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Man made famous by ‘dress that broke the internet’ admits to violently attacking wife

A Scottish man who achieved internet fame thanks to “the dress that broke the internet” — a wild optical illusion that made the frock look blue and black to some, and white and gold to others — has confessed to strangling and abusing his wife.

Keir Johnston, 38, pleaded guilty on Thursday to attacking his wife, Grace Johnston, in their home on Scotland’s Isle of Colonsay on March 6, 2022.

Days before the incident, the couple, who married in 2015, got into a fight over Grace interviewing for a job on the mainland, The Guardian reported Friday. Johnston did not want her to go, but she did so despite his protests.

In the hours before the attack, Johnston was drinking at a pub and texting his wife, prosecutor Chris Macintosh told the court. One of the messages read: “You should support me but you do not.”

When Grace returned home later that night, Johnston, who’d been asleep at the time, awoke and announced that he planned to leave her.

“She went outside the property to stop him leaving. He followed her and pinned her to the ground,” Macintosh said. “He placed both knees on her arms, so she was unable to move. He then began strangling her with both his hands.”

A passerby who heard Grace scream was able to separate the two and Johnston went back inside the home. But he returned just a few minutes later, this time with a knife in hand. He then vowed to “finish her off,” before again choking her.

Grace was eventually able to call the police and told them her husband was trying to kill her.

Johnston’s attorney, Marco Guarino, said his client wants to accept responsibility for the assault. A judge denied him bail and he is slated to be sentenced in June.

The violent attack came some seven years after the couple gained worldwide fame through a viral social media post. Grace’s mother, Cecilia Bleasdale, was looking for a second opinion when she texted her daughter a snap of the dress she planned to wear to their upcoming wedding. But the image she sent left the couple confused after they disagreed over the color of the garment.

Johnston saw it as blue and black while Grace perceived it to be white and gold. Their wedding guests were equally floored by the color-changing dress, and one of them eventually posted it to Tumblr. From there, the post exploded, with high-profile personalities and celebs weighing in on debate.

In actuality, the dress is blue and black.


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