Harry Styles has addressed rumours he spat on co-star Chris Pine at the Venice premiere of their latest film Don’t Worry Darling.
The British pop star – who is up for a Mercury Prize tonight – told fans at his Madison Square Garden gig in New York on Wednesday evening: “I just popped very quickly to Venice to spit on Chris Pine… but fear not, we’re back.”
The joke went down well with fans who responded with screams.
There has been much speculation about some of the cast members of the psychological thriller not getting on.
However, internet chatter reached new heights on Tuesday after a clip showing Styles taking his seat next to co-star Chris Pine at the Venice Film Festival premiere of Don’t Worry Darling – directed by Olivia Wilde, who Styles is now dating – went viral.
Twitter users questioned whether it showed the 28-year-old One Direction star spitting in Pine’s lap before sitting down next to him, with Pine apparently looking confused and then laughing to himself.
However, Variety’s co-editor-in-chief shared this clip, which showed Styles’ entrance from a different angle.
With the initial video seen by millions of people, sources for Styles have said the story is not true.
A representative for Pine, 42, has also denied the incident took place.
“People are seeing some odd illusion of sorts online that is clearly deceiving… there is nothing but respect between these two men,” the representative told Sky News’ US affiliate E! News.
“This is a completely fabricated exchange,” the rep added, “and any suggestion otherwise is a blatant attempt to create drama that simply does not exist.”
Don’t Worry Darling is a satirical thriller set in the 1950s, also starring British actresses Florence Pugh and Gemma Chan, with Wilde, 38, appearing in the film as well as working behind the camera.
The film reportedly received a five-minute standing ovation following the screening’s conclusion on Monday night.
However, it has been the subject of much recent media attention due to the interest in Wilde and Styles’ relationship, reports of behind-the-scenes tension and the departure of Shia LaBeouf – who was replaced by the singer – from the project.
Ahead of its premiere, Wilde said she did not want to contribute to “the endless tabloid gossip” and “the noise”.