Tom Hiddleston has opened up about his summer romance with Taylor Swift, saying that the relationship "was real" but his much-mocked "I (heart) TS" tank top was just a joke.
The three-month relationship between the Thor actor and the US pop star became a celebrity media obsession last year, as the two were caught in paparazzi shots on beaches and at restaurants.
But some saw it as nothing more than a media stunt to benefit the two celebrities' public images.
"Of course it was real," Hiddleston told GQ magazine.
"Taylor is an amazing woman. She's generous and kind and lovely, and we had the best time."
Hiddleston said he was taken aback by the attention given to the skimpy white "I (heart) TS" tank top he was photographed wearing during Swift's Fourth-of-July party.
"I was just surprised that it got so much attention. The tank top became an emblem of this thing," he told the magazine.
But he said the shirt was worn to cover a wound on his back.
"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.'
"And we all laughed about it. It was a joke."
Neither Swift, 27, nor Hiddleston, 36, have said why they broke up, but the Night Manager actor suggested he had struggled with the media attention.
"A relationship always takes work. A relationship in the limelight takes work. And it's not just the limelight. It's everything else," he said.