English diver Tom Daley is the latest male celebrity to find himself in a nude photo leak scandal.
After several purported X-rated snaps of the 22-year-old Olympian turned up online on Friday, the openly gay athlete publicly shared that the origin of the pictures came during a time when he and his fiance, film director Dustin Lance Black, decided to temporarily halt their relationship due to their busy schedules.
“It was the distance,” Daley explained to The Sun, “[but] it’s not like I actually met up with anyone. I’m 22 years old, and if you talk to someone through social media, it is what it is. It was nothing more than that.”
Tom adds that once he and Dustin decided to give things another go, which apparently occurred recently, he immediately told Black of the nudes that he shared and more.
“Lance and I had a period of time apart,” he said, “and then [came] back together and [realized] we’re meant for each other.”
“We’re soulmates, and the only way that we were going to get back to that point was to be honest, open and share everything that happened in our time away from each other.”
Tom and Dustin first publicly acknowledged that they were together in 2014, about a year after the 2012 bronze medal recipient first revealed in a YouTube video that he was attracted to men.
“I’d never felt like anything like [this] before,” he shared with British TV personality Jonathan Ross a few weeks after coming out.
“We were at a party and I hadn’t even spoken to him all night. I didn’t know what to do or if he was gay at first.”
Dustin, however, claimed to have definitely known about Daley, as noted by a joint interview with Tom for Out Magazine’s February, 2016, “Love Issue.”
— DCHomos (@DCHomos) January 5, 2016
“Tom took my phone, and he typed his number in with a winky-face,” the Milk writer recalled, as transcribed by E! Online.
“At [that] point, I felt I had confirmation that he was a gay. I’ve never in my life heard of a straight man putting his number in another man’s phone with a winky-face.”
The two were, at least publicly, inseparable after that piece was published, with the couple constantly displaying their love for one another on each other’s social media accounts almost on the daily. In reality, according to Tom himself, the two, at some point in the past year, separated for nearly eight long months.
A photo posted by Tom Daley (@tomdaley1994) on
It was during that time period that a lonely Tom Daley connected with a male fan that he found attractive on his Snapchat; first flirting through words and innocent emojis, before raising the stakes and showing off their unencumbered body parts to one another privately — at least, that’s what Tom thought.
“In the modern world, this is what can happen,” he concurs, “things are more accessible online, and distributed, and they spread like wildfire.”
“People are just exploring and finding out what can be done and how easy it is to not even think about what you’re doing online.”
Now happy in his rekindled relationship with Black, Tom defiantly states that he is truly ready to move past his small lapse in judgment and prepare for his nuptials with his 44-year-old partner, who is just as happy to be back with Daley.
“I don’t think I’ve done anything more or less than any other 22-year-old has done,” Tom concluded. “Lance and I have such a strong connection that again our honesty and openness is so important. This will never happen again.”
Along with Tom Daley, several other notable males in the world in entertainment, including Teen Wolf stars Tyler Posey, Cody Christian, and Ryan Kelley, and Gregg Sulkin of Pretty Little Liars fame, have reportedly seen nude images of themselves posted online just this week, as separately reported by both Perez Hilton and the Inquisitr.
[Featured Image by Jeff Spicer/Stringer/Getty Images]