Man Behind Viral Dress Debate Admits He Attempted to Strangle His Wife, Awaits Sentencing

Keir Johnston pleaded guilty Thursday in a Glasgow court. Grace Johnston survived the attack.

The man who played a big role in igniting a global debate dubbed "The dress that broke the internet" is currently behind bars after pleading guilty to attempting to strangle his wife.

According to The Guardian, Keir Johnson, 38, pled guilty to endangering his wife's life Thursday in Glasgow court, where he admitted he tried to strangle his wife, Grace, who survived the attack. The outlet reports Keir will remain behind bars until he's sentenced June 6.

Prosecutors say Grace had been living in fear for some time, but the dire situation reached a boiling point in March 2022, when the estranged couple -- who lived on a remote island off Scotland -- argued over her wanting to take part in a job interview in the mainland. 

Grace told authorities she feared for her life when Keir allegedly threatened her saying, "Someone is going to die." The alarming situation proved even more alarming because Grace said there was "no permanent police presence on the island."

Prosecutors say Grace ultimately traveled to the mainland and participated in the job interview. After she returned home days later, Keir told her he was leaving her. An argument ensued, which eventually spilled outside their home, and that's where prosecutors say Keir "pinned her to the ground ... placed both knees on her arms so she was unable to move. He then began strangling her with both his hands. She was initially able to scream and feared for her life and believed [Keir] intended to kill her as he was very forceful."

The Guardian reports Grace miraculously did not need any medical attention despite suffering severe bruises. Keir accepted responsibility for the attack in court, prompting the judge to deny him bail in wake of his "serious and violent offense."

It was in the spring of 2015 when the so-called "Great Dress Debate" -- better known on social media as #TheDress -- captivated the world after Grace's mother sent her a picture of three dresses to look at to wear to her wedding.

"And I said, 'Oh, the white and gold one?' And she said, 'No, the blue and black one.' And I said, 'No, mom that's white and gold and if you think it's blue and black you need to go to the doctors,'" Grace told Ellen DeGeneres in 2015.

The debate then continued with Keir who saw it as blue and black, too. Grace's friend ended up posting the photos on Tumblr to get a more unbiased opinion. The post instantly became a trending topic, and even celebrities chimed in on the dress debate.