Tom Daley has broken his silence on his alleged gay relationship with screenwriter Dustin Lance Black for the first time, and revealed it was actually him that made the first move.
During an interview on The Jonathan Ross Show, he described being struck by “love at first sight” when he first met his beau, but admitted that making the decision to finally come out was “terrifying”.
“I’d never felt like anything like it before. 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.
“I typed ‘call me’ in his notes with a smiley face on this phone and the next day he texted. He makes me feel safe and happy, right now I couldn’t be happier.”
“I’d never felt the feeling of love, it happened so quickly, I was completely overwhelmed by it to the point I can’t get him out of my head all the time,” he continued. “I’ve never had it before where I love someone and they love me just as much.”
However, the Olympic diver, 19, stopped short of confirming – or denying – that the man he is in a relationship with is Black, 39. Asked why he had chosen not to identify his lover, Daley said: “At the moment, I wouldn’t like anything to change.
“I hope it doesn’t get ruined by the media attention, everyone has been so supportive and I hope it continues that way.”
On why he hadn’t come out sooner, the sportsman said: “I felt like there was something wrong with me, I didn’t know other people out there felt that way, I felt so alone, so locked away and couldn’t say anything.
“Now that everyone knows, I have nothing to hide, those chains that I felt wrapped around me are gone and I can carry on with my life as normal and be happy.”
The star goes on to credit his new love for encouraging him to get back into diving following a post London 2012 Olympics slump.
“He saved me from not wanting to dive anymore,” Tom said. “After the Olympics I was down in the dumps, as it’s such a hard way to get back into everything, but he gave me the extra motivation and made me work harder and that is exactly what I need.”
But while he couldn’t be quicker to praise his gay relationship, he said he didn’t want to put a definitive label on his sexuality.
“Everything is all pretty new so I don’t see any point in putting a label on it - gay, bi, straight, any of those kind of labels.
“All that I feel happy about at the moment is that I’m dating a guy and couldn’t be happier, it shouldn’t matter who I’m dating and I hope people can be happy for me.”
The interview on The Jonathan Ross Show will be aired on Saturday 7 December.
It marks the first time Daley has spoken about his sexuality since he revealed he was in a relationship with a man via a video message posted earlier this week.
Professor Brian Cox, Jack Dee, Olivia Colman and Ellie Goulding also appeared on the pre-recorded show.
Meanwhile, friends of 39-year-old screenwriter Dustin Lance Black took to his Facebook profile to offer their congratulations on the news.
Writing on Black’s wall, Ellen Pontac, a prominent gay rights activist, posted: “So happy for you!”
“I knew it!!!!!” friend Eric Morse said.
Several also replied to Black’s tongue-in-cheek status, posted on Twitter just hours after the news broke: “Slept all day today after my trip to Russia. Did I miss anything?”
“Let me take a dive into this. Nope, everything is just swimming along,” one friend responded.
“No. No one's made a splash in the news world lately,” another quipped.
Edgar Diaz Silva wrote: “Well, there are those rumours of you and that Olympiad.”
Representatives for both Tom Daley and Dustin Lance Black are yet to confirm or deny the news.