Actor Tom Hiddleston has addressed persistent rumors that his breakup with singer Taylor Swift last year had to do with what tabloids considered his public displays of affection, most notably an “I ♥ T.S.” tank top he wore at a beach outing.
“I was just surprised that it got so much attention. The tank top became an emblem of this thing,” Hiddleston, who turns 36 on Thursday, tells GQ magazine in its new issue, “The truth is, it was the Fourth of July and a public holiday and we were playing a game and I slipped and hurt my back. And I wanted to protect the graze from the sun and said, ‘Does anyone have a T-shirt?’ ”
One of Swift’s friends at the singer’s annual Independence Day party at her Rhode Island estate then pulled out the “I ♥ T.S.” tank top for him, he said. “And we all laughed about it. It was a joke.”
Hiddleston — a classically trained British actor who became a star playing Norse trickster god Loki in Marvel Cinematic Universe films, including the upcoming “Thor: Ragnarok” — went on to explain, “I have to be so psychologically strong about not letting other people’s interpretations about my life affect my life. A relationship exists between two people. We will always know what it was. The narratives that are out there altogether have been extrapolated from pictures that were taken without consent or permission, with no context. Nobody had the context for that story. And I’m still trying to work out a way of having a personal life and protecting it, but also without hiding. So the hardest thing is that that was a joke among friends on the Fourth of July.”
The two were first seen together publicly in May when they danced at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s annual Costume Institute Gala, with an animated gif of their steps going viral. Fan interest spiked in June when the Emmy-nominated actor and the Grammy Award-winning singer were photographed appearing to be a romantic couple, and continued as the two attended Swift’s Fourth of July fete, attended a “Ghostbusters” screening together in Australia, and shared dinner at a Santa Monica restaurant. Reports of their amicable breakup surfaced in early September.