Look at them now.
While showing support for longtime pal Selena Gomez at her inaugural Rare Impact Fund Benefit, Francia Raísa reflected on the challenges the two have faced over the years as well as the hateful comments she received amid rumors of tension between them.
"Listen, if I didn't go on the internet, it didn't exist," the How I Met Your Father star exclusively told E! News on the red carpet at the Oct. 4 event in Los Angeles (for more interviews, tune in to tonight's episode). "But like, obviously it got to me. I got some pretty crazy comments. I had to block some people. And for a while, I just couldn't go on the internet. And then people texting me, 'Are you OK?' And like, honestly, I wasn't because we weren't in a great place. But at the same time, we needed that time apart."
Having the drama play out so publicly also wasn't easy. "I'm not used to people butting into my personal relationships, so this one's a little different," she continued. "But yeah, there was a couple times where I was like, 'You guys, leave me alone!'"
Last year, rumors swirled that Francia—a close pal who donated a kidney to Selena in 2017 amid her battle with lupus—and the "Wolves" singer had beef after Selena referred to Taylor Swift as her "only friend in the industry" in a November Rolling Stone profile. This prompted the Grown-ish actress to write "interesting" underneath an Instagram post about the interview, with Selena appearing to address the situation by commenting on TikTok, "Sorry I didn't mention every person I know."
However, the duo seemed to move past any drama. Selena called Francia her best friend in a March episode of Apple TV+'s Dear... and shared a tribute on her birthday in July. And in case there was any confusion, Francia clarified on an August episode of the Good Guys podcast that there was "no beef."
As for how important their friendship is to The Secret Life of the American Teenager alum? "Well, girl, she has a piece of my body," Francia told E! News, "so it's very important."
"Like I said before, I don't regret it," she later added about donating the kidney. "She's my sis, and every relationship goes through its ups and downs. And I don't know why the media started following me over the summer but thank you so much because not only did it bring my friendship back together, but I got to share the new endeavors that I'm doing right now."
Those new endeavors include Francia working on a salsa line, and she says Selena has been "so supportive." And now, she's returning that show of support by attending the Rare Impact Fund Benefit, which supports youth mental health. Francia also applauded the work the Only Murders in the Building star has done to help others.
"Within the Hispanic community, it's just not talked about," she said. "So for her to be a Latina out there being like, 'Hey, I'm not OK. These things happen. These things are normal,' it's beautiful. There's still a stigma amongst Latinx households about mental health, and I'm glad that someone with her voice, as big as it is, is out there speaking about it. It's inspired me to tell my story as well, honestly."
"I just know my personal experience, and sharing my story has really healed me in a way and I don't feel afraid of my thoughts and of myself," she told E! News. "And I'm just really in a solid place with that, and I think it's because I spoke up."
- Reporting by Rebecca Ray