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Zendaya Slams Rumors About Tom Holland Relationship: "Y'all Can Relax"

Fans thought they spotted a clue about the couple in a recent Instagram.

These co-stars became a real-life couple, but they're not taking the next step just yet. In a post on Instagram, Zendaya slammed rumors that she and Tom Holland were engaged after she posted a photo in which she's wearing a ring. Given how beloved the Spider-Man stars are as a pair, some of their fans ran with the assumption that she was subtly announcing an engagement with the picture.

Zendaya subsequently cleared up the rumors in a video posted on her Instagram story and shared what she really intended the focus of the picture to be. Read on to see what she had to say about the gossip and to learn what the couple has shared about their relationship over the years.

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Zendaya was showing off a hat—not a ring.

Zendaya in a photo posted on her Instagram story on Sept. 21, 2023
© Zendaya / Instagram

As reported by E! News, Zendaya posted a photo of herself taken in a reflection on her Instagram story. The close-up image reveals what appears to be a pearl ring on her right hand ring finger, which is not where engagement and wedding rings are traditionally worn. In the photo, the Dune star is also wearing sunglasses and a Golden State Warriors hat. She is from Oakland, California near where the NBA team plays.

In a video posted to her Instagram story on Sept. 21, Zendaya cleared up the commotion that her photo caused.

"I can't post anything, you guys," she says while laughing. "I posted it for my hat. Like, not for the ring on my right finger, you guys. Seriously, you think that's how I would drop the news? You think, like, what!"

The 27-year-old star then posted the full version of the cropped photo that she had shared before. She captioned it, "Let me just put the full body back so y'all can relax lmao."

Zendaya and Holland keep their relationship pretty private.

If Zendaya and Holland were actually engaged, Zendaya revealing the news by posting a casual photo to her Instagram story would come as a surprise, since both actors keep their relationship rather private. Holland and Zendaya only rarely post about one another on social media—and usually on birthdays.

For instance, for Holland's 26th birthday in June 22, Zendaya posted a photo of herself and her boyfriend and wrote, "Happiest of birthdays to the one who makes me the happiest <3." For her birthday in September of this year, Holland posted a couple of photos of Zendaya on his Instagram story. Alongside one of her in snorkeling gear, he wrote, "My birthday girl."

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They were friends for years before they started dating.

Tom Holland and Zendaya at 2016 Comic-Con
Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images

Zendaya and Holland became friends when they were filming 2017's Spider-Man: Homecoming. (They've since starred in two sequels, as well.) The stars often said nice things about each other and their friendship in the press, but they denied rumors that they were dating. Both also reportedly dated other people during this time. But eventually, their relationship turned romantic, and in July 2021, photos were published of the two actors kissing in a car.

"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 told GQ of the photos in a November 2021 interview. "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."

In the same GQ profile, Zendaya said, "It was quite strange and weird and confusing and invasive. The equal sentiment [we both share] is just that when you really love and care about somebody, some moments or things, you wish were your own."

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Zendaya wants to have some control over what they share.

Zendaya and Tom Holland at the premiere of "Spider-Man: No Way Home" in 2021
DFree / Shutterstock

Zendaya shared similar thoughts in an interview with Elle earlier this year.

"Parts of my life, I accept, are going to be public," she told Elle in August 2023. "I can't not be a person and live my life and love the person I love. But also, I do have control over what I choose to share. It's about protecting the peace and letting things be your own but also not being afraid to exist. You can't hide. That's not fun, either. I am navigating it more than ever now."

This isn't the first time there have been engagement rumors about the couple.

Zendaya and Tom Holland at a photocall for "Spider-Man: No Way Home" in 2021
Karwai Tang/WireImage via Getty Images

Even though they strive to keep their relationship mostly private, Zendaya and Holland have been the subject of engagement rumors before.

In March, fans thought the couple was engaged when Zendaya posted a photo of herself wearing a yellow diamond ring. As reported by The Independent, Zendaya had already talked about purchasing the Bulgari ring for herself. (She said she got an "employee discount" as an ambassador for the luxury brand.) Even further back, in December 2021, engagement rumors surfaced when she posted a photo showing off her new hairstyle while wearing the ring.

In December 2022, Zendaya's mom, Claire Stoermer, appeared to shoot down an engagement rumor that went viral on Twitter (now X). After the rumor surfaced—which, as BuzzFeed reported, didn't appear to be based on anything—Stoermer posted the definition of "clickbait" to Instagram.

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Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
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