In the video, taken at the premiere of Don’t Worry Darling, Styles is seen walking over to his seat beside his co-star Pine. Fans speculated that Styles appeared to then spit in Pine’s lap before sitting down next to him – a moment that was affectionately branded “spitgate”.
After the incident, Pine’s representatives issued a statement about the rumour, saying: “This is a ridiculous story – a complete fabrication and the result of an odd online illusion that is clearly deceiving and allows for foolish speculation.”
Pine has now personally commented on the rumours for the first time, confirming to Esquire that “Harry did not spit on me”.
“Harry is a very kind guy,” the Star Trek actor said. “I was on the plane and we’re flying back from Venice having a great time on the plane and my publicist wakes me up and says, ‘We have to craft a statement on what happened in Venice.’ She showed me the thing and it did look, indeed, like Harry spit on me. He didn’t spit on me.”
Pine continued: “I think Harry leaned down and said, ‘It’s just words, isn’t it?’
“We had this little joke. We were all jet lagged and trying to answer questions and sometimes when you’re doing these press things your brain goes befuddled and you start speaking gibberish, so we had a joke, ‘It’s just words.’”
The release of Olivia Wilde’s Don’t Worry Darling was overshadowed by reports of behind-the-scenes drama, from Spitgate to Shia LaBeouf denying he was fired from the project to reports of a feud between Wilde and her lead, Florence Pugh.
Pine added that “if there was drama” on the set, “I absolutely didn’t know about it, nor really would I have cared”.
“If I feel badly, it’s because the vitriol that the movie got was absolutely out of proportion with what was onscreen,” Pine said in his new interview.
“Venice was normal things getting swept up in a narrative that people wanted to make, compounded by the metastasizing that can happen in the Twitter-sphere. It was ridiculous.”
For her part, Wilde said that “spitgate” was “a perfect example of” people looking for drama “wherever they can”.
A source close to Styles also told The Independent at the time that the alleged incident was “not true”.
Elsewhere in the interview with Esquire, Pine shared his “frustration” at the lack of progress on Star Trek 4, which has been in development since 2015.
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