In 2017, actress Francia Raisa donated her kidney to her close friend of 10 years, Selena Gomez.
Selena had been diagnosed six years earlier with lupus, an autoimmune disease that causes the body to attack healthy parts of itself.
Prior to the transplant, the star had said her own kidneys “had just been done” due to lupus-related organ damage.
speaking in the today is the show After the surgery, Francia recalled: “[Selena] says: ‘I don’t know what to do, the [donor wait] list is seven to 10 years,’ and I just puked up. I was like, ‘Of course I’m going to get tested.
“I didn’t want to ask a single person in my life,” Selena said at the time. “The idea of asking someone to do that was really difficult for me. She volunteered and did it.”
The singer also said it was “unbelievable” that France turned out to be a couple.
Selena revealed that she had undergone the kidney transplant in September 2017, when she shared a sweet photo of her and Francia holding hands in their hospital beds as they prepared for the surgery.
“There are no words to describe how I can thank my beautiful friend Francia Raisa,” Selena wrote at the time. “She gave me the best gift and sacrifice by donating her kidney to me. I am incredibly blessed. I love you sister”.
The following year, France spoke about her experience of donating a kidney, where she revealed that she struggled much more in post-operative recovery than Selena.
“It’s harder as a donor because we’re losing something that our body didn’t need to lose, so trying to recover from that and she’s gaining something that her body needed,” he said on the Harry Connick Jr. show. Harry. “So she got up and did it right away and I had a hard time.”
“I couldn’t get up without someone helping me. That was very humiliating. I couldn’t take a bath by myself, he had to help me because I couldn’t move,” Francia continued.
But despite the grueling aftermath of the surgery, Francia expressed no regrets about volunteering, saying it had made her and Selena “family.”
“It was a big surgery. He felt bad for even making me do that because we’re just friends. I’m not his family or anything. Well, I am now. She has my blood,” she said at the time.
“She felt bad. We just wanted our families close and she was great because I have a big family now. I lost my grandparents when she was younger…her grandparents are my grandparents now, so I have this extended family and it’s been really amazing,” Francia added in the 2018 interview.
So when Selena’s new Apple TV+ documentary my mind and me came out on Friday, people were surprised by the star’s passing comment about his friendships in the industry.
“I never fit in with a cool group of girls who were celebrities,” Selena said in one scene. “My only friend in the industry really is Taylor. [Swift].”
France was not mentioned at all in the 95-minute film.
ME! News posted Selena’s quote on her Instagram page on Saturday, and Francia responded by commenting, “Interesting.”
He quickly deleted the comment but unfollowed Selena on social media.
At the time, some were quick to defend Selena when they pointed out that Francia is an actress and theorized that she had been talking specifically about the music industry in her documentary.
“Selena Gomez said that her only friend in the music industry is Taylor Swift. france raisa is apparently not in the music industry so why get mad like that? Selena said many times that she sees France as her sister,” one person tweeted.
Another agreed: “Selena sees France as her own sister, so why would she say France is her only friend in the industry? I also think Selena was talking about the music industry, not Hollywood in general.”
But when someone made a TikTok video about France’s apparent snub on Sunday, Selena fueled a backlash by commenting, “Sorry I didn’t mention everyone I know.”
This response sparked huge criticism online, with one person writing on a Reddit forum: “’Everyone I know’ um, how about the ONE person who gave you a literal body part? Do you think that name could be on the tip of your tongue?
“I was rooting for Selena but she’s freaking out,” another replied. Someone else added: “She was giving him the benefit of the doubt, but this comment doesn’t sit well with her.”
“It’s the ‘I know’ part that gets me. No ‘I’m close’ or ‘I’m a friend’ like the person who gave you their kidney was a random acquaintance,” someone else wrote. To which another user responded: “Exactly! It’s such a shocking thing to say that I would have thought it was fake.”
“Annnnnnd you lost me Selena. That girl risked her life to save yours. Send him a fucking text and talk to him like an adult instead of giving a quick reply on TikTok,” read another comment.
“’Everyone I know.’ Bitch, he gave you one of his ORGANS,” someone else said.
“Selena, this is not the boss girl moment you think it is 😂😂😂😂,” one more concluded.
Selena was previously accused of ambushing France into donating her kidney after doctors told her they were a match before telling France.
“When I found out I was a match, it wasn’t what I expected,” France told Self in 2018.
“One day I got a phone call from Selena, on FaceTime, and she was like, ‘We’re a match!’ and I was like… ‘Yay, how do you know this?’” Francia continued. “She had a way that she wanted to tell him, when she had made the decision.”
Francia admitted she was “angry” when she called her social worker about the news, and people criticized the doctors for telling Selena first and inadvertently pressuring Francia to agree to the surgery.
“He wanted to take some time to really think about the decision that changed his life and that was taken away from him. she definitely felt pressured to do it afterwards :(” one person commented on an interview clip from France.
“Honestly that’s extremely sad… how can you say no after that point?” wrote another. Someone else said: “1) Francis felt guilty about the procedure (doctor is an idiot) 2) Selena should have let him make the decision instead of celebrating.”
Just over a year after the 2017 transplant, Radar Online reported that France was unhappy with Selena’s “unhealthy choices” after she was seen drinking alcohol before being admitted to a mental health facility in October 2018.
And in 2019, a source told the same publication that Selena was sick of feeling indebted to her friend.
“The truth is, Selena was tired of feeling like she owed her something because she gave her a kidney,” the source said at the time. “This was France’s choice, she Selena didn’t steal her kidney.”
In December of that year, Selena sparked a backlash when she referred to France as “the girl who gave me her kidney.”
But the pair seemed to rekindle their friendship in the years that followed, often posting about each other on social media, even making a TikTok video together just four months ago.
BuzzFeed News has reached out to representatives for Selena and France for comment.
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