For Taylor Swift, the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards felt like the perfect night to make fun of her exes. The 23-year-old singer, known for her breakup anthems, appeared to slam ex-boyfriend Harry Styles and presumably Jake Gyllenhaal during the show at Brooklyn's Barclays Center on Sunday, Aug. 25. But Styles' One Direction bandmates rushed to Styles' defense the following night at the premiere of their This Is Us concert documentary in New York City.
Liam Payne added, "I just thought it was a bit not needed. I mean, you just won an award, it's like, concentrate on yourself!" When a reporter asked if Swift's behavior was "lame," Payne agreed, saying, "Yeah."
While Styles, 19, presented an award with One Direction onstage, Swift, sitting beside pal Selena Gomez in the audience, was filmed appearing to mouth "shut the f--- up!" (Swift and Styles broke up in early January after a couple months of dating.)
Later, while accepting the award for Best Female Video for her "I Knew You Were Trouble" hit, Swift took another dig at an ex. "Thank you. Wow. I want to thank the fans because I tweeted about this a lot, I really really wanted this," she said of the track from her fourth studio album, Red, which was released in October 2012. "I also want to thank the person that inspired this song, and he knows exactly who he is, because I got one of these!" ("I Knew You Were Trouble" was presumably inspired by Swift's high-profile romance in late-2010 with Gyllenhaal.)
Though Styles didn't comment on Swift seemingly cursing him out from the audience, he did share his thoughts with Us about another controversial moment from the VMAs show: Miley Cyrus' raunchy performance.
"I thought it was very reserved. I thought she was very, you know, timid," Styles joked. "She's quite shy. I think she needs to come out of her shell a bit more."