Rosalyn Lee is no stranger to controversy – she’s not afraid to speak her mind (or the truth), and she doesn’t quite conform to social norms. In fact, her recent relationship with 23-year-old student Justin Vanderstraaten has raised many (judgy) eyebrows. So, who exactly is Justin and what’s the story behind this (very photogenic) couple? We sit down with them to get the scoop – the complete, uncensored version.
So let’s start with the obvious – how did the two of you meet?
Justin: I was working at a Singtel event and Rozz was hosting the event. A few of my friends wanted to take a photo with her, so I thought “Why not?” since I’d listened to her on radio before. I took a photo with her and tagged her on Instagram. She recognised my surname because she’s worked with my sister (Vanessa Vanderstraaten) before. She started talking to me on Instagram Direct and that was mainly how we communicated at the beginning.
Rozz: Until he tried to ask for my number. He said he wanted to send me a Thought Catalog article, but since Instagram doesn’t allow you to link articles, he was like. “Why don’t you give me your number so I can send you the page?” I ignored him at first haha. After awhile, I gave him my number lah, but he never texted me.
Rozz, was it love at first sight?
No lah! He didn’t really make an impression when I first met him. It was only after a few days when he tagged me on Instagram, and I was like wah OK this guy not bad, maybe can be arm candy…quite tall also.
Then I found out he was actually Vanessa Vanderstraaten’s brother, whom I’ve worked with before, so I started perving on his Instagram. I actually thought he might have been gay, because he had all these photos of him kissing other guys and shit, so I wasn’t sure.
What drew you to him then?
Rozz: I really just wanted arm candy haha! And he was taller than me.
Justin: And had bigger legs than you.
Rozz: No no, I only found out about that much later, so that’s a bonus.
Justin, tell us more about yourself.
I’m currently a business student at SIM. I wanted to do communications at SIM, but it was too expensive and I didn’t want to live in debt after I graduated. I want to go into Public Relations, but I figured I don’t really need a communications degree to go into it.
You’ve got an uncommon surname. What ethnicity are you?
My Grandad is Dutch/Sabahan and my Grandma is British, so my dad is a mix of both. My mum is Chinese. It’s fairly complicated.
And have you always listened to Rozz’s show, even before getting together?
Justin: Yes, but I wasn’t a hardcore fan or anything.
Justin: What can I say? 8 Days had a really good issue haha. And the Jade Seah one was from The New Paper, shortly after she was in Miss Singapore.
Justin, what do you like about Rozz?
Rozz: Careful ah!
Editor: Yeah, watch what you say Justin, she’s holding a knife…
Rozz: Actually I’m holding a fork, but it’ll hurt too.
Justin: (looks unfazed by threats) Rozz is actually a very positive person, as much as it may not seem that way. She laughs a lot and doesn’t sweat the small stuff. Rozz is basically a kid in a big person’s body – one time she took this mental test on Facebook and it said she was actually 13 years-old.
The age gap between the two of you is 12 years. What’s the first thing people always say when they find out?
Justin: My mom was quite shocked when I told her I was dating someone 12 years old than me. I said that the person I was dating was in the radio industry and my mom was like, “Hah? Jean Danker ah?”
When I told her it was Rozz, she just said “Oh the tattoo one ah? Disown her father one ah?” My mom is OK with it though, she just wants me to know what I’m doing.
Have people generally been supportive or critical of your relationship?
Justin: People have generally been supportive, but there have been a few naysayers who claim that I’m just after Rozz’s money, or trying to get famous the easy way. But the general consensus is that we make a cute couple.
Rozz: All my friends who have met Justin say that he’s a nice guy, and they can see how I’m so different now…I’m a lot more positive.
Justin: Someone even said she’s no longer the ice queen she was before.
Rozz: (to Justin) Whaddya talking about, I still am!
So Rozz, how has Justin changed you?
I don’t talk down to Justin, which is a huge thing for me. On paper, it seems like everything about our relationship doesn’t work…but in reality, it just feels so right you know?
How about marriage and kids? Has Justin changed your outlook on that?
I still don’t think marriage is necessary for us to stay together, but yes he has changed my outlook on kids a little bit. I wouldn’t say no to kids as vehemently as before.
Rozz, did this melt your ice queen heart anot? (Source: Justin’s Instagram)
Rozz, What do you like about Justin?
I like that he’s a 23 year-old who doesn’t act like one. He’s very worldly, despite not having travelled much. He’s also very open to trying new things, in terms of food, places to visit and things to do. He has a sense of adventure, which is important to me.
Also, he’s got a very strong sense of what kind of music he likes or doesn’t like. I don’t think I could ever date anyone who says “Ohh I listen to everything.” In short, I can listen to his iPod without cringing.
Justin, we hear you braved maggots and a crusty dead pigeon for Rozz. Is that the craziest thing you’ve ever done for her?
Probably the craziest thing I’ve done in the name of love, yes. I actually thought it was quite exciting – I mean, how often do you get to stand on the window sill, scrubbing a dead pigeon for love right?
Justin in his makeshift pigeon-scrubbing gear. Sometimes romance isn’t just about flowers and pretty gifts eh? (Source: Rozz’s Instagram)
Rozz, what’s the most romantic thing Justin has done for you?
He always insists on sending me home to my doorstep, even if he has to take the bus back after. One time he forgot to bring his phone, so on the bus ride back he wrote me a postcard. He didn’t have my address, so he got our common friend to pass it to me at the MediaCorp reception. That night when I got off work, I went out and saw him waiting outside the building. He’d been waiting for over an hour! I was like, OMG why didn’t you fucking call me?! I would have come out earlier.
What’s the biggest fight you guys have ever had?
Rozz: Once, we got into an argument because he sent me a photo of him hugging a girl in bed. It was back when we were still getting to know each other, and figuring out boundaries and stuff. I had invited him to a yacht party but he said he couldn’t come because he had to study for an exam. Closer to the date, he said he had 2 birthday parties to attend, so I was like, “OK you go do your own thing lor.” even though I was quite pissed already. We were texting each other that night when he sent me that photo of him hugging a girl. In bed!
Justin: The girl is like a bro lah, one of the boys.
Rozz: (to Justin) Doesn’t matter! I don’t care if she’s just a bro, you’re giving her the wrong impression you know? I was damn pissed and showed my friends, and they were like “Wah that’s a damn dick move!” I was fed up, so I told him not to talk to me, but he came all the way down to where the yacht party was. Except I had left already haha. We didn’t really shout at each other…it was more like “You know what you did, now I just need some time alone”.
Justin: Cold shoulder…ouch.
Rozz: Oh, and you were going to Zouk to meet Kelly Latimer that night!! I was like, “Wah cheeeebye! Still wanna tell me Kelly Latimer asked you to go to Zouk?!!!” Aiyah! (waves hand nonchalantly) Nevermind lah…so long ago, suat lah suat lah (Translation: never mind).
How about the time you played an April Fools’ joke on everyone, and pretended to be a hater who hacked into your Facebook account?
Justin found out through his ask.fm, and he called me asking if I was OK. I felt sooo bad, but I had to stick to it! I posted the prank message around 9pm and only wanted to reveal it at midnight, so I was really on edge. I was just at home, watching Armin van Buuren videos and waiting. Justin wanted to come over but I was like “No no, don’t need!” because he was supposed to send his sister somewhere. He ended up ditching his sister and coming over to my place instead. I felt so bad!
What was your first date like?
Rozz: It was at a Singtel event that I asked him to attend with me. One of my friends asked me very loudly, “Wah, is that your toyboy?”
Was it awkward?
Rozz: Surprisingly, no. But leading up to meeting was a bit weird though. While I was on the way to meet him, I asked him where he was and he said he was at the National Library. Reading comic books.
Justin: Hey, I’m not ashamed to admit that I read comic books in the library.
Rozz: I was like, (rolls eyes) “Does he seriously not have anything better to do?” When we finally met, he was walking towards me and wearing one of those sleeveless alcohol T-shirts. I was like, “Bloody hell must he show off his arms…in a JACK DANIELS singlet?!”
He pulled out a shirt from his bag though, and then I was like, OK plus points for that. He also got me a flower and a spiked cuff. The cuff totally didn’t match my outfit that day, but I still wore it OK.
Justin and Rozz on the Brooklyn Bridge. And no, they aren’t getting married…it was for a magazine shoot. (Source: Rozz’s Instagram)
Tell us about the couple tattoos you guys got.
Justin: The tattoos are the coordinates of the exact spot we were on at the Brooklyn Bridge. We did a shoot there together, so it was special place for us. Plus, I’ve always wanted a tattoo of coordinates – somewhere in the world I could always find, even if the landscape has changed.
Rozz: I’ve always wanted to be on the Brooklyn Bridge because of Sex in The City. Miranda and Steve met on the Brooklyn Bridge at the end of the show, and it was the moment where she finds out that he wants to be with her. I’d been to New York before, but not with the right people. So when we were there on the Brooklyn Bridge for the shoot, everything just felt right.
Rozz and Justin’s matching coordinate tattoos. (Photo courtesy of Rozz)
OK, now we have a couple quiz for you guys, to see how well you know each other:
1. Where was your first kiss?
Justin’s answer: Kallang Leisure Park Bowling Alley.
Rozz’s answer: Kallang Leisure Park Bowling Alley. (to Justin) You pushed me away, bitch!
Justin: I was just making sure that’s what you wanted!
Correct Answer: Kallang Leisure Park Bowling Alley.
2. What’s Justin’s worst habit?
Rozz’s answer: Dig nose, roll shit and flick on floor.
Correct Answer: Rolling nose shit into a ball and throwing it on the floor. (Um, may we never have to tread Justin’s bedroom floor…)
3. What’s Rozz’s worst habit?
Justin’s answer: Peeling her lips.
Correct Answer: Peeling her lips.
4. Justin’s Favourite Phrase?
Rozz’s answer: Yessi
Correct Answer: Yessi
5. Rozz’s Favourite Phrase?
Justin’s answer: Bomb-diggity
Correct Answer: Fuck lah! (Rozz said this about 10 times throughout the interview lol.)
6. Hottest guy in the world according to Rozz?
Brandon Boyd Julian Casablancas
Correct Answer: Benedict Cumberbatch (Whaaat…really, Rozz?!)
7. Hottest girl in the world according to Justin?
Rozz’s answer: Emma Watson
Correct Answer: Emma Watson