Dominic West Admits Lily James Photo Scandal Was 'Horrible' For His Wife, Family

In 2020, West and James drew heated speculation after being photographed on what appeared to be an intimate lunch date in Italy.

Dominic West and his wife, Catherine FitzGerald, have learned to laugh about the 2020 media frenzy that ensued after photos of “The Crown” actor kissing former co-star Lily James emerged.

It’s been nearly four years since the publication of paparazzi photos that showed James and West, who shared the screen in the BBC One series “The Pursuit of Love,” together in Italy. Some of the pictures appeared to show West nuzzling and kissing James’ neck during an intimate lunch date.

Naturally, the photos sparked speculation of an on-set romance, putting West, a married father of five, in a precarious position. In a new interview, the actor acknowledged how “obviously horrible” the situation was for FitzGerald and their family.

“It was an absurd situation,” he told The Times of London over the weekend. “It was deeply stressful for my wife and my kids, but there were lighter moments.”

At the time of the controversy, West opted for an unusual approach, holding an impromptu press conference with FitzGerald at their home in England to address the state of their relationship.

Dominic West and his wife, Catherine FitzGerald, in 2020.
Dominic West and his wife, Catherine FitzGerald, in 2020.
MEGA via Getty Images

“Our marriage is strong, and we’re very much still together,” he told reporters at the time, then he and FitzGerald kissed. The couple also distributed a handwritten note to visiting media that bore the same statement.

These days, West said he and FitzGerald have found humor in the breathless coverage that ensued after the press conference.

“I hesitate to speak on my wife’s behalf because it was obviously horrible, particularly for her,” he told The Times of London. “But we do joke about it sometimes. Because whenever we went out together, the papers would always say we were ‘putting on a show of unity.’ Even if we’d just been rowing about parking the car or whatever, even if that couldn’t be further from the truth.”

He went on to note: “And so when we go out, we do sort of say, ‘Shall we go and have a show of unity up in London?’”

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