Tom Hiddleston finally explains why he wore that Taylor Swift tank-top

Tom Hiddleston has kept quiet about his summer 2016 relationship with Taylor Swift -- until now.

In a wide-ranging, soul-bearing interview with GQ, the “Night Manager” star opened up about the three month romance and the storm of tabloid speculation that rose up around him during their time together and after it was over.

“Of course it was real,” he said when pressed about the romance.

During a vacation in Rhode Island with Swift and her friends, Hiddleston famously wore a tank-top with “I [heart] T.S.” scrawled on it. And while the incident was covered incessantly in the press and on social media, Hiddleston had refrained from commenting until this interview. 

“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?’ And one of her friends said, ‘I’ve got this,’” he recalled, referring to the tank-top. “And we all laughed about it. It was a joke.”

The tabloid attention Hiddleston received proved to be overwhelming, he admitted.

“I just, I was surprised. I was just surprised that it got so much attention,” he said. “The tank top became an emblem of this thing.”

“I have to be so psychologically strong about not letting other people’s interpretations about my life affect my life,” he said. “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.”