Are Issa Pressman and James Reid dating?

“James Reid and Issa Pressman are dating now?” is the hot button question among netizens as the two seemingly became Instagram official.

This came to light after Reid and Pressman posted photos of each other attending the Harry Styles concert, with Pressman adding a mirror selfie of them holding hands. 

The two had previously been spotted holding hands at the Wavy Baby concert in Cebu last February. This interaction didn’t get much attention at the time, possibly because it was overshadowed by the drama that went on concerning local artists being sidelined.

While celebrities known for being long-term friends (they are in the same friend circle) becoming a couple is usually fodder for friends-to-lovers shippers, there’s prior context that’s made many netizens unhappy. For many, the pictures are confirmation of the scandal that broke the internet in 2020 when Reid and his former girlfriend Nadine Lustre split. 

Internet sleuths claimed that Reid had been cheating on Lustre with Pressman, saying that a blurry video of people partying showed the two kissing (though you couldn’t even tell if it was them) and even alleging that they had been together since 2019. The rumors only abated when Yassi Pressman, Issa’s sister and Lustre’s close friend, posted a photo with Lustre. She wrote that they initially laughed at how wild the rumors were getting but were now concerned with how fans moved on to cyberbullying. It was a mess.

So, are they together now? Maybe! Signs are pointing to yes. Still, them getting together now is not necessarily confirmation that Reid cheated on Lustre with Pressman all those years ago.

The truth is that we don’t know. Maybe it is true that Reid and Pressman went behind Lustre’s back before, or maybe their current union is a natural byproduct of them getting closer (Reid is currently Pressman’s manager). For what it’s worth, Lustre still follows the both of them on Instagram, commented that she loved them both when the drama went down the first time, and continues to work with Yassi. Last year, she called Pressman a friend that she was happy to see be added to Careless Music’s roster. When she herself left the agency, it was on good terms. If the JaDine breakup happened because of cheating, I’m not sure that she’d do any of that. Also? Three years is a long time to wait to go Instagram official, and Pressman had a girlfriend when the drama went down, and a boyfriend last year. Reid also had a ton of relationship rumors throughout that time, even with Nancy of Momoland.

If I’m being honest, there’s a lot of projection that’s happening here. People are using this news as a springboard to talk about and express the hurt they’ve faced in similar situations: exes cheating on them with their friends, exes lying hard about not cheating on them with someone and then them getting together after breaking up, exes’ friends getting in between relationships. 

As much as I don’t want to sound callous, your past hurt doesn’t make you an expert on other people’s love lives. Just because someone did something particularly sh*tty to you doesn’t mean that everyone does that to other people, too. That’s a really flawed way to view the world. Projecting your own trauma onto others will also ultimately hurt you and prolong your own pain.

People are also likening it to the Hailey Bieber and Selena Gomez drama, which—I don’t even want to open that can of worms. All I’ll say is: People’s lives! are not! pieces of media!

BTW, the Harry Styles concert again? It feels like every celebrity drama that’s popped up recently is somehow related to that man.


Photo courtesy of Issa Pressman’s Instagram

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Zofiya Acosta: Zofiya, editor, cat parent, and Very Online™️ person, has not had a good night’s sleep since 2016. They love movies and TV and could spend their whole life talking about how 2003’s “Crying Ladies” is the best movie anyone’s ever made.