Julia Fox is making headlines once again — this time for her searing memoir, “Down the Drain,” which includes bombshells about her life as a self-described “Renaissance woman,” becoming a New York club fixture as a teenager and her prominent relationship with a certain celebrity.
Fox made her feature film debut in the gritty 2019 drama “Uncut Gems.” Three years later, her brief relationship with Ye, the rapper formerly known as Kanye West, catapulted her to global tabloid fame.
Ye is never mentioned in the book, though she does describe a relationship with a person referred to as “the artist.” There are biographical similarities between the artist and Ye. For example, the artist in question was married to a “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” star, she writes in the book; Ye was previously married to Kim Kardashian. Fox’s publisher Simon & Schuster declined to comment.
Fox said she doesn’t want to be defined by this brief period in her life, per an interview with The Guardian in 2023.
“A lot of people were like, oh, she’s only famous because of Ye. It’s like, no, I’ve been around and I’ve been in a full f——- movie and I did a lot of things before that, too,” she told The Guardian. “It’s that you’re just hearing about me now. That relationship doesn’t define me. It’s one little blip.”
The memoir, which Fox said on Instagram she wrote herself without a ghost writer, are the other blips, so to speak. She delves into her chaotic childhood, describing scenes of abuse, neglect and addiction.
The book also documents her winding path to becoming an actor, artist, writer, muse, model and TikTok It Girl (or anti-It Girl, as she has described herself).
Read on to learn more about Julia Fox, including revelations from her new memoir, “Down the Drain.”
She has been open about her turbulent childhood
Fox was born in Italy and moved to the U.S. at 6. In her memoir, she candidly describes her erratic upbringing in New York City, with parents who were often in conflict with each other, she says.
Fox says she often got into trouble at school. She also recalls one teacher who noticed her talent for writing and encouraged to let out her feelings on the page.
“I write about how lonely I am and how everyone always leaves me, leading me to put on a facade of toughness and aggression,” Fox writes in her memoir. “I write about the urge to compare myself to others and the resulting feelings of inadequacy. I fantasize about what life could have been like had I been born into a normal, loving family and all the ways in which I would be different.”
Fox has been open about becoming a regular on the New York City club scene as a young teenager.
“I was 14 years old in clubs, you know? By the time I was 18, I was tired,” she told Paper magazine in 2019. “It just got boring and repetitive. I already knew what the night would be like — it just wasn’t fulfilling to me anymore. It was this really cheap thrill that I had become immune to.”
Fox has described herself as a “Renaissance woman”
Long before she rose to fame as an actor and model, Fox made a name for herself in New York City as an artist and designer, known for her provocative, edgy creations. She also opens up in her memoir about her time working as a dominatrix.
Fox has published two books of photography, “Symptomatic of A Relationship Gone Sour: Heartburn / Nausea” and “PTSD,” and has exhibited her work in galleries. One of her memorable exhibits was her 2017 show, “R.I.P. Julia Fox,” which featured paintings of her own blood on silk.
“I chose the silk because it’s so feminine in that it is delicate but at the same time it’s so strong and hard to tear through,” she told HuffPost contributor Jill Di Donato in 2017. “I feel like blood is so precious and it’s only right that it be displayed on a fabric which is just as precious.”
In her early 20s, Fox and her friend Briana Andalore launched a bodycon knitwear label, Franziska Fox, which has been worn by celebrities including Kylie Jenner and Bella Thorne.
Fox is also a model, and has appeared in campaigns for brands including Tiffany & Co., Diesel and Supreme.
Fox also wrote, directed and produced a short film called “Fantasy Girls.”
“I kind of am somewhat of a Renaissance woman,” she told Paper magazine in 2019. “I have many, many interests. I feel like when you’re a creative, you can express that through so many mediums.
“Acting just happens to be what it is right now, but it’s been fashion, it’s been art, it’s been photography, it’s been writing, it’s been directing,” she continued. “If you have it in you, it’s gonna come out with whatever someone puts in front of you.”
Fox has inspired countless TikTok memes
Fox has been at the heart of several viral moments on social media in recent years.
In 2022, her unexpected pronunciation of “Uncut Gems” in a podcast interview inspired countless imitations and parodies on TikTok.
Fox completely owned the meme-worthy moment, responding directly to an Instagram reel about the trend shared by Page Six.
“Omggggg I was stoned leave me alone!!!! Hahahahahahah,” she wrote in the comments, according to People.
She also sparked memes for a comment she made on the red carpet at the 2022 Vanity Fair Oscars party about her upcoming memoir.
“I don’t want to give too much of it away, because I’m very superstitious so I don’t like to speak of things before they’re finished,” she said. “It’s so far a masterpiece, if I do say so myself.”
Her “masterpiece” comment instantly went viral, even inspiring Simu Liu as he promoted his own 2023 memoir, “We Were Dreamers.”
“It’s like this soundbite just fell into my lap…” he joked on TikTok.
Many have called Fox an It Girl but in the past, she has resisted that label.
“I kind of consider myself as an anti-It Girl,” she told HuffPost in 2017. “I don’t really care about being seen. I want the things that I create to outshine the person that I am perceived to be, which I think is often not accurate and not really representative of who I am.”
She welcomed her son, Valentino, in 2021
Fox welcomed a son, Valentino, with ex-husband Peter Artemiev, on Jan. 17, 2021.
In a sweet Instagram post celebrating his first birthday, she thanked her son for “showing me what love is.”
“Thank you for humbling me and teaching me patience and hard work. Thank you for being my biggest blessing,” she wrote in the caption. “My greatest accomplishment. My masterpiece. I don’t deserve you but somehow we’re here and I promise to love you unconditionally and accept you for who you are.”
Fox has also opened up about wanting to raise Valentino to value and protect women.
“I can’t have him becoming an abuser in any type of way,” she told The New Yorker in September 2023. “I can’t have him becoming incompetent and eventually making a female counterpart pay for that.
“I have to make sure that he knows how to do things for himself, knows the value of things, and ultimately just keeps it in his pants,” she added. “I want my son to really step up and be a protector of women, someone who allows women the space and agency to feel safe and taken care of.”
She wrote about her relationship with ‘The Artist’ in her memoir
Fox and the artist connected in 2022 when he got her number from a mutual friend.
“A text from the artist arrives shortly after, followed by dozens of phone calls,” she recalls in her memoir. “We talk for hours. Well, he talks for hours and I mostly listen, occasionally chiming in. When he does listen to me, he loves my ideas and thinks I’m really smart. Coming from him, this feels like a huge compliment. I’m giddy during this time. It’s like he breathed a new life into me.”
At first, it sounds like life in the artist’s orbit was dizzying and exciting. Fox says in her book that the artist told her he wanted to “appoint a team” to work on her wardrobe.
“I immediately think of an episode of ‘Keeping Up with the Kardashians,’ where he did the same thing for his estranged wife in their early stages of dating,” Fox writes in her memoir. “This all feels so surreal. I can’t believe this is my life. “
At times, dressing according to the artist’s taste seemed to take on a darker edge for Fox, but she says she pushed her doubts aside.
“His photographer snaps photos of me all night long at the artist’s encouragement,” she writes in her memoir. “A part of me kind of feels like a show monkey, but I’ve been performing my whole life, so what’s the big deal?”
Fox says she sometimes felt “uncomfortable” during her time with the artist
In her memoir, Fox describes experiences with the artist that left her feeling “uncomfortable.”
In one anecdote, she recalls the artist’s reaction when she told him that a certain shirt didn’t fit her quite right.
“I’ll get you a boob job, if you want,” Fox recalls the artist saying, to which she replied, “I’m good.”
“But his words stick to me like a piece of lint on my clothes,” she writes later, “and I can’t shake off the uncomfortable feeling.”
Fox also recalled when Interview Magazine invited her to write a piece describing the story of how she and the artist met. When she showed a draft of the piece to the artist, she says he asked her to change most of it.
“He texts back almost immediately that this version isn’t going to work. I’m confused because it’s the truth,” she writes in her memoir. “A few minutes go by and he sends me a completely new version that sounds nothing like me and is completely fabricated.”
Fox says she stood her ground and eventually, she says the artist agreed on a version “somewhere in the middle.”
“But the seed of doubt has been planted in my mind, and I can’t shake the feeling,” she writes. “I push the thoughts out of my head and remind myself how lucky I am to be in this position. I convince myself that over time, if he just stops to listen to me, he might fall for me and maybe I can help him overcome his demons.”
Fox also reveals in her memoir that she refused to sign a non-disclosure agreement throughout her brief relationship with the artist.
“He can take over my life, but he’s not taking my voice,” she recalls thinking.
In the end, Fox and the artist were linked for about a month before parting ways. She shared in her memoir that sometime after their split, the artist reached out to her when he realized she had never signed the NDA.
At the time, she was dealing with the death of her close friend, so she ignored his message, but he kept reaching out to her and her team, asking for her to sign the document.
“I write him a lengthy text in which I reiterate that I’m not signing jack s—,” she writes in her memoir. “‘I can’t be friends with you if you don’t sign it,’ he warns me. ‘I’ll live,’ I text back.”
She’s set to host a fashion design reality show
Fox is set to host an upcoming design competition show, “OMG Fashun! With Julia Fox.”
“Do you know what’s missing from fashion design competitions? Me. Guess what? I’m going to be hosting one on a major TV network,” she said in a recent Instagram reel.
“I can’t believe those words just came out of my mouth,” she continued. “Now the fun part. I’m looking for you. Are you a fashion disrupter? A savant? Do you upcycle? Do you make dresses out of seashells or leaves or tampon applicators, but make it fashion? Then you are who I’m looking for.”