Bella Thorne: ‘I never learned how to read & I learned how to read from reading scripts’

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I don’t pay much attention to Bella Thorne, other than to occasionally gasp over her terrible fashion choices or her terrible life choices. It sometimes feels like she has Lindsay Lohan Syndrome – a lost little girl who wants all of the worst parts of stardom and fame, you know? She’s only 21 years old and I feel like she’s already kind of lost. But much like Lohan, Bella loves to hype herself and tell increasingly bizarre stories about herself. This one was bizarre enough to get my interest: she learned how to read from reading scripts, and she learned how to count by counting money. Did no one think to enroll this child in school?

Bella Thorne is opening up about why learning to read and count later in life is one of her biggest accomplishments. On Thursday’s episode of the podcast Chicks in the Office, Thorne, 21, explained some of the “main points” in her upcoming book The Life of a Wannabe Mogul that she’s proud of.

“I don’t talk about it in this one, but in the third book it would be the fact that I never learned how to read and I learned how to read from reading scripts,” Thorne told hosts Maria Ciuffo and Francesca Mariano. Thorne revealed she “learned how to count from counting my dad’s cash.”

“I’m obsessed with money and literal cash,” the Midnight Sun star said.

Thorne went on to share that she’s used all of the things she couldn’t do before as motivation, which has allowed her to conquer goals she claims no one thought she would.

“I was tone deaf and I now own a record label and I’m signed to Sony as an artist and I can sing acapella like a bitch ass so f— with me,” she said. “I had $200 to my name by 18 and bought a house by 19… I never learned to write a script, but I’m writing a series and got an Oscar winner to play my mom. I’m out here doing s— that people say is impossible.”

[From People]

True or nah? Autodidactism is a thing, and some people can and do teach themselves how to read or do math with little formal education. But in Bella’s case, we’re not talking about some savant without access to traditional schools. Bella Thorne is an American woman who has lived in America all her life. Did she seriously not get sent to school? Or maybe she’s just sort of lying about sh-t, God knows.

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25 Responses to “Bella Thorne: ‘I never learned how to read & I learned how to read from reading scripts’”

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  1. TheHeat says:

    You hit the nail right on the head…she most definitely has Lindsay Lohan Syndrome.
    So no, I don’t believe a word that comes out of her mouth.

    • Erinn says:

      She’s a mess, but I feel a lot worse for her than I do for LiLo. She doesn’t have the extensive record LiLo does, and she’s admitted that she was abused from a very young age until 14. That does not make for incredibly stable mental health.

      • otaku fairy... says:

        Agreed. Plus, even though she has being messy in common with Lindsay, so far it doesn’t seem like she has a habit of treating other people the same way Lindsay does.

      • JByrdKU says:

        This. Maybe it’s age, but I just see her as young kid that’s had to suffer some serious mess without any real support system. I want good things for her.

    • Christo says:

      Ugh…agreed. What kind of Dr Seuss-Cat In The Hat nonsense was that statement that Bella just made???

  2. Nicole says:

    This girl is exhausting. She talks mad shit, but if anyone responds to it, she feels victimized. She’s very Trumpian. Who is this girl’s manager. I kinda miss the days when there was mystery in our celebrities.

    • PaintItRed says:

      Many people abused as children spend the rest of their life not entirely sure what’s true and false. They “lie” a lot – and frequently, it’s because they are unable to separate what is real and what is fantasy. It’s a coping mechanism of the brain to horrific circumstances.

      That doesn’t absolve someone like her of all blame here, for this or anything else in her messy life. But this is relatively harmless and she may not ever realize fully she’s doing it .

  3. Erinn says:

    She probably DIDN’T go to school.

    Knowing some of my husbands family who ‘homeschool’ it seems like it’s incredibly under regulated.

    • Wow says:

      I live in the south in an area religious zealot adjacent. My children often interact with some of these homeschool children at karate, gymnastics or other after school activities and many of the children are dangerously uneducated not just academically, but socially.

      There is issues with rampant sex and physical abuse of homeschooled children, at least where I live. The thing is the weird bubble where unacceptable behavior is acceptable runs over into the adults too. My shorts and tank top were “indecent walking pornography” and several of the fathers at this SOCCER game felt it completely appropriate to request I leave and come back when I can dress appropriately for the setting.

      …..I took off my shirt and went sports bra and shorts as my response. There was a second attempt, but my husband came and intervened. They will come at the black woman all day long to her face, but they are less likely to stir shit to a black mans face.

      Thats the environment a lot of these kids are in. Its extremely detached from reality.

      • Holly says:

        I lived in the South for awhile, and had kids playing competitive soccer there. Can confirm all of this – the religious homeschooled kids definitely had a different vibe and oooh those parents were the worst. We were from California and treated as such. What did your shirt say?? I can’t believe they complained but I do believe it! I had a hot pink T-shirt that said “Mary was my homegirl” with a graphic of Mary, and the looks were withering but no one said anything. I’m white, though.

      • tealily says:

        Wow. Hell yeah to that response on your part! I can’t even believe it (which is to say, I can sadly completely believe it but it kills me that this is happening in our country).

      • Wow says:

        Okay, so I was raised in California. My husband is from this area. We moved here so we could serve our black community. I spent my first few years in non stop culture shock.

        My shirt said nothing. It was just a rainbow tank top I got from a patient I treat with sample meds because she has no insurance and being trans in the area makes it difficult to find steady work. It was for pride month, but really it was just a rainbow tank with no text. My shoulders were apparently pornographic.

        I have a huge swath of 4b hair I have never cut which is a real attention getter and I got a complaint at the grade moving ceremony at my kids school that I should go sit in the back because my hair is distracting. Its like people can’t hear themselves. Half the racism isn’t even malicious here, its like its hardwired. The more religious the group in the south the worse it gets. Oh, and they think black Jews dont exist😂😂😂 like Ethiopia didn’t have a Jewish genocide…. i feel like thats common knowledge. Its actually how my parents ended up here.

      • Gil says:

        I have always feel that the amount of things we learnt in school are really little compare to the amount of time we spend in school. After spending 12 years in school we should be able to understand quantum physics. I think we are supposed to go to school in order to understand how to behave and interact with other people in certain social settings. The things you describe are the reason why people should not be homeschooled if possible. My bother was almost homeschooled because he has a medical condition that needed monitoring by my parents. Now he has problems interacting with people and he is really intolerable and looses his shit easily. Maybe it’s due him being a teenager but I think he lacks of social skills because he didn’t interact with people enough

      • Wow says:

        @gil its getting to a point where its homeschooled adults teaching homeschool children. You get these put of touch bubble communities of people who lack the basic skills to function outside of their bubble.

        You have to learn to hold your tongue. That was probably the most important thing I learned in school, the art of knowing when not to speak. Many of people from this group have no filter and lack the skills to tap into empathy and know what is and isnt okay to speak.

        Oh, an meth. I encountered like 6 tweekers all former homeschool kids who had staph. The ignorance really sets people up to fail. Sheltered to the point of danger.

        I hope your brother goes to university, that would probably help him adjust pretty quickly.

  4. maggi says:

    I remember an early elementary school teacher talking to my mom about my habit of choosing books that were considered beyond my level (for content and vocabulary). Back in the 70’s suburbs of Canada, this was presented to me as a problem that I had to explain.
    I told my mom that when I read something I didn’t understand, I either re-read it until it made sense or kept going, hoping it would make sense later.
    I learned to hide my book pile under the bed.
    My inner curious dork is my most favourite thing about myself but I don’t tell people in my real world about it, they just see it at work every time I cannot rest until I explore a new question.
    Methinks this young thing doth protest an intellect that aint home

  5. Catherine says:

    When my kids were younger we watched a lot of Disney Channel. There was a segment in between commercials (sorta like a P.S.A.) where Bella described how she had been diagnosed with dyslexia . This was many years ago, so I tend to believe she’s always struggled with reading.

    • Dutch says:

      And she’s talked about being home schooled, so that’s the 1-2 punch of illiteracy right there.

  6. Steph says:

    Shes obviously broken in some capacity and it actually makes me sad. She reminds me a little bit to shia. I hope someone helps her at some point or at least gets her shit together.

  7. Amanda Morefield says:

    In the same couple of weeks….this story came out…as well as the Instagram post in which she cried because her ex got engaged , as well as her having to leak her own nude photos because of someone threatening her. I actually believe all of it is authentic and this girl is very young and might be having a meltdown. I hope not. I think she is quite talented and had to mature career wise before she was mentally ready.

    • otaku fairy... says:

      This. She did handle the victim-blaming and misogynistic responses to the leak well by saying everything that needed to be said (including her point about some of the dangerous effects that kind of misogyny can have, and the inconvenient truth about how older women can often be pretty abusive when it comes to younger women and their sexuality). It was awesome that Zendaya had her back too. Empowered women empower women.
      Hopefully Bella does get whatever help she may need.

  8. Mo says:

    I think this may be drama, but it also depends on what you call reading. According to Wikipedia, she’s dyslexic. The “not knowing how to read” and “learning from scripts” makes sense in that context. My brother is dyslexic. He struggled all through school, had shitloads of very expensive tutoring nearly an hour from home. The summer before high school he found a YA novel he fell in love with and basically read over and over continuously that summer, something like 40 times. He always says that summer is when he learned to read. It that literally true? No. He could string words together. But in terms of picking up a book and getting something out of it, yes.

    The script part also makes sense. Scripts are printed in courier, which is a blocky serif font, which are easier for dyslexics to visually process. There is also a ton of white space around the words and irregular margins, so that you have to follow the text around the page. It is designed for strong readers to be able to breeze through it quickly while getting the information they need. Hadn’t really thought of this, but it would be much easier for a dyslexic to read than normal blocked paragraphs. In scripts, paragraphs are usually only 2-3 sentences long.

  9. Eva says:

    I just feel bad for this poor girl. I mean, the kid didn’t have an easy upbringing (started worked at six WEEKS old as a baby model, dad died when she was in elementary school, was molested for years by an adult who obviously was a member of her household and, all on top of all that, had to deal with run of the mill child star pressures and the fact that she was the bread winner of the family). Plus, she’s still very young. I’d say what she needs to a few yearst to herself where she can get some help.

    • wowza says:

      Yeah, obviously Miley had a much cushier upbringing, but they have a similar vibe of meaning well, even if they are hot messes.

      I follow Bella on insta and she seems to really care about “spreading love” and “feeling creative and free” and sex positivity, in a way that seems like she’s trying to right the wrongs of her upbringing. I can’t really hate on that. I don’t think she has the utter toxicness of Lindsey, she seems to actually care about other people.

  10. Mina says:


  11. Jenn says:

    Well, it wouldn’t be the first time this has happened. Lance Henriksen (of ALIENS fame) wasn’t able to read when he was cast in his first stage role — at the age of 30! — so he asked a friend to record himself reading the entire play aloud, and Henriksen memorized his role that way. According to him, he eventually learned to read from scripts, too.