Tom Holland Reveals How He Felt About His Rumored Girlfriend Getting Media Attention

Remember in July when the paparazzi spotted Tom Holland packing on the PDA with a “mystery blonde woman” who was later identified as Olivia Bolton? The moment made headlines around the world, leaving many fans shocked, devastated, and ugly-crying.

Holland did not publicly comment on the matter at the time. But now, the Spider-Man actor is opening up, telling GQ in a Sept. 3 interview that the tabloid attention was “a bit of a shock.”

Tom Holland
Tom Holland | Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

A refresher on Holland and Bolton

In case you don’t remember, these two made headlines for the first time over the summer after attending the British Summer Time Hyde Park Festival on July 14. According to TMZ, they saw performances by acts like The Black Eyed Peas, held hands, and she even touched Holland’s butt.

While the relationship seemed new, The Sun reported that the two had been dating for “months” after meeting through their parents.

“Tom and Olivia’s family have been friends for years but it took some time for Tom and Olivia to realize the connection between them,” a source explained. “Tom’s been dogged with rumors about who he’s dating so finally being public with Olivia has been a massive relief for him. All their friends and family think they make a lovely couple. He is totally smitten.”

The fan reactions to the romance were wild

As you can imagine, some fans were not happy to see Holland with a new love interest — especially those who had long been begging him to get with his Spider-Man co-star, Zendaya.

“So you’re telling tom holland has a girlfriend and it’s not [Ms.] ZENDAYA??????” one person tweeted. Another added, “I refuse to believe tom holland is dating someone other than Zendaya.”

To make matters worse, tabloids later identified his alleged girlfriend, releasing her full name and profession to the world.

Holland wasn’t happy about the media attention

Holland is a pretty private person. In fact, he generally stays out of the public eye unless he’s promoting a new Marvel project. So, of course, the media attention that he and Bolton received caught him off guard.

At the time the reports surfaced, Holland told GQ, “It hasn’t been the best week.” As the actor started to discuss his personal life, his jaw reportedly tightened.

“It’s just, I’m a very private person,” he added. “If you do a Google search, I’m not a tabloid person. I don’t like living in the spotlight. I’m quite good at only being in the spotlight when I need to be. Um, so…uh…it just was a bit of a shock to the system. It’s the first time I’ve ever kind of been in the tabloids. It’s the first time something like this has ever really happened to me. So it’s a bit of a shock to the system. Um, but you know, but it’s something that you look at and you go, ‘Oh, well, I just don’t put myself in that situation again.’”

Holland went on to call the attention “stressful,” adding that it was a bit of a wake-up call.

“It was just a little stressful,” he continued. “You know, it was a wake-up of, like: This is what your life is nowSo just be wary.

It seems obvious that the media attention won’t stop. But on a brighter note, at least Holland now seems more prepared to handle it.