One Direction star Louis Tomlinson has hit out at fans who think he’s gay, saying it is “disrespectful”.
The star and bandmate Harry Styles have for years been the subject of rumours about their relationship.
Harry Styles earlier this year opened up about his sexuality.
The singer has always stayed coy on the subject, but has long spoken out in support of LGBT rights.
Earlier in 2017, Styles said he’s never felt the need to label himself.
But Tomlinson has again addressed the rumours, saying they are “disrespectful” to his girlfriend.
He told the Sun: “I’ve never actually been asked about it directly. It’s a funny thing. It kind of happened naturally for me and Harry because a certain amount of the fans drew up this conspiracy. When it first came around I was with Eleanor, and it actually felt a little bit disrespectful to Eleanor, who is my girlfriend now.
“I’m so protective over things like that, about the people I love. So it created this atmosphere between the two of us where everyone was looking into everything we did. It took away the vibe you get off anyone. It made everything a little bit more unapproachable. I think [what’s happened since] shows that it was never anything ‘real’ if I can use that word.”
Tomlinson last year blocked people from using the name ‘Larry’ on his Instagram because people kept suggesting he was in a gay relationship with Harry Styles.
But fans got around the ban by using variants of the name, including Larrry and Lerry.
Bandmate Liam Payne previously said the ‘Larry’ ship drove him “insane”.
In 2015, Payne took to Twitter to refute claims that he is homophobic, after controversial comments at a One Direction live show in Columbus, Ohio.
Liam Payne previously praised “the family values” of the notoriously homophobic stars of reality show Duck Dynasty, after a homophobic rant from the family’s patriarch.
Styles, who has his first acting role in a feature film, Dunkirk has long been an enthusiastic advocate for the LGBT community.
In 2014, he showed his support for out NFL star Michael Sam while performing at a One Direction concert, by wearing the American football player’s St Louis Rams jersey.
And he also said his partner being female was “not that important” to him, after remarking about dating men: “Hey, don’t knock it ’til you try it.”
Two years ago, he ran around on stage during a New York concert in a Pride flag, prompting cheers from the audience.
Earlier this year, he said on French TV that LGBT rights were fundamental, not political.