Francia previously recalled volunteering to get tested to see if her kidney would be a match after Selena told her that the donor wait list was 7 to 10 years long.
“I didn’t want to ask a single person in my life,” Selena said during their joint appearance on the Today Show. “The thought of asking somebody to do that was really difficult for me. She volunteered and did it.”
The two underwent the surgery in September 2017, with Selena writing on Instagram at the time: “There aren’t words to describe how I can possibly thank my beautiful friend Francia Raisa. She gave me the ultimate gift and sacrifice by donating her kidney to me. I am incredibly blessed. I love you so much sis.”
So, when Selena made a passing comment about her industry friendships in her documentary, many were left confused. She said in the scene: “I never fit in with a cool group of girls that were celebrities. My only friend in the industry really is Taylor [Swift].”
In fact, Francia wasn’t mentioned at all in the 95-minute film. While some initially defended Selena by arguing that she may have meant her only friend in the music industry, the situation quickly worsened via social media.
When E! News posted the singer’s quote to their Instagram page, Francia commented: “Interesting.” Although the comment was deleted afterwards, Francia also unfollowed Selena on the platform.
And then, when somebody made a TikTok video about the apparent snub, Selena fueled the backlash by commenting: “Sorry I didn’t mention every person I know.”
This remark was hugely criticized online, with one person writing on a Reddit forum at the time: “‘Every person I know’ um how about the ONE person who gave you part of her literal body? Think that name might be on the tip of your tongue?”
“It's the ‘I know’ part that gets me. No ‘I’m close with’ or ‘I’m friends with’ as if the person who gave you their kidney is some random acquaintance,” another added.
Despite Selena being called out, Francia also faced cruel trolling from the star’s fans — something that she addressed in May of this year, telling TMZ: “The fact that I’m now being bullied as I am, it’s messing with me mentally.”
However, it now looks like the two women may be letting bygones be bygones, with Selena paying tribute to Francia on Instagram on Wednesday in honor of her 35th birthday.
Sharing three photos of herself with her friend, Selena wrote: “Happiest of birthdays to this special human being. No matter where life takes us, I love you.❤️ @franciaraisa”
Francia has liked the post. But despite this mutual public show of friendship, some of Selena’s fans have continued to flood Francia’s Instagram account with nasty comments.
On the actor’s birthday post, one comment reads: “I hope you had the worst birthday ever.” Another of Selena’s followers wrote: “35? But still acts 5? OKAY.”
“Francia you ruined the good deed you have done by putting a guilt trip on your friend,” another said. One more added: “I guess you’re insecurity shows at this point. You just want to appear big and not needing her fame.”
The My Mind & Me saga was far from the first time that Francia and Selena’s kidney transfer has sparked drama, with Selena previously being accused of ambushing her friend into donating the organ after doctors told her that they were a match before they’d told Francia.
“When I found out I was a match, it wasn’t the way I expected,” Francia told Self in 2018. “One day I got a phone call from Selena, on FaceTime, and she’s like: ‘We’re a match!’ and I’m like… ‘Yay, how do you know this?’” Francia went on. “I had a way that I wanted to tell her, when I’d made the decision.”
And just over a year after the transplant, Radar Online reported that Francia wasn’t happy with Selena’s “unhealthy choices” post-op after she was spotted drinking alcohol before checking into a mental health facility.
The following year, an insider told the same publication that Selena was fed-up with feeling constantly indebted to her friend. The source said at the time: “The truth is that Selena was tired of feeling like she owed something to her because she gave her a kidney. This was Francia's choice; Selena did not steal the kidney from her."
In December 2019, Selena was heavily criticized after she referred to Francia as “the girl who gave me her kidney.”
After the surgery, Francia openly shared her experience with the grueling recovery time, explaining that she struggled much more than Selena did.
“It’s harder as the donor because we are losing something our body didn’t need to lose, so trying to recover from that and she’s gaining something her body needed,” she shared on Harry Connick Jr.’s show Harry in 2018. “So, she’s up and at it immediately, and I had a hard time.”
"I couldn’t get up without having someone help me. That was very humbling. I couldn’t take a shower by myself, I had to have someone help me because I couldn’t move,” Francia added. In spite of this, she went on to clarify that she had no regrets over volunteering for her friend.
“It was a big surgery. She felt bad about even having me do that because we are just friends,” she said. “I am not her family or anything. Well, I am now. She has my blood.”