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Man behind the viral dress illusion in 2015 accused of trying to murder wife

By John Patrick Magno Ranara Published Jul 17, 2023 8:08 pm

Back in 2015, a dress became a viral sensation for causing confusion among internet users regarding its true color. The same white/gold or blue/black dress is once again making headlines for all the wrong reasons: the man closely connected to it has been accused of trying to murder his wife.

According to multiple news reports including USA Today and UK's The Times, 38-year-old Keir Johnston, whose mother-in-law wore the mystery dress at his wedding, has been charged with attempted murder of his wife Grace in the High Court in Glasgow, Scotland. He is accused of committing a serious case of domestic violence and coercive behavior over his spouse in a span of 11 years.

The case stemmed from alleged incidents between April 2019 and March 2022, wherein Keir repeatedly assaulted his wife at their home by pushing her against the wall, engaging in verbal abuse, and threatening her with a knife.

The Guardian also reported that there was one incident where he entered a vehicle that Grace was in and put her in a headlock before dragging her from a pub after she refused to leave with him.

Further charges claim that Keir distanced his wife from her friends and kept a close watch at her every move. The issue eventually reached a boiling point when Keir allegedly tried to strangle his wife by placing his hands around her neck and restricting her breathing, all while making violent threats to her.

Keir has denied all the allegations against him, and he is currently set for a further preliminary hearing before undergoing a trial in 2024.

The charges come eight years after the incident that has been dubbed as "the dress that broke the internet." A photo of the dress first surfaced online in 2015 before Keir and Grace were about to tie the knot. Grace's mother, Cecilia, was the one who first took a photograph of the dress, having intended to wear it during her daughter's wedding. Many viewers online disagreed whether the dress was black and blue or white and gold.

The two of them then got into a debate about what color the dress was, and the argument escalated to include the entire internet when a guest at the wedding posted the picture on Tumblr.

The dress became such an internet phenomenon for its unusual color properties that Keir, Grace, and Cecilia even became special guests on The Ellen Degeneres Show, where they gave a background on how the debate about the color of the dress started.