John Mayer On “Womanizer” Reputation After Taylor Swift Backlash

Jan 2, 2023

John sat down with host Alex Cooper on Wednesday for the wide-ranging chat, which included a brief reference to his dating life — both past and present.

For a bit of background, John has long faced scrutiny over his treatment of women in the public eye, namely his exes Jessica Simpson and — perhaps most infamously — Taylor Swift.

Speaking with Playboy in 2010, which was roughly three years after he and Jessica parted ways, John made several degrading remarks about his ex. “Sexually it was crazy. That’s all I’ll say. It was like napalm, sexual napalm,” he said.

At the time, Jessica revealed that she was “so disappointed” in John and did not accept his eventual apology. “I hope he gets his life together,” she said.

And John’s past relationship with Taylor, which only lasted a few months back in late 2009 and early 2010, has faced even more backlash in recent years, with their controversial 13-year age gap being a huge talking point online.

Taylor was just 19 when the pair were romantically linked, while John was 32. After they split, John publicly condemned a very pointed song Taylor wrote that seemingly discussed their relationship, which was quite literally titled “Dear John.”

A couple of years after its release, John described Taylor’s songwriting as “cheap” and “lousy” during an interview with Rolling Stone. “It made me feel terrible,” he said. “It was a really lousy thing to do. I never got an email. I never got a phone call. I was really caught off guard.”

“I will say as a songwriter that I think it’s kind of cheap songwriting,” he continued. “I know she’s the biggest thing in the world, and I’m not trying to sink anybody’s ship, but I think it’s abusing your talent to rub your hands together and go, ‘Wait till he gets a load of this!’ That’s bullshit.” The following year, John released a song titled “Paper Doll,” which was widely interpreted to be about their failed relationship.

More recently, in October, Taylor appeared to address the past relationship once again in lyrics on her latest album, Midnights. In a track titled “Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve,” the singer seemingly expressed regret at dating older men when she was just 19.

Now, John has discussed his controversial past dating life on Call Her Daddy, telling the host Alex about being nicknamed things like “Lothario” and “womanizer.”

“I think, look, the elephant in the room is that I’m on a show that caters to women, and I have a couple of name plates on me, like ‘Lothario’ and ‘womanizer,’ and I think that is what that is,” he said.

John went on to say that people “would be surprised” to learn that he’s super confused by such nicknames.

Explaining why he had a history of falling in love “very deeply,” John said that growing up, he was “made to believe” that somebody showing interest in him was always an “accident” that he needed to “capitalize” on.

“I felt very deeply when somebody liked me,” he said. “Very deeply.”

Going on to explain why he doesn’t “really date” anymore, John noted that since getting sober six years ago, he no longer has “the liquid courage.”

“Dating is no longer a codified activity for me, it doesn’t exist in a kind of… It’s not patterned anymore,” he said.

“I don’t really date — I don’t think that I have to, to be quite honest,” he went on. “I quit drinking like six years ago, so I don’t have the liquid courage. I just have dry courage.”

John’s comments come just over a year after he responded to harsh death threats from a Taylor Swift fan amid renewed backlash of their past relationship and age difference.

Screenshots surfaced across social media last November showing cruel Instagram DMs that the fan had sent John, which read: “fuck yourself ugly bitch i hope you choke on something.”

John purportedly replied to the user directly: “I’ve been getting so many messages like these the past couple of days, I decided to choose your message at random to reply to. You can feel free to screenshot, share in any way you like if you want. I’m not upset, I just tend to have a curious mind and feel compelled to ask. Do you really hope that I die?”

Several fans condemned those who were sending John death threats after the screengrabs surfaced online — but maintained that he shouldn’t be defended for his past actions.

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