The social media rumor mill went into overdrive this weekend after Pop Hive, a pop culture community Twitter account, claimed Zendaya and Tom Holland were “reportedly engaged” in secret. The tweet, which did not share its sourcing or which report the claim originated from, went viral, and other celebrity news fan accounts picked it up. Thousands of users on Twitter also shared. But as Buzzfeed pointed out, while Zendaya and Holland have not addressed the unverified rumor themselves, Zendaya’s mother Claire Stoermer seemingly did on her Instagram Story. She cleared the air, and even implied the engagement rumors were made up to drive clicks.
Stoermer posted a screenshot of the definition of clickbait, seemingly pulled from CoSchedule’s dictionary: “Clickbait typically refers to the practice of writing sensationalized or misleading headlines in order to attract clicks on a piece of content. It often relies on exaggerating claims or leaving out key information in order to encourage traffic. The term is generally used in a dismissive sense.”
Zendaya and Holland have been together for over a year and have chosen to keep their relationship as private as they can. Holland told GQ a year ago that they had never wanted it to go public in the first place. (Footage of them making out in a car in the summer of 2021 outed their relationship.)
“One of the downsides of our fame is that privacy isn’t really in our control anymore, and a moment that you think is between two people that love each other very much is now a moment that is shared with the entire world,” Holland said, alluding to the kissing video. “I’ve always been really adamant to keep my private life private, because I share so much of my life with the world anyway. We sort of felt robbed of our privacy.”
“I don’t think it’s about not being ready [to share that we’re dating publicly]. It’s just that we didn’t want to,” Holland said. In terms of what he does share, he added, “It’s not a conversation that I can have without her. You know, I respect her too much to say… This isn’t my story. It’s our story. And we’ll talk about what it is when we’re ready to talk about it together.”
Us Weekly claimed on Nov. 23 that Holland and Zendaya are very committed. They seem “serious and permanent,” a source told the outlet. “They’re both in settling-down mode and are absolutely planning for a real future together.”