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Image / Agenda / Image Writes

Leo DiCap’s rumoured relationship with a 19-year-old has reignited an age old debate


By Sarah Gill
09th Feb 2023

IMdB

Leo DiCap’s rumoured relationship with a 19-year-old has reignited an age old debate

Where do we draw the line when it comes to age gaps in relationships?

At this point, Leonardo DiCaprio’s insatiable appetite for women less than half his age has become something of a problematic running joke. The 48-year-old’s latest rumoured beau? A 19-year-old Israeli model named Eden Polani.

Naturally, this 29 year age gap is causing quite a stir online. Though it hasn’t been confirmed by either party, rumours are based on a sighting of the pair at singer Ebony Riley’s EP release party in Los Angel on January 31.

One Twitter user put DiCaprio and Polani’s age difference into context by posting a photo of The Last Of Us co-stars Pedro Pascal, 47, and Bella Ramsay, 19. In the series, Pascal’s character plays something of a father figure to Ramsay’s, and translating their relationship into a potential romantic entanglement made many feel more than a little bit icky.

Whether or not there’s any merit in these speculations, the actor’s dating history speaks for itself. Last year, DiCaprio made headlines for breaking up with his 25-year-old girlfriend Camila Morrone, and a little something called ‘Leo’s Law’ gathered some traction among Reddit users.

Citing the only certainties in life as death, taxes, and Leonardo DiCaprio dating a model almost 30 years his junior as the only certainty in life, Leo’s Law basically posits that the actor has a cut off point when it comes to dating beautiful women — and it’s their 25th birthday.

Posting an infographic on the r/dataisbeautiful Reddit thread, user u/TrustLittleBrother wrote: “As per ‘Leo’s Law,’ [four] ill-fated partners parted ways in their ‘final Leo year’ when they sadly reached Leo’s cutoff of 25 years.”

Though there’s a growing distaste for this dating pattern emerging online, it’s indisputably being regarded as much more humorous than outright worrying. Would the same be said if the roles were reversed? If an actress nearing 50 were to date a teenage male, would we laugh it off? And why isn’t there a male equivalent for the term ‘cougar’?

age gap

Of course, problematic age gaps have existed in relationships far before Leo’s Law presented itself, and they’ll likely continue long into the future. Did you know that there’s an 11 year age gap between everyone’s favourite Hollywood couple, Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively?

George Clooney is 17 years older than his wife Amal, Jay-Z has 12 years on Beyoncé, Michael Douglas is 25 years Catherine Zeta-Jones’s senior — you get the picture. Remember when a 38-year-old Bradley Cooper enjoyed a very meta moment in a Parisian park, reading Lolita to his then-21-year-old girlfriend, Suki Waterhouse? Yeah, me too.

In the early days of the sitcom Friends, Monica and Richard enjoyed a whirlwind romance that only ended when Monica realised she wanted to start a family, but he did not. Though there were plenty of jibes and jokes about their age gap, Richard was a family friend of the Gellar clan, he watched Monica grow up. How do you go from looking at someone as the daughter of a pal, to a potential sexual partner?

In 2021, Keanu Reeves was trending on Twitter when he was photographed with his “age appropriate” new partner, Alexandra Grant. For context, he’s 57 and she’s 49. Think back to the release of The Graduate in 1967, a film which saw a young man have an affair with the wife of his father’s business partner, a woman twice his age. Though in real life, Dustin Hoffman was only six years younger than Anne Bancroft, Mrs Robinson set a new trope in motion: the seductress.

From the OG MILF taking the form of Stifler’s mom in American Pie to Fountains of Wayne’s ‘Stacy’s Mom’, a young boy being seduced by an older woman was seen as something akin to a badge of honour.

age gap

However, when Harry Styles was in a relationship with Caroline Flack — he was 17, she was 31 — they received a serious amount of backlash. Now, Styles is dating filmmaker Olivia Wilde and though she is ten years older, their relationship does not receive that same scrutiny. In that same vein, there’s an eleven year age gap between Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas, but no one seems to bat an eye.

It all comes down to consenting adults existing on a level playing field. While conversations around grooming, predatory behaviours and power imbalances are incredibly important in this context, a double standard continues to exist. At the end of the day, vigilance is vital, but as we can see, people can enjoy healthy connections with those much older, and much younger. Context is key.