“It was completely the wrong instinct,” Harris, the deejay told British GQ magazine in a revealing article published on Wednesday. (Editor’s Note: These quotes appear to be the full version of an interview that was originally posted only in part in fall 2016. Representatives from GQ have not yet replied to EW’s request for comment.) “I was protecting what I see as my one talent in the world being belittled. It felt like things were piling on top of me and that was when I snapped.”
Harris, 33, and Swift, 27, called it quits last summer after 15 months of dating. And although Harris initially kept mum about the split, he vented his frustrations on Twitter after PEOPLE exclusively confirmed Swift wrote Harris’ summer hit “This Is What You Came For.”
“I figure if you’re happy in your new relationship you should focus on that instead of trying to tear your ex bf down for something to do. I know you’re off tour and you need someone new to try and bury like Katy [Perry] ETC but I’m not that guy, sorry. I won’t allow it, ” Harris wrote at the time, in a since-deleted series of tweets. “Please focus on the positive aspects of YOUR life because you’ve earned a great one. God bless everyone have a beautiful day.”
Now, Harris acknowledges that the post-breakup media storm got a bit out of hand.
“It’s very difficult when something I consider so personal plays out very publicly. The aftermath of the relationship was way more heavily publicized than the relationship itself,” he told GQ. “When we were together, we were very careful for it not to be a media circus. She respected my feelings in that sense. I’m not good at being a celebrity. But when it ended, all hell broke loose. Now I see that Twitter thing as a result of me succumbing to pressure. It took me a minute to realize that none of that matters. I’m a positive guy.”
He adds, “Now I see that Twitter thing as a result of me succumbing to pressure … For both of us it was the wrong situation. It clearly wasn’t right, so it ended.”