Tom Hiddleston explained why he wore that “I [heart] Taylor Swift” tank top last year while dating the pop singer.

TOM HIDDLESTON ON “I [HEART] TAYLOR SWIFT” TANK TOP

Hiddleston, 36, and Swift, 27, dated for a whirlwind three months over the summer 2016, and the pairing confused many fans. Swift had just ended a seemingly serious relationship with DJ Calvin Harris, so the quick change had people talking. Many thought it might have been a publicity stunt for a new Swift album, or that the pair were just acting for a music video.

The pair split back in September, but not before a photo of Hiddleston in that tank top became a symbol of their relationship. He opened up about the shirt, and explained it was just a mix-up. “I don’t know, I just, I was surprised… the tank top became an emblem of this thing,” he said.

“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,” Hiddleston told GQ. “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. It was a joke. Among friends.”

The British actor also explained that he is still coping with how to keep his personal and public lives separate, without becoming a hermit. The relatively quiet Hiddleston seemed an odd choice for the outgoing Swift, which was another reason many fans suspected the relationship was a ruse. But still, the actor had nothing but nice things to say about his ex.

“Taylor is an amazing woman. She’s generous and kind and lovely, and we had the best time,” he said. “Of course it was real.”

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