationArmySA (@SASalvationArmy) March 6, 2015
Twitter: @SASalvationArmy

In the campaign, a woman is depicted with bruises and cuts, wearing the white and gold version of the dress with the caption reading, “Why is it so hard to see black and blue. The only illusion is if you think it was her choice. One in six women are victims of abuse. Stop abuse against women.”

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