Comedian Patton Oswalt landed in hot water last month when he revealed that he was in a relationship with actress Meredith Salenger — just a year after his late wife’s unexpected death.
The two debuted their relationship at a film premiere, leaving many fans scratching their heads.
Some even accused the star of moving on “too soon.”Jason LaVeris/Getty Images
Oswalt’s late wife, Michelle McNamara, died in April of 2016 after accidentally taking a lethal dose of prescription drugs. Her death left Oswalt as a single parent to their 7-year-old daughter, Alice.
This is why fans were surprised on Thursday when Oswalt confirmed his engagement to Salenger.
The news ignited a flurry of criticism across social media:
patton oswalt wrote crushing words about grief when his wife of 11 years died 15 months ago and now he's engaged and I feel queasy
— allison hartman (@allisonbhartman) July 6, 2017
hold up. patton oswalt's wife died ONE YEAR AGO and he's ENGAGED???? does that seem totally sketchy to anyone else?
— back to watching RHOBH (@garbage_person) July 6, 2017
But now the happy couple is hitting back. According to Entertainment Tonight, both actors took to social media to shut down haters who called their engagement “too soon.”
On Saturday, Oswalt shared a fan-written blog post, called “A Widow’s Rage Defense of Patton Oswalt’s Engagement,” to his Facebook page. The post, written by a woman who lost her husband within days of McNamara’s own death, expresses support for the actor’s decision to move on.
Oswalt shared the blog post along with the caption:
“This is so amazing. And SO well-written. I expected some bitter grub worms to weigh in (anonymously, always always always) with their much-needed opinions when I announced my engagement last week. And I decided to ignore them.”
The actor also admitted that the online criticism had been negatively affecting him:
“But yeah, I felt this rage. And Erica articulated it better than I could have ever hoped. So there you go.”
Salenger later echoed her fiancé’s sentiments. The actress weighed in with her own response to the supportive blog post and claimed it was the only the haters online who were against the engagement.
The actress said that even McNamara’s siblings were onboard:
“Everyone has been so lovely to us… all of Patton’s family… ALL of Michelle’s siblings and friends and family… a few trolls have strong opinions.”
— Meredith Salenger (@MeredthSalenger) July 8, 2017
Salenger also said she was proud that she could help Oswalt move on after his devastating loss:
But I think for Patton, having met and found love after over a year of intense therapy and openly grieving and dealing with his pain… I am grateful to be the one who helps him climb out of the depths of grief and find some joy again.”
It’s unclear when the two actors plan on tying the knot. But for now, it seems they’re still fighting strong against all the negativity.