• Dominic West has squashed cheating rumors
  • The actor was said to be involved with Lily James
  • He and his wife have now put it behind them

Describing the ordeal as "absurd" and "deeply stressful" for his family, West shares insights into how the saga unfolded, its impact on his marriage, and even how it influenced his portrayal of then-Prince Charles in Netflix's hit series, 'The Crown.'

There's nothing behind the rumors

In an eye-opening chat with the Sunday Times, Dominic West finally breaks his silence on the photo scandal that had tongues wagging worldwide.

Remember those snaps of West and his 'The Pursuit of Love' co-star Lily James cozying up in Rome? Yes, the ones that nearly broke the internet and sparked rumors faster than you can say "scandalous"! West calls the entire episode "horrible" for his wife, Catherine FitzGerald, but admits, "we do joke about it sometimes."

After the photos made headlines, West and FitzGerald were quick to declare their marriage "strong" in a very public display outside their home. But as West reveals, every outing became a speculated "show of unity" by the press.

"Even if we’d just been rowing about parking the car," he quips. The actor's take on the media circus? "Absurd."

Despite the stress, West finds humor in the situation, joking about staging "shows of unity" with his wife.

"I'd had a very acute understanding of what it's like to feel the horror of your name or your photo in the newspapers," the 54-year-old told 'The Sunday Times.'

"There is that dreadful, freezing moment when something is revealed about you. I think anyone can understand how that feels. But I'd been through it, and it must have informed how I approached it. That gut feeling of horror isn't something you get inured to."

But don't be fooled; the saga was a challenging period for his family, filled with "lighter moments" amidst the turmoil.

Interestingly, West channeled his personal media frenzy experience into his role as then-Prince Charles in 'The Crown,' giving him a unique perspective on public scrutiny. "That gut feeling of horror isn’t something you get inured to," he confesses.

Lily James, too, reflected on the incident, highlighting the challenges women face in the limelight, marking it as a "difficult situation" in the relentless gaze of tabloid attention.

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Despite the past drama, West is moving forward, gearing up to star in Arthur Miller’s "A View from the Bridge" at London’s Theatre Royal Haymarket this summer.