Article Thumbnail

The Definitive History of the Rumor That Timothée Chalamet Gave Half of NYU Chlamydia

How a campus legend about the Oscar nominee turned into stan Twitter’s latest meme

Do you have a friend of a friend who knows someone who knows someone who knows someone who got chlamydia from Timothée Chalamet? You’re not alone. There’s a long-standing rumor that the adored actor gave multiple women at New York University chlamydia in the (possible) one year in which he was a student

Earlier this week, Jonathan, a 19-year-old junior at the city school, tweeted, “The whole ‘timothée chalamet spread chlamydia at nyu’ thing is crazy because it ACTUALLY. HAPPENED. he fucked like a RABBIT. too many people i know can attest to knowing someone who knows someone that got chlamydia from oscar-nominated actor timothée chalamet and that sends me.”

Jonathan says he learned about the rumor in his freshman year at NYU during a group project. “One time, someone brought up Timothée Chalamet. Five other people in the group were like, ‘Oh yeah, didn’t he spread chlamydia around campus?’” he says. 

Jonathan believes the story is true. But could it be? Did Chalamet really give half of NYU chlamydia? Does it even matter? We, of course, will not be STI-shaming this gorgeous man. But we will investigate the hell out of this.

A source who attended NYU at the time Chalamet was a student (and requested to speak on background because they don’t want to be labeled the person who leaked the Timothée tea) tells me the rumor began in fall 2017 when Chalamet was just another Gallatin kid. The chlamydia story was like any other campus dating-life rumor.

Jonathan posted his viral tweet this week after realizing the rumor had spread far beyond the halls of Tisch. “There are these very obviously exaggerated stories because we go to a school where these celebrities attended,” he explains. For example? “Like, ‘Cole Sprouse pushed me off my skateboard,’” he says.

In November 2017, Chalamet became Hollywood’s top twink courtesy of his Oscar-nominated role in Call Me by Your Name. As Chalamet’s celebrity rose (and much like chlamydia itself), the rumors spread quickly and aggressively. 

The earliest mention of Chalamet and chlamydia on Twitter is dated March 4, 2018, when a user the name @gray666on tweeted, “mutual friend got chlamydia from timothee chalamet, pass it on.” 

@gray666on did not return my multiple requests for an interview. Instead, he tweeted out my inquiry with the caption, “y’all what do I do.” (You accept my DM, @gray666on. That’s what you do.)

Eventually, “Timothée Chlamydia” was born. He’s the internet’s favorite boyfriend with a bad case of STIs. Fanfiction was written on Wattpad, and Twitter users joked about wishing Chalamet would give them chlamydia.

“He’s regarded online as a pure prince,” Matthew Schimkowitz, a senior editor at Know Your Meme, tells me. Schimkowitz compares it to the repeated rumors that Leonardo DiCaprio wears noise-canceling headphones during sex. “It’s really rare to see a meme that deals with the sexualization of a celebrity in such graphic terms,” he says.

Among Chalamet stans, the rumor is largely unimportant. “It’s been around for a while, and it’s not been given much attention as it has now,” Derek, a.k.a. the ultimate Chalamet fan @timotheechalamt, tells me. “Even if he did have it, he probably got it cured or taken care of.”

Chalamet’s representatives did not return my request for comment, nor did many of Twitter’s Chalamet shitposters. So the rumor continues unconfirmed. 

Still, regardless of its accuracy, Chalamet stans make it clear they’re not STI-shaming. “It’s fun that Timothée Chalamet, who is this really big celebrity, was actually this real person who had sex like many other college students,” Jonathan says. (Like a college sexual escapade, the theory that Chalamet had sex at NYU is also short and unconfirmed.)

So, one final question. Has anyone heard from the Call My by Your Name peach? Are STIs covered in the Actors Guild? Hopefully, Chalamet didn’t give Ms. Fruit chlamydia too.