The 36-year-old singer addressed her reported romance with Sheeran in the comments of a recent TikTok video. Fans first speculated that Goulding had cheated on her rumoured boyfriend with Horan following the release of Sheeran’s hit song “Don’t” in 2014.
The topic was raised again last week, after Goulding shared a TikTok video of herself dancing to Prep’s cover of Harry Styles’ song, “As It Was,” with a caption that read: “Quick boob check then we’re birthday groovin.”
The video prompted one viewer to address the singer’s alleged dating history, writing: “Can’t believe you cheated on Ed with Niall but slay fr.” The comment appears to be deleted, but a screenshot was captured by the Daily Mail.
The “Lights” singer quickly denied the claim in the comments section of her video, responding: “False!!!!! But also slay,” according to the screenshot.
Goulding and Sheeran first sparked dating rumours in 2013, when they were seen holding hands at the MTV Music Video Awards. A few weeks later, the “A Team” singer said that, while he and Goulding were dating at the time of the show, they weren’t anymore.
“I mean, normal people don’t hold hands if they’re just friends,” he said during an interview with radio station Click 98.9, according to Us Weekly. “It was going on. And now it’s not.”
However, Goulding had a different response to the romance rumours, as she criticised fans who’d made assumptions about her and Sheeran.
“I love that holding hands with my friends means we’re an item,” she tweeted at the time, according to Us Weekly. “In that case I am in many relationships. Lover not a hater. #whatthef*ck.”
In 2014, fans then speculated that Sheeran’s song “Don’t,” which included lyrics that implied he’d been cheated on, was about Goulding.
The track features Sheeran singing about an unnamed woman sleeping with someone else, and includes the lyrics: “And I never saw him as a threat/ Until you disappeared with him to have sex, of course/ It’s not like we were both on tour/ We were staying on the same f***ing hotel floor.”
However, during an interview with Entertainment Weekly in 2015, Sheeran said the song was not about Goulding, when he alleged that a British publication had falsely reported that the song was about the singer without confirming the rumour.
“What happened was one of the newspapers in England just printed that it was confirmed when it never was,” he said. “We got in touch, and they took the story down. But obviously the damage had already been done by that point because every other newspaper picked up on it. So I never actually confirmed it.”
Speaking to Elle UK in 2015, Goulding opened up about her love life, with the singer acknowledging that, while she had previously gone out with Horan, she was “never in a relationship”.
“I did go on a few dates with Niall [Horan] but I was never in a relationship with Ed [Sheeran],” she said. “I have absolutely no idea where that came from and why it was turned into such a big thing. I find it so frustrating that female musicians are constantly defined by the men they have or haven’t dated.”